Is the Count from Sesame Street supposed to be a Jew?

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#1 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -

Many years ago when I was a kid, I didn't really think anything of it at all, but recently I saw a clip from Sesame Street featuring the Count, and I realized that he's actually a Jewish stereotype. I realized his accent is does not actually resemble Dracula's "Translvanian accent" made infamous by Bela Lugosi, but has a lot more in common with a stereotypical yiddish accent. Also, when you look at his facial features, he looks very much like a racist character of a Jewish man, especially with his nose (and arguably, his beard). There's also his obsession with counting, but I guess the Jim Henson's writers had the self control to never show him counting pennies or money. And lastly, there's the "song of the count," which is clearly styled after traditional Jewish music.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=3FL99ESjnZ

So, what do you think? Do you think that the Count was merely a Jewish muppeteer expressing his heritage in an amusing way, or was he an anti-semetic manifestation of someone's personal bias? Or am I just crazy, and no-one else thinks he's supposed to be Jewish? Please try to keep this conversation mature (read: no Jew-bashing, or else).

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#2 Posted by Sajedene (13718 posts) -
Interesting theory. Right up there with Bert and Ernie being gay and the Snuffulufugus(sp) being high as a kite all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if any of these were the case. That's just what makes Sesame Street so awesome.
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#3 Posted by Cherokee_Jack (32198 posts) -
I think he's just supposed to be an Eastern European.
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#4 Posted by freshgman (12241 posts) -
chappelle thought he was a pimp
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#5 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -
I think he's just supposed to be an Eastern European.Cherokee_Jack
A lot of Jews come from Eastern Europe.
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#6 Posted by Cherokee_Jack (32198 posts) -
[QUOTE="Cherokee_Jack"]I think he's just supposed to be an Eastern European.Timstuff
A lot of Jews come from Eastern Europe.

Yes, but I'm saying it isn't specifically a Jewish stereotype.
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#7 Posted by domatron23 (6226 posts) -
Actually holy crap now that you mention it he is very much like a stereotypical jew. *mind blown*
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#8 Posted by Toriko42 (27562 posts) -
Interesting theory. Right up there with Bert and Ernie being gay and the Snuffulufugus(sp) being high as a kite all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if any of these were the case. That's just what makes Sesame Street so awesome.Sajedene
Well...it was created in the 60's I would not be surprised either
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#9 Posted by killercuts3 (3355 posts) -
I still believe TinkieWinkie is gay
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#10 Posted by CleanPlayer (9822 posts) -
He's a vampire turned jew.
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#11 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -

He's a vampire turned jew. CleanPlayer

Or is he a Jew turned vampire? Whichever it is, I'm pretty sure that he's violating at least one Levitical law:

Leviticus 3:17: 'This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.'

But hey, it's not really his fault. He's a Jewish vampire with friggin' OCD! He's got enough to worry about as it is. :P

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#12 Posted by jasperrussell (1960 posts) -

I think you're projecting.

Projection: Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else. 

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#13 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -

I think you're projecting.

Projection: Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else. 

jasperrussell

So, would that mean that I'm Jewish, or that I'm antisemetic? :|

Psychology students... I was there once. :roll:

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#14 Posted by jasperrussell (1960 posts) -
[QUOTE="jasperrussell"]

I think you're projecting.

Projection: Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else. 

Timstuff

So, would that mean that I'm Jewish, or that I'm antisemetic? :|

Psychology students... I was there once. :roll:

I'm not a psychology student, but I think your bringing your own agenda to the plate a bit thinking the count is a jew characature. he's meant to be a vampire characature. every muppet has a big nose. he counts not because he's a jew counting his money, he counts because it's a play on words for count dracula. Though of late his name seems to of become Count von Count to remove him from the dracula bit. Maybe if he was Count Goldstein or Count felinsky??????
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#15 Posted by Epak_ (10713 posts) -
Yup, I can certainly see the resemblance too :o
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#16 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -

[QUOTE="Timstuff"][QUOTE="jasperrussell"]

I think you're projecting.

Projection: Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they attribute these impulses to someone else. 

jasperrussell

So, would that mean that I'm Jewish, or that I'm antisemetic? :|

Psychology students... I was there once. :roll:


I'm not a psychology student, but I think your bringing your own agenda to the plate a bit thinking the count is a jew characature. he's meant to be a vampire characature. every muppet has a big nose. he counts not because he's a jew counting his money, he counts because it's a play on words for count dracula. Though of late his name seems to of become Count von Count to remove him from the dracula bit. Maybe if he was Count Goldstein or Count felinsky??????

