count your blessings, ah ah ah
October 9, 2023 9:43 AM   Subscribe

Happy birthday Count Von Count, the spookiest denizen of Sesame Street.

Since his debut in 1972 on season 4 of Sesame Street, the Count has delighted children, goths and vice deans of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Not everyone has been a fan however. Letters of complaint from scandalized parents can be viewed in the University of Maryland's collection of Children's Television Workshop records:
"The character is funny to me; I’m thirty. He’s frightening to my three-year-old,” one Massachusetts mother wrote in November 1972 to Joan Ganz Cooney, a founder of Children’s Television Workshop, which produced “Sesame Street.” “(Some) God-knows-what primitive fear is touched off every time the Count makes his appearance and I end up with a screaming child to comfort."
It should be noted that although this Muppet does owe some of his inspiration to Bela Lugosi's film portrayal of Count Dracula, the Count is a vampire all his own. Indeed, author Alexander Chee makes no mention of the Count in his recent forward to a new edition of Bram Stoker's novel, which discusses the continued appeal of our birthday boy's literary predecessor.

You can enjoy a best of the Count compilation in celebration. Or watch a tribute to original Count puppeteer Jerry Nelson, or some memories from current puppeteer Matt Vogel.

Feel free to mark your calendars for the birthdays of other Sesame Street citizens you would like to remember.
posted by the primroses were over (28 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Count's birthday is 10/9!

10! 9! Ah ah ah ah!
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:55 AM on October 9, 2023 [17 favorites]


Don't forget how he helped sooth the immediate post-2020 election anxiety and horror into a celebration!

YOU CAN'T STOP THE COUNT
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:57 AM on October 9, 2023 [5 favorites]


I had no idea about this bit of vampire lore re: Count von Count until very recently!
posted by 41swans at 10:04 AM on October 9, 2023 [2 favorites]




Age is just a number 🎂
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:17 AM on October 9, 2023 [3 favorites]


doing the batty bat
posted by Pallas Athena at 10:20 AM on October 9, 2023 [6 favorites]


Do you know why they call me the Count? Well, you see, my father was the Count, and I am his eldest son. By the antiquated idea of primogeniture, my three older sisters were passed over so I could be called the Count. ah sh ah.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:20 AM on October 9, 2023 [3 favorites]


I have a very clear memory from my preschool days (probably about 1983) of a skit where the Count counted ALL THE WAY TO ONE HUNDRED. And when he finished, there was so much thunder and lightning that IT RAINED!!

I've looked for this occasionally without success. It's not this one where the Count's grandparents induce precipitation, because they don't go past ten. My recollection is that the entire cast was involved, it was a big production, etc.

While searching today I happened to find Patrick Stewart helping the Count solve a discipline problem, which was delightful.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:22 AM on October 9, 2023 [17 favorites]


Yeah, the one thing we know about the Count: He REALLY loves to *beeeeeep*.
posted by The Bellman at 10:50 AM on October 9, 2023 [21 favorites]


I remember that counting to 100. They didn't have the whole counting, it was split up as a connecting plot across the episode.

Or maybe I'm remembering Fry drinking 100 shots of espresso.

I do remember the Count getting to 100 at some point, though.
posted by hippybear at 10:58 AM on October 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


The count censored.


You’re welcome
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:15 AM on October 9, 2023 [13 favorites]


Ah jinx!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:16 AM on October 9, 2023


It's worth posting twice, frankly.
posted by The Bellman at 11:18 AM on October 9, 2023 [4 favorites]




I _______ the posts on the maaaaaain

I _______ the comments on each paaaaaage

I _______ the doubles in each waaaaay

When I'm alone I ______ my "Metafilter: When I'm alone I ______"
posted by Slackermagee at 11:29 AM on October 9, 2023 [2 favorites]


What I love about the Patrick Stewart clip is that every adult knew exactly what the joke was the moment Sir Pat walked out, and yet all the children watching were audibly amazed.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 11:31 AM on October 9, 2023 [6 favorites]


The censored Count is one of the funniest things ever put on the internet. Also one of those things that may be inexplicable to people hundreds of years from now.
posted by Mitheral at 11:48 AM on October 9, 2023 [9 favorites]


That PS clip was awesome. It's me and my coteacher (preschool) in a nutshell. I say get in line, the kids ignore me, she says it, all is right in the world. Until she leaves.
posted by kathrynm at 1:35 PM on October 9, 2023


Don't forget his fifth cousin, the Countess Dahling von Dahling.
posted by jonp72 at 3:43 PM on October 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


While working as a veejay on Sesame Music Videos, Count von Count introduces his favorite song of all time, Chris and the Alphabeats, Count It Higher.
posted by jonp72 at 3:54 PM on October 9, 2023


I only just now learned (courtesy of the "Vanderbilt School of Medicine" link in the write-up) that he used to date Susan Sarandon.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:03 PM on October 9, 2023 [1 favorite]


"Who's your favorite vampire?" -- "The one from Sesame Street." -- "He doesn't count!" -- "Oh, I assure you, he does."
posted by quinndexter at 6:42 PM on October 9, 2023 [17 favorites]


Not nearly enough vampires have arithmomania anymore
posted by ckape at 7:06 PM on October 9, 2023 [3 favorites]


I particularly enjoy Feist & the Count 1-2-3-4
posted by theora55 at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2023 [2 favorites]


our birthday boy's literary predecessor

I think you mean his predeceaser! Ah! Ah ah ah!
posted by crosley at 8:39 PM on October 9, 2023 [3 favorites]


Not nearly enough vampires have arithmomania anymore

I also feel like a lot more could be done with the running water dealie, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.
posted by non canadian guy at 9:17 AM on October 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


I also feel like a lot more could be done with the running water dealie, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.

I read a vampire novel 30 years ago where the undead protagonist loved hot baths, but had to make very sure the stopper was firmly sealed….
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:28 AM on October 10, 2023


The hardest I have ever in my life seen another human being laugh was while watching The Count Censored clip. Granted there was Fireball whiskey and moderate sleep deprivation involved but it was quite something.
posted by TwoWordReview at 8:11 PM on October 10, 2023 [1 favorite]


« Older "All I’m doing is trying to protect myself and my...   |   WARNING Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments