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TV Alert: "Count Tribute" Sesame Street episode in honor of Jerry Nelson airs October 31, 2013

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Phillip, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    This Thursday, Sesame Street will be airing a very special episode honoring beloved Muppeteer Jerry Nelson. Jerry Nelson, most famous for Sesame Street characters The Count, Herry Monster and Mr. Johnson ("Fat Blue") passed away last year.

    In the street story, The Count wins an award for counting, but may miss the ceremony due to a counting emergency in Chicago. Tune in to this very special episode Thursday on your local PBS station and let us know your thoughts.

    You can also hear the music of Jerry Nelson all-day this Thursday on Muppet Central Radio.


    If you have seen "Count Tribute" please like this post and share your thoughts below.
  2. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Sesame Workshop also posted this wonderful video today in honor of Jerry...


    "5 1/2 amazing characters performed by our late colleague and friend, Jerry Nelson! Check out a special Count episode on PBS tomorrow."
  3. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Some fellow Muppeteers and Sesame Street cast members also shared their Jerry Nelson tributes today...

    Remembering Jerry Nelson

    An original work of art by Carroll Spinney. Carroll plays the iconic Sesame Street characters Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch

    Jerry Nelson, best known as the puppeteer of the iconic Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, the Amazing Mumford and many more was a beloved member of the Sesame Street family for over 40 years. In a testament to the lasting impact his humor and talent made on the Sesame Street cast and crew, cast members Emilio Delgado and Sonia Manzano and puppeteer Fran Brill graciously offered remembrances of Jerry’s life and work. In addition puppeteer Carroll Spinney, best known for his work as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, drew an original work of art commemorating some of Jerry’s most famous characters.

    On Thursday, Oct. 31, Sesame Street will honor his memory by airing a special Count Von Count episode. We hope you will tune in and celebrate the life and work of a man who holds a special place in the hearts of the entire Sesame Street family.

    Fran Brill

    Fran Brillis the first female Muppet™ performer hired by Jim Henson for Sesame Street. Since joining the show, she has won numerous Emmy Awards and created and performs the characters of Zoe, Prairie Dawn and many others.

    Oh, Jerry. The man with a thousand voices. Maybe because he was such an excellent singer his flexible vocal chords enabled him to create characters as diverse as the young Robin frog to the Count to Sherlock Hemlock to Herry Monster. The list goes on and on. But it wasn’t just his vocal versatility that made him one in a million. It was his superb acting skills which defined every character.

    He had been an actor in his former life and it was evident. In fact, during his last days up at the Cape we found out that both of us were at the same summer stock theater but in different years! His acting choices were strong. He gave you something to play off of and he made you look good.

    Jer’s occasionally crusty exterior was just a big show. He was a man of deep sentiment and gentleness. He had been through much pain in his life and I think sometimes he sought to disguise that with a touch of brusqueness. He just made me laugh. I loved performing Roxy Marie to his Uncle Biff on Sesame Street. There was much in that sweet uncle/niece relationship that was not spoken nor addressed but we knew it was there.

    I miss his glorious singing voice. He sang with such joy and freedom. He was truly at home on the stage singing with his musician buddies. He left us but thankfully his music and hours and hours of his television and film performances will live on.

    Emilio Delgado

    Originally from Calexico, California, Emilio Delgado has played Luis on Sesame Street since 1971.

    Because we were both from the West, I felt a special bond with Jerry. I liked his friendly way and easy smile. I imagined him as an intrepid cowpoke, who, guitar in hand, had somehow made his way “back East” and fallen in with a wild bunch who were the perfect counterparts to his sharp wit and zany humor. It was a fortuitous match made in Muppet heaven! From then on, blessed with a boundless imagination and a prodigious acting and musical talent, Jerry reveled in the “up and down melody of life” as he put it, treating everyone as they wanted to be treated: with sincerity and respect. His friendship, generosity and kindheartedness were as vast as the Western sky and it was an honor to have been his friend.

    And there you are my friend
    You saddled up and rode on outBack to your Oklahoma sky
    Sittin’ by a fire, sippin’ cowboy joe
    An old guitar, a sad refrainTo hurry dreams along
    And there you are
    It was a wild and wacky ride
    Tall tales and looney tunesBut now, just kickin’ back
    And there you are
    Good night sweet friend …

    Sonia Manzano

    Sonia Manzano is a first generation Puerto Rican who has touched the lives of millions of parents and children as Maria on Sesame Street.

    Fat Blue, the hapless diner tormented by Grover reminded me of the character “Marty” in the Patty Chayefsky play of the same name.

    The Amazing Mumford was an endearingly pathetic lounge act as great as any of W.C. Field’s.

    I know barflies like Donizetti Ferlinghetti – through that character Jerry managed to roll up the whole beat-generation into a fat blue foam head wearing sun glasses. Who, by the way, I always thought was African-American.

    Then there was Herry Monster — that lovable galut who didn’t know his own strength. Couldn’t help loving him any more than I could help loving some of my least favorite relatives.

    Of course, The Count was zany enough to make us love his obsessive-compulsive counting disorder.

    And when Jerry played a scene in limbo with a kid – he could be loose, bold, and expressive yet guide the scene with finesse and subtlety.

