Moishe Oofnik

Moishe Oofnik contemplates life's joyous miseries

Moishe Oofnik (מוישה אופניק) is a brown Grouch who lives in a broken car. He's the resident Grouch on Rechov Sumsum, the Israeli co-production of Sesame Street, & also appeared in the bilingual version, Shalom Sesame & the later Israeli-Palestinian co-production Rechov Sumsum/Shara'a Simsim. In 2006, he returned for the new version of Rechov Sumsum.

He is the cousin of Oscar the Grouch (so he is also the cousin of Ernest & Otto the Grouch & their sister Bunny), &, not surprisingly, he shares many of his cousin's tastes. Rather than celebrating Rosh Hashanah by dipping apple slices into honey for a sweet new year, Moishe tells us that Oofniks prefer to dip them into sardine grease so the new year will be slimy. He loves to hear Itzhak Perlman play violin, as long as the music is off-key. If he responds lovingly to flowers & puppies, it's probably a sign that he's gotten a bad case of spring fever.

Oofnik is the only Israeli Muppet who has endured since the 1st incarnation of Rechov Sumsum. Haim Idisis, a long-time scriptwriter for the show, explained his longevity: "Oofnik is probably the only lasting character. Those types always survive, he'll stay shut in his trash can & survive. He's not young, but he'll stay childish forever."

His surname, Oofnik, is Hebrew for Grouch. In 1993, he & Kippi Ben Kippod appeared on Sesame Street Stays Up Late, to show how Israel rings in the New Year. However, the character was introduced as Oofnik the Grouch, a redundant label.

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