Filipino American Muppet on ‘Sesame Street’ makes debut


There’s a new Muppet on Sesame Street and for the first time, the cute, cuddly character is of Filipino descent.

The character, 4-year-old TJ, made his first appearance on “Sesame Street” this week alongside actor Kal Penn and fellow Muppets Grover and Ji-Young as they learned about confidence.

In the scene, Grover enthusiastically announces he will jump the Sesame Street sign on his unicycle.

Penn says Grover has lots of confidence, prompting TJ to ask “Confidence? Mr. Kal, what’s that?”

Penn explains that confidence is believing in yourself and others. TJ later tells Penn that he shows his own confidence by learning Tagalog.

“It’s a language my Filipino family speaks,” he says.

TJ also says he has confidence because he can always ask his lola – Tagalog for grandma – for help when he doesn’t know a word.


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