    But I’ll never forget entering the studio in the days when the human cast believed Snuffy was Big Bird’s imaginary friend. Snuffy was singing a song about feeling invisible. When he sang lyric “I guess I’ll just go back to my house and make believe I’m love,” Jerry sang it with sorrow and just the right amount of hope to keep me hanging on.

    And then, of course, there was that glorious voice. Jerry lives in all of us he touched.

  4. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

  5. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    "It’s less important to have prizes to count than it is to have friends to count who care about you when you’re not there."

    JEANYLASER Well-Known Member

    I love it! And I miss Jerry Nelson very much! RIP!
    theSHE124 likes this.
  7. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    Well, that was a very good tribute to Jerry. That final message, man, gets you way more than a kid's show should. Tough Pigs' analysis says it all for me.

    Who was doing Elmo in this? It sounded distinctly like Kevin, but this would have been after he resigned. But maybe I'm completely wrong. :p
  8. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Great street story... Alan's impersonation was the best out of the three.

    And the message at the end, I agree with Bob The Pizza Boy, it was a vonderful statement. :batty:
    theSHE124 and DrDientes like this.
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    The whole thing was wonderful. Even though the rest of the street residents didn't get enough attention, it was great they had virtually the entire main cast there. Eric's Scandinavian judge was hysterical.

    But, from Telly's plead with the judges until the very end, it was pure beauty.
    DrDientes and BobThePizzaBoy like this.
  10. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    That was Eric? It was making crazy trying to figure out who it was. For some reason it sounded like Steve Whitmire to me and I was waiting for Ernie to actually talk. My Muppet performing detecting ears must be malfunctioning today.
  11. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    wow! after reading the Toughpigs article, I had to wipe a tear from my eye. Watching the street scene and then reading that really put everything together for me.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    Things that made me laugh included El Mo von Count. Yep, Fractured Logic 101 at work. The entire cast basically doing an "I Am Spartacus" bit to try and convince the judges to give :batty: the Noble Prize. The fact that they called it that, plus Alan's mention of Gladys the Cow as his impersonations, made me think they meant it as a reference to fellow SST Muppet Dr. Nobel Price.

    It was appropriately fitting they aired this episode on Halloween Day. Thank you Jerry and everybody else involved in creating this tribute.
    theSHE124 likes this.
  13. Cookie Chris

    Cookie Chris Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty sure Kevin Clash pre-recorded the voice before he resigned since the episode was taped on December 14, 2012 according to Matt Vogel's Tweet, but Ryan Dillion (or another performer) lip-synched to the recording.

    Even though I saw the episode on sesamestreet.org on Friday, I love the street story. It also helps that Jerry's likeness was on the Nobel Prize logo. And the fact that Jerry actually did the voice before he died made it that more better of a tribute. I was expecting Matt Vogel would do the voice since I wasn't sure how much material Jerry recorded before he died. Finally, I wished Ernie and Bert who were background characters had a speaking line or two. Oh well...

    Anyway, rest in peace, Jerry Nelson! :batty:
    theSHE124 likes this.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Lemme say this. As someone who just cannot get through the Jim Henson tribute past the Marching Accountant Society bit, I get pretty emotional during these things and hope that there's a lot more yukks than tearful moments. This episode was absolutely wacky and funny, and I had a ball with Alan, Telly, and Elmo failing to impersonate Count. Even lampshade hanging Elmo's verbal tick that render's him completely unable to say "I am" instead of his own name.

    Then Telly gave the line about how The Count made millions of people happy and I freaking lost it. The elegance and subtlety of just giving that huge manner of reflection into just one powerful line... rest assured, there's NO doubt that this was a tribute. The Nobel Prize looking like Jerry (I think, I need to look at it again), the "I am Spartacus" bit they did at the end... those were nice touches. But that one line managed to be incredibly powerful. I dunno, maybe it's because it almost exactly echo's Kermit's lines from The Muppet Movie. That was just a deeply moving thing to say without breaking the fourth wall too hard.
  15. muppetlover123

    muppetlover123 Well-Known Member

    This was just perfect, a perfect way to honor Jerry.
    theSHE124 and Collgoff like this.
  16. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    You know, I wonder how many kiddies out there got Maria's "El Cid" Spanish nickname reference/joke.

    Also, the moment at the end where everybody was dressed as :batty: reminds me of this photo that was at Muppet Wiki, dunno what article it's attached to, from a 2012 Christmas party that had several of the main SST Muppets dressed as The Count. It's a photo that warms my little black heart. :)
    theSHE124 likes this.
  17. Sesame Skates

    Sesame Skates Active Member

    An okay tribute, but could have used some classic segments...
  18. BobThePizzaBoy

    BobThePizzaBoy Well-Known Member

    Said Christmas party was about a few days after they shot this. Such a perfect tribute to Jerry either way. :batty:
    theSHE124 likes this.
  19. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Some random things I loved:
    • Gladys the Cow's name-drop
    • "The winning whistler waits for us in Wichita!"
    • The fact that the second greatest counter in the world is a Chinese calculator
    theSHE124 likes this.
  20. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I Barely get it. I barely understand that it's the reference The Tick villain"El Seed" is making.

    Hey, Ed... just wondering if you thought the fact that they referenced Telly's impersonation of the Count as "Ed Count" was a weird co-incidence.
    theSHE124 and JonnyBMuppetMan like this.

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