|This article needs more links. Please improve this article by adding links that are relevant to the context within the existing article. (June 2018)|
Gerald Martin Johanssen is a fictional character in the Nickelodeon animated television series Hey Arnold!. He is the titular character's best friend. Gerald is often acknowledged as the token black character for the show. He was voiced by Jamil Walker Smith throughout the entire run of the series, even as Smith went through puberty (the voice change was explained away when "Gerald's Tonsils" were removed).
Gerald is Arnold's best friend — which usually means he's on the scene when Arnold's latest escapade happens. Gerald is also the occasional voice of reason (just when Arnold needs it). Gerald has a good deal of knowledge of many legendary stories in the city, or "urban legends" as he calls them ("Stoop Kid" was the first he told, while "Ghost Bride" was the last). He apparently gets these myths from a source he has nicknamed "Fuzzy Slippers", mentioned in many episodes as his reliable assistant. Until Arnold taught him, Gerald did not even know how to ride a bicycle ("Gerald's Secret"). Gerald's catchphrases usually were "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?", "You're a bold kid". But Gerald's interest in Urban legends gave him a fright in one episode ("Four-Eyed Jack") after Gerald said there's no such thing as ghosts, but at the end of the episode while Gerald is asleep, the ghost awakens him and says a simple "boo" before Gerald screams loudly. The ghost disappeared afterwards.
At school, Gerald is the class president ("Cool Party", "Mr. Green Runs"), and considers himself very cool, and apparently, so do his friends. When it was revealed that Arnold was on Rhonda Wellington Lloyd's so-called "Cool List", and that Gerald was on her other list known as "The Geek List" (due to a grudge Rhonda had against him over running for class president), many classmates were surprised to find this out ("Cool Party"). He seems to know a great deal of children's street culture.