Friday, August 24, 2012

The Count's Not Laughing Today

I've just heard the news that Muppet legend Jerry Nelson passed away last night. Besides performing as "the Count" on Sesame Street since 1972, Nelson was commonly heard as an announcer for many Muppet productions (including an uncredited bit in last year's movie, The Muppets) and a number of minor and not-so-minor Muppet characters (perhaps most notably Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock) over a career than spanned six different decades.

While Nelson had already retired for health reasons several years ago, giving the Sesame Street folks time to transition to a new performer for Nelson's characters, I have not been able to verify if a permanent voice for the Count had yet been selected at the time of Nelson's death, and know that Nelson continued to provide the Count's voice at least for a time after giving up the actual puppeteering work. I imagine that at least some recordings of Nelson's announcer-work (perhaps the introduction to "Super Grover" sketches? I admit this is just a shameless way to justify using a picture of my Super Grover toy. Nelson was not Grover's voice) will be used for some time to come. Even so, he will be missed.

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