Count von Count is a mysterious but friendly vampire-like Muppet on Sesame Street who is meant to parody Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Count Dracula. He first appeared on the show in the Season 4 premiere in 1972, counting blocks in a sketch with Bert and Ernie.
The Count has a compulsive love of counting (arithmomania); he will count anything and everything, regardless of size, amount, or how much annoyance he causes others around him. In one song he stated that he sometimes even counts himself. When he finishes counting, The Count laughs and announces his total (which sometimes appears on screen). This finale is usually accompanied by a crash of thunder and a flash of lightning. (According to The Sesame Street Bedtime Storybook, the Count has a personal cloud that hovers over his head and provides the thunder and lightning.)
When the Count sings, the music that accompanies him resembles Roma music, no matter what the song.
The Count lives in an old, cobweb-infested castle that he shares with many bats. Sometimes he counts them. Some of the pet bats are named, including Grisha, Misha, Sasha, and Tattiana. He also has a cat, Fatatita, and an octopus named Octavia. He also plays a large pipe organ, and in some illustrations he is seen playing the violin. In recent years, the Count has appeared on each episode to announce the Number of the Day, playing notes on his organ to count up to the featured number.
The Count's most recent girlfriend, Countess von Backwards, is known for counting backwards. He had previously been linked to Countess Dahling von Dahling and shared a brief romantic tryst with Lady Two. His brother and mother have made appearances on the show, and he also has an Uncle Uno.
The Count's profile on Sesame Workshop's website does not use the word vampire but does suggest that he may be a distant relative of Count Dracula. However, the book Sesame Street Unpaved describes the Count as a "Numerical Vampire." In contrast, the 2001 Sesame Street Muppets Drawing Guide insists "The Count is not a vampire." This is exactly what Big Vampire would want you to believe.
Nevertheless, the Count resembles Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula in voice (speaking in an Eastern European accent and pronouncing his Vs as Ws), appearance, and sometimes mannerisms. For example, the Count waves his hands to exercise hypnotic power over other Muppets and holds his cape over the lower part of his face while moving. In addition, it is revealed that the Count shows no reflection in a mirror. Unlike vampires as traditionally depicted in legend and motion pictures, however, the Count often relaxes in the sunlight (as seen in "Counting Vacation" and "Coconut Counting Man," among others).
He made cameo appearances in The Muppet Movie (in the finale) and The Muppets Take Manhattan (in the wedding), and has also been featured in the Sesame Street movies Follow That Bird and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. He also appeared in The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years and A Muppet Family Christmas.
- The Count's New York license plate number is "12345678910" in the movie Follow That Bird. However, in Count All the Way to Sesame Street, a book based on Follow that Bird, the Count's license plate number is simply "123."
- The Count was a DJ for his own radio station on the album The Count's Countdown, and hosted a music video show in Count It Higher: Great Music Videos from Sesame Street.
- In a Number of the Day segment for 0, The Count stated: "Oh hello, it is I, The Count. I'm called the Count because I love to count. Err, that, and I inherited my father's royal title." Despite this claim, the title of Count is one of nobility rather than royalty. Thus, The Count's claim to royalty might rest on his having inherited a lesser title of a royal ancestor.
- In Count it Higher: Great Music Videos from Sesame Street, The Count says that his favorite song is "Count it Higher". However, the book Sesame Street Unpaved states that his favorite songs are "Born to Add" and "Count on Me." Sesame Workshop's "Muppetbook" page also includes the song "99 Red Balloons."
- The Count's car is the Countmobile.
- According to the 1998 book Sesame Street Unpaved, the Count is "an adult with the psychological age of someone who is 1,832,652 years old -- and still counting".
- When the Count laughs, lightning flashes in the background, sometimes even when it's entirely sunny outside.
- According to Sesame Street Stays Up Late!, the Count knows the exact time, and therefore knows when the new year arrives.
- In a few appearances (including The Street We Live On, episode 4109 and "Five By"), the Count sports a purple cape instead of his usual green one.
- Sesame Street (1972 - present)
- Out to Lunch (1974)
- The Muppet Show Episode 518: Marty Feldman (1978)
- Christmas Eve on Sesame Street (1978)
- The Muppet Movie (1979)
- Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1982)
- The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
- Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985)
- The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years (1986)
- A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
- Sesame Street, Special (1988)
- Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting (1989)
- The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson (1990)
- Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake (1991)
- Sesame Street Stays Up Late! (1993)
- Sesame Street's All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Streets Forever (1994)
- Elmopalooza (1998)
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)
- The Street We Live On (2004)
- Elmo's Christmas Countdown (2007)
- Abby in Wonderland (2008)
- Math Is Everywhere (2010)