Count von Count
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Count von Count(pop culture)
Count von Count is a beloved character in the children’s television show Sesame Street. He is a vampire modeled on Bela Lugosi with fangs, a cape, and widow’s peak. Though he has fangs, he has not been seen using them on anyone. Biographical details are sparse, but he is rumored to be a distant relative of Count Dracula born on October 9, some 1,832,652 years ago. Like his relative, he lives in a castle with a pet cat and a number of bats, enough so he will never lack for enough to count. The Count has had two girlfriends, Countess von Backwards known for counting backwards and more recently Countess Dahling von Dahling. At different time his mother, brother, and grandparents have appeared.
Others suggest that he was the product of the fertile imagination of writer Norman Stiles and brought to life by puppeteer Jerry Nelson (1934–). On the versions of Sesame Street internationally, his appearances are facilitated by a number of different puppeteers. He originally appeared in 1972, during the show’s fourth American season.
Prior to the appearance of the Count, very few vampire characters in any medium were directed toward children, and none toward preschoolers. The justification for including the vampire puppet was as a tool to teach children about basic numbers and counting. The Count has a love of counting and demonstrates that love by counting anything he sees. In a normal person, his penchant for counting would be a mental disease called arithmomania. On the show his activity is perfectly normal and functional.
After working through some elements of the original character which were upon examination deemed possibly too scary for young children (such as the use of thunder and lightning after he finished a counting session), the Count settled in as a standard character of the show.
The Count has been a ubiquitous character in Sesame Street videos and books. He has been the primary character in three videos (now on DVD): Learning about Numbers (1986); Count It Higher (1988); and Rock & Roll! (1990). He has appeared in dozens of Sesame Street books and has been the featured character on titles such as The Count’s Counting Book (1980); Count All the Way to Sesame Street (1985); and Learn About Counting with the Count (2006).