Character.deena
PERFORMER Karen Prell
DEBUT 1980
DESIGN Ed Christie designer/builder
Deena and Olivia in 1458

Deena and Olivia in Episode 1458.

Deena-1980Parade

Denna with the cast on the show's float in the 1980 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Deena is a young, energetic pink monster with red hair and wild rolling eyes, like Cookie Monster's. She talks in monster grammar: "Deena wants to play!" She lives in a cave with Pearl, who functions as her caretaker.

Deena and Pearl first appeared in Season 11 of Sesame Street.[1] The characters virtually vanished after season 12, but they did pop up occasionally. They also made background appearances in the wedding finale of The Muppets Take Manhattan.

The character was created by Norman Stiles, who named her after a friend of his.[2] In a 2015 interview, he spoke of the character:

The character was a monster whose main obsession was play; turning everything, every situation, into an opportunity to play. At the time, the significance of play as a critical element of brain development wasn’t being promoted as avidly as it is today. We know now that free play, encouraging children to play, is, if anything, one of the most critical things that children do and that parents can do with their children that will help their brains develop.

Play for Deena was like cookies for Cookie Monster and counting for The Count. For whatever reason, as we tried the character in a few sketches, Deena’s insistence on playing was more annoying than amusing.[2]

The puppet would later become an AM monster, and was later converted into Humphrey.

Book appearances

See also

Sources

  1. CTW Archives, Script Highlights for Episode 1403
  2. 2.0 2.1 Muppets Gone Missing: Norman Stiles at GraphicPolicy.com