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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

so long and thanks for all the fish

R.I.P Jerry Nelson, Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock Veteran

You might not recognize Jerry Nelson‘s name, but you’re probably more familiar with Sesame Street’s the Count, Amazing Mumford and Snuffalupagus, or Statler (half of the heckling duo of Statler and Waldorf), Floyd Pepper (the mustachioed guitar player in the Muppet Show house band), Lew Zealand (that guy who chucks fish), Gobo Fraggle, Robin the Frog, or maybe even Emmet Otter. Though he may never have had roles as iconic to the Muppets as some of his colleagues, his long, long history with the group touches almost everything they’ve ever done. He passed away yesterday after a long period of declining health, at the age of seventy-eight.

And that’s certainly a good enough reason to collect a few videos of his characters and share them below.

“Halfway Down the Stairs” is one of the more famous numbers sung by Robin, with lyrics from a poem by Winnie the Pooh creator A.A. Milne.

You’d think if anybody’d be able to handle the Muppet Show’s resident hecklers, it’d be Milton Berle. (Nelson’s character, Statler, is the one on the right.)

Floyd and the Electric Mayhem sang this number in the Paul Simon episode of the Muppet Show: the only episode where every musical number was from the same artist.

We can’t finish the post without a number from Fraggle Rock, where Nelson played one of the series main characters.

And just so I make sure I’ve done my best to get you to cry, a sequence featuring not one but two of Nelson’s roles: Robin the Frog (as Tiny Tim) and the Ghost of Christmas Present.

(via ToughPigs.)

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  • Ryan Roe

    Thanks for this.  It’s nice to see how many different websites are paying tribute to Mr. Nelson today.

    One note: In the Statler & Waldorf clip, Statler is actually being performed by Richard Hunt.  Jerry Nelson originated the character in the pilot for The Muppet Show, but when the series got picked up he was unavailable for the first few episodes, so Richard Hunt made Statler his own until his death in 1992, at which point Jerry stepped in again.

  • Jeremy Klingendorf

    It’s so sad we’ve lost another amazing voice and the collective piece of many peoples’ childhoods.  My coworker at Dish said her son loves watching Sesame Street, especially the Count, when he comes home from preschool.  She uses Blockbuster @Home which lets her get Sesame Street DVDs delivered to her door for her son to watch.  When they’re done they can go to the local Blockbuster store to swap for another movie.