|Countess von Backwards|
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The Countess is the title held by Count von Count's lady friend on Sesame Street. In keeping with his numbers obsession, however, and as one of the only Sesame Street Muppets with an active love life, the Count has been involved with multiple countesses. The fact that each Countess uses the same pattern and resembles a feminized Count, and is generally listed as simply "The Countess" on albums, has generated confusion. However, at least three of them can be individualized -- "the Countess", Countess von Dahling and Countess von Backwards.
An unnamed Countess, sporting blond hair and a dark blue dress, appeared on the show as early as 1977. In episode 0953, The Count is noted as having fallen in love with a "Countess" who loves to count. She reappears in episode 1015 as the Count's fiancee, and the couple count the number of times he's asked her to marry him. Here, the Count addresses her as "Natasha."
An unnamed Countess also appears in the song "Transylvania Love Call." Recorded in 1979, the album Love cites her name simply as "The Countess." Performed by Richard Hunt, she has been designated in subsequent albums as "A Great and Good Friend," suggestive of both their romantic relationship but perhaps also the Count's desire to keep her identity a secret, to avoid arousing jealousy from whichever Countess happens to be the current incumbent. In the televised version of the song, Hunt's vocals are redubbed by Brian Muehl.
This specific Countess continued to appear into the early 1990's, performed in various instances by Fran Brill and Camille Bonora. Her appearances include " " (a parody of Thirtysomething), the Johnny Cash song "Don't Take Your Ones to Town," and the home video Rock & Roll (where her laughter is accompanied by a wolf howl).
Countess von Dahling
Countess von Dahling debuted in Season 12 (specifically Episode 1447), and was performed by Brian Muehl. According to Sesame Street Unpaved, Fran Brill "plays her" and is quoted describing the character's personality, but with no explicit dates or performance details. This Countess had a pet dog named Masha, who often helps her remember certain numbers, and sported a Marlene Dietrich-esque accent and allure. She is said to be the Count's 5th cousin and shares his counting affinity. However, when she finishes counting, it begins to rain. Counting backwards makes it stop.
One of her appearances was a musical insert set in a cabaret, where she demonstrated to the customers her ability to count forwards and backwards.
Although she refers to herself in dialogue as Countess von Dahling, she is listed as Countess Dahling von Dahling in a season 12 press release, in Sesame Street Unpaved, in a 2014 trivia tweet from the @sesamestreet official Twitter feed, and on the Sesamestreet.org character profile (including image and character description of Countess Dahling von Dahling, but linking to clips of Countess von Backwards).
Countess von Backwards
The blonde Countess von Backwards first appeared on Sesame Street in the early 1990s, and has been performed by Fran Brill and Camille Bonora. As indicated by her name, her own obsession lies in counting backwards. When she's finished counting, the howl of a wolf can be heard, in contrast to the Count's thunder and lightning.
Her mother appeared on the show, and the two performed "I Could Have Counted All Night" with the Count. When the song was included on The Count's Countdown CD, she was identified simply as "The Countess."
A pink-haired Countess appeared in the 2007 book Friendly, Frosty Monsters, counting snowflakes with the Count.
- I Have a Friend (1981) (Countess Dahling von Dahling)
- From Trash to Treasure (1993)
- Friendly, Frosty Monsters (2007)
- Storybook ABCs (2008)
- Love, Elmo (2009)
- ↑ Children's Television Workshop Script Highlights. CTW archives, Box 52.
- ↑ Season 12 Press Kit, CTW Archives
- ↑ Borgenicht, David. Sesame Street Unpaved. p. 131
- ↑ Sesamestreet.org's character page (archived, 2010)