In honor of our 100th Muppet Mindset post, we’re celebrating with everyone’s favorite numerical vampire, who would probably love counting each of our 100 posts!
Sesame Street Season 3 (1972)
Most recent appearance…
Sesame Street Season 45 (2014)
“It is I, The Count. I’m called The Count because I love to count things! That, and I inherited my father’s royal title.”
Best known role…
Vampire, arithnomaniac (obsessive counter), bat aficionado, Casanova.
WHO IS COUNT VON COUNT?
The Count has been counting on Sesame Street since season 3–and he has never grown tired of it. He will count anything and everything; from chickens hanging out on the Street to sheep dancing in his bedroom. No number is too high and no objects are too random for our Count to count!
In his first appearance, The Count possessed odd hypnotizing powers that allowed him to immobilize Bert while he counted (and dismantled) Ernie’s block tower. This aspect of the character was quickly abandoned for a friendlier (yet still as obsessive) Count.
In subsequent appearances The Count retained one extremely important aspect of his character: thunder and lightning after each of his triumphant “Ah! Ah! Ah!”‘s which are shouted subsequently after counting. This is one of the things that viewers love about The Count (you know, besides him being a vampire obsessed with counting).
The Count resides in a large, Transylvanian-esque castle outside of Sesame Street (if anyone spots this near New York City, do let us know) where he enjoys counting and playing his organ to proudly proclaim the Number of the Day. He also enjoys watching some favorite television programs such as “Six Feet Under.” Here in his castle he resides with his many pet bats, his cat Fatatita, and a pet octopus Octavia (whom he uses to count his eight legs).
In this big castle, The Count also enjoys entertaining numerous lady friends. In the past he courted Susan Sarandon and they presumably spent the entire evening counting, but it seems that he only got to count one, one night stand. He has also had a few serious relationships with the likes of Countess Dahling von Dahling, Lady Two, and, most recently, Countess von Backwards. The Count’s estranged (and strange) relationships with these women is the stuff of legend. It is unknown if we will ever find out which is The Count’s one true love. (Ah, that is one! One true love! Ah! Ah! Ah!)
The Count has been counting on Sesame Street for over 35 years and he shows no sign of slowing down.
COUNT VON COUNT AND JERRY NELSON
The Count is one of the few characters still performed by Muppet legend Jerry Nelson after his semi-retirement. The Count appears to be one of Jerry’s favorite characters and has shown enthusiasm for him ever since writer Norman Stiles was first developing the character: “Norman told me he was writing this piece with this new character who’s called the Count… He’s a vampire, but not a real vampire… He just has a jones for numbers. He’s obsessed with counting things. So I went, “Oh, cool,” and I went to Jim [Henson] and said, “You know, Norman’s writing this new character called the Count.” Jim said, “Let me hear it.” So I went (in my Count voice), “Yes, I vould love to do it!” and Jim said, “Yes, you can do it.'”
Due to health problems, Jerry doesn’t often do the puppeteering for The Count, but he always records his dialogue so that his classic voice never disappears.
COUNT VON COUNT SONGS
- “The Song of The Count”
- “The Batty Bat”
- “I Could Have Counted All Night”
- “Baby You Can Count on Me” with Baby Natasha
- “Count’s First Day of School”
- “Eight Beautiful Notes”
- “Hands Can Do”
- “Nothing to Count”
- “Counting Vacation”
- “Two for Two” with Lady Two
WHY SESAME STREET NEEDS COUNT VON COUNT
Well, if Sesame Street does not hawe The Count, then who will do the counting? Hmm? Yes, there are those who like to think they can count up to ten or ewen higher, but none of them do it with such gusto as Count von Count. He not only provides an exuberant laugh at the end of every counting session, but he changes the weather with it too!
The Count has become a vitally important part of the Street over the years. Thank goodness he’ll always be around to count with us.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org