Jerry Nelson


I’ve already established here that I grew up on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show and that I adore the music created for both shows (check out posts here and here for further proof).  In general, I find a lot to value in children’s music, in spite of the fact that a lot of it makes me kind of sentimental and weepy.  Any song that says you are valuable for who you are is a good song, and this is the most important lesson we can teach children.

Jerry Nelson was the voice of many muppets, including The Count, Herry Monster, and Robin the Frog.  He passed away yesterday at 78.  Although he’d retired as a muppeteer, his passing is a huge loss for the world of entertainment.  I’ll be honest, I’m having a little trouble writing this without crying.  Because the muppets were such an important part of my childhood, because I learned so much more than numbers and letters from them.  I learned about sharing and kindness and self-esteem.  I learned how to be silly and how to sing.  I learned that kids voices matter, too, maybe more than anyone else.

This is a nice tribute I found on YouTube (thanks to wileyk209zback for creating and posting it).  The song is “Halfway Down the Stairs” written by A.A. Milne (a powerhouse in children’s literature).  Thanks, Jerry.  I’ll miss you more than you know.  Say hi to Jim and Mr. Hooper for me.

2 thoughts on “Jerry Nelson

  1. Touching post. Sesame Street and the Muppets were a big part of my childhood, and the list of stars who performed with both is astounding. My favorites are REM teaching us about the letters… and Robin Williams with Robin teaching us about similarities and differences. The Count, I’m sorry to say, always frightened me with his thunder and lightening and numbers. I had to leave the room when he came on– this was a precursor to how I would never be a math teacher.

    • Thanks. I really was upset about this. I always kind of liked The Count, but we also watched a lot of Twilight Zone and monster movies at our house, too. But I get the numbers thing. They freak me out, too.

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