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Count von CountEdit

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search"The Count" redirects here. For the nobility title, see Count. For other uses, see Count (disambiguation).

Count von Count
Sesame Street character
First appearance November 27, 1972
Voiced by Jerry Nelson
Aliases The Count
Gender Male

Count von Count, often known simply as The Count, is one of the Muppet characters on Sesame Street, performed by Jerry Nelson. The Count is a vampire modeled after Béla Lugosi's interpretation of Count Dracula.


[hide]*1 Description

  • 2 History and evolution of the character on Sesame Street
  • 3 Influences and resemblances
  • 4 Internationally
  • 5 Appearances outside of Sesame Street
  • 6 References in popular culture
  • 7 Notes and references
  • 8 External links


The Count's main purpose is educating children on simple mathematical concepts, most notably counting. The Count has a love of counting (arithmomania); he will count anything and everything, regardless of size, amount, or how much annoyance he is causing the other Muppets or human cast. For instance, he once prevented Ernie from answering a telephone because he wanted to continue counting the number of rings.

The Count lives in an old, cobweb-infested castle which he shares with many bats. Sometimes he counts them. Some of the pet bats are named, including Grisha, Misha, Sasha, and Tatiana. He has a cat, Fatatita, as well. Sometimes he counts her. He also drives a special car designed in the features of a bat, named the Countmobile, intended as a pun to the Batmobile[citation needed].

The Count has been shown with a number of girlfriends. Always a feminized version of The Count muppet, they have included Countess von Backwards (debuting in Sesame Street's 28th season) who counts backwards; Countess Dahling von Dahling (debuted in the 12th season), and one simply named "The Countess" (first appearing in season 8). The von Count family also includes an unnamed brother and mother as well as an Uncle Uno and grandparents.

History and evolution of the character on Sesame StreetEdit

The Count debuted on Sesame Street in Season 4 (1972–73), and was conceived by Norman Stiles, who wrote the first script. The Count was performed by Jerry Nelson, who brought the character to life. He was originally made out of the Large Lavender Live Hand Anything Muppet pattern.

In the early 1970s, following a counting session, the Count would laugh maniacally, "AH AH AH AH AH!", accompanied by thunder and lightning flashes. He wouldn't let anything interrupt his counting, and used hypnotic powers to temporarily stun people with a wave of his hands.[citation needed] This practice, however, was discontinued in the mid-1970s because of concern that young viewers would become frightened. Since the mid-1970s, the Count became friendlier, did not have hypnotic powers, and interacted more with the characters (both live actors and Muppets). His laugh also changed from maniacal laughter to a more triumphant, stereotypical Dracula-style laugh.

He made an appearance in The Muppets Take Manhattan, then in the Sesame Street movies Follow That Bird and Elmo in Grouchland. Notably, the Count appeared on-screen during the closing credits of Follow That Bird where he proceeded to read and count the credits.

In Season 33, the Count got a daily segment on Sesame Street, simply called The Number of the Day.

Influences and resemblancesEdit

When the Count sings, the background music resembles Romani music or Jewish music, no matter what the song. The original "Song of the Count" was written by Jeff Moss as a traditional Hungarian Csárdás.

Some traditional vampire myths depict vampires as having a similar fixation with counting small objects, providing a means of distracting them by tossing a handful of seeds or salt on the ground. This is seen as a protection from the vampire, similar to the use of garlic (which he is not repelled by). The Count's own arithmomania may simply be a coincidence, however, inspired by the pun on his title of nobility and his educational purpose. According to his theme song, "The Song of the Count": "When I'm alone, I count myself. One count!"

The Count bears a noticeable resemblance to Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, including a similar accent and oversized, pointed canine teeth (better known as fangs, although Lugosi himself did not bear fangs in the 1931 film), but it would appear that he is different from other vampires, besides sporting a goatee and monocle. For example, most vampires wither in direct sunlight; the Count does not and, in fact, enjoys being outside. Additionally, the Count does not suck blood (or drink it) [he even has no association with it], change into a bat (even though he does have bat companions) or sleep in a coffin. He also sleeps at night in a normal bed. In many ways, he is more like a regular human than a vampire. However, the Count still has one vampiric trait: he has no reflection in mirrors.


  • In the Dutch version of the series, Sesamstraat, the Count's name is Graaf Tel (literally, "Count Count").
  • In the French series 1, Rue Sésame, his name is Comte von Compte.
  • In the German series Sesamstraße, his name is Graf Zahl (literally, "Count Number").
  • In the Hebrew series Rechov Sumsum, his name is 'מר סופר', phonetically pronounced 'Mar Sofer', which literally means "Mr. Counter".
  • In the Mexican series Plaza Sésamo, his name is El Conde Contar (literally, "Count Count").
  • In the Polish series Ulica Sezamkowa, his name is Liczyhrabia (literally, "Countcount").
  • In the Portugal series Rua Sésamo, his name is Conde de Contar (translated as "Count of Counting")
  • In the Russian series Улица Сезам, his name is Znak (Знак).
  • In the Spanish series, Barrio Sésamo, his name is Conde Draco.
  • In the Turkish series Susam Sokağı, his name is Sayıların Kontu (literally, "The Count of Numbers")

Appearances outside of Sesame StreetEdit

  • The Count appeared on a video package aired on the first episode of The Late Show with David Letterman that was shown after Letterman's emergency quintuple bypass operation. He appeared as a surgeon in an operating theater, counting "One bypass... AH AH AH! Two bypass..."[citation needed]
  • In a Dancing with the Stars results show that aired on October 2, 2007, a fake backstage sequence with Jimmy Kimmel claimed that votes for the show are tabulated by The Count, who was depicted as being thrown into a panic by the discovery that "Mel B" and "Scary Spice" are in fact the same person.
  • The Count was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme More or Less on December 11, 2009, where he mentioned his favorite number, 34969.
  • He appeared on the Halloween edition of SportsCenter to count down the top ten trickplays of the 2010 college football season.
  • He appeared in the MAD episode Mouse M.D along with Cookie Monster.
  • He was a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann for the first anniversary episode.

References in popular cultureEdit

  • The St. Paul Saints, an independent minor-league baseball team in St. Paul, Minnesota known for unique and sometimes over-the-top promotions, announced that it would give away 2,500 bobblehead dolls dressed as the Count at its May 23, 2009 game. However, instead of the Count's regular head, this doll's head featured Al Franken on one side and Norm Coleman on the other, and was called "Count von Re-Count"—referring to the extraordinarily prolonged recount and legal battle surrounding the 2008 U.S. Senate election between the two men. The team made further jabs at the election during the game.[1]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ Associated Press (2009-05-23). "Saints' gimmick jabs at Senate race". Retrieved 2009-05-23.

External linksEdit

Retrieved from ""Categories: Fictional counts and countesses | Fictional vampires | Sesame Street Muppet characters | Fictional characters introduced in 1972 | Fictional Romanian peopleHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from February 2011 | All articles needing additional references | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements from April 2010 | Articles with unsourced statements from October 2009 | Articles that may contain original research from February 2011 | All articles that may contain original research | Articles with unsourced statements from January 2008

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