You probably won’t recognize the face of Jerry Nelson, but if you’ve ever had a child or you’ve ever watched any of Jim Henson’s various properties, you’ll instantly recognize the voice. Of the many famous characters voiced by Nelson over the years, none is more well-known than everyone’s favorite math-loving vampire, Count Von Count, on Sesame Street. He was also the voice of Sgt. Floyd Pepper from the Electric Mayhem, Gobo Fraggle from Fraggle Rock, and one of my personal favorites, Emmet from Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. Jerry Nelson has died at age 78 of natural causes.
For nearly as long as there have been Muppets, Jerry Nelson has been there. Nelson has spent an entire career with Jim Henson Productions, first appearing on The Jimmy Dean Show in 1965 as a fill-in for Frank Oz. Upon finding out the Sesame Street gang were also Muppets, Nelson joined up with Henson and company, where he would spend his time in the puppet pits from 1970 until 2004, where he retired from puppeteering. Since then, he’s remained as one of the most famous voices in Muppetdom. He even recorded an album of original songs, Truro Daydreams. His last role was as the announcer in Jason Segel’s The Muppets.
As an example of Nelson’s voice, here’s Floyd singing the Beatles song “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Try not to weep yourselves.
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