It's not just a matter of his nose being big, though. All muppets have big noses, but I can't think of any other muppets who have a "hook" shaped nose, which is commonly associated with racial caricatures of Jews. The Count is most certainly a caricature of a vampire, on the surface at least, but I think there's enough evidence to suggest that it's actually a disguise for him being a Jewish caricature.

I don't think that it's really a question about whether or not the Count is meant to be a caricature of Jewish culture, because I've seen all the evidence I need. What I am curious about, is whether he was made that way by Jewish muppeteers as self-satire (which Jewish people are well known for), or if it was racist muppeteers discretely venting their views.

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#17 Posted by Shad0ki11 (12576 posts) -

He's supposed to be a vampire.

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#18 Posted by jasperrussell (1960 posts) -

[QUOTE="jasperrussell"][QUOTE="Timstuff"]

So, would that mean that I'm Jewish, or that I'm antisemetic? :|

Psychology students... I was there once. :roll:

Timstuff

I'm not a psychology student, but I think your bringing your own agenda to the plate a bit thinking the count is a jew characature. he's meant to be a vampire characature. every muppet has a big nose. he counts not because he's a jew counting his money, he counts because it's a play on words for count dracula. Though of late his name seems to of become Count von Count to remove him from the dracula bit. Maybe if he was Count Goldstein or Count felinsky??????

It's not just a matter of his nose being big, though. All muppets have big noses, but I can't think of any other muppets who have a "hook" shaped nose, which is commonly associated with racial caricatures of Jews. The Count is most certainly a caricature of a vampire, on the surface at least, but I think there's enough evidence to suggest that it's actually a disguise for him being a Jewish caricature.

I don't think that it's really a question about whether or not the Count is meant to be a caricature of Jewish culture, because I've seen all the evidence I need. What I am curious about, is whether he was made that way by Jewish muppeteers as self-satire (which Jewish people are well known for), or if it was racist muppeteers discretely venting their views.

I couldn't work out how to spell caricature! your original question was whether or not it to be true, but I guess you had already decided. I'll believe it if I could find some other reference to it on the internet, but all I found was this thread and your own youtube comment. But you've planted the seed into my mind now and I'm considering the possibility. though at the moment I think your still reading into it too much.
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#19 Posted by Dark-Sithious (3914 posts) -

I think you are over analyzing, count as a jewish reference? Come on, he is Count Dracula.

Also I think he sounds like a Dracula stereotype, the kind of stereotype from Romania Transylvania. Just my 2 cents

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#20 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -

I think you are over analyzing, count as a jewish reference? Come on, he is Count Dracula.

Also I think he sounds like a Dracula stereotype, the kind of stereotype from Romania Transylvania. Just my 2 cents

Dark-Sithious
Actually, his official name is Count Von Count. He's a parody of Dracula, not Dracula himself.
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#21 Posted by Dark-Sithious (3914 posts) -
[QUOTE="Dark-Sithious"]

I think you are over analyzing, count as a jewish reference? Come on, he is Count Dracula.

Also I think he sounds like a Dracula stereotype, the kind of stereotype from Romania Transylvania. Just my 2 cents

Timstuff

Actually, his official name is Count Von Count. He's a parody of Dracula, not Dracula himself.

Well, either way, my point still stands.

Still, the music sounds Jewish

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#22 Posted by bean-with-bacon (2134 posts) -

Nah, just horny

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM

 

 

 

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#23 Posted by Shad0ki11 (12576 posts) -

Nah, just horny

 

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM

 

 

 

bean-with-bacon

That actually made me laugh. XD

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#24 Posted by freek666 (22312 posts) -

Muppets was better.

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#25 Posted by Scott_Malkinson (2604 posts) -
I think some people are trying to read into these characters too much. They're just characters.
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#26 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -
I think some people are trying to read into these characters too much. They're just characters.Scott_Malkinson
Yes, but Sesame Street has always been well known for the fact that it uses subliminal messaging as a learning tool, which is why it is effective as edutainment (and the source of a lot of controversy, at times). The characters on the show may be made for children, but they were created by adults who are obviously going to put some of themselves and their world views into them.
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#27 Posted by TheBeast789 (1414 posts) -
Is it just me or was that video really scary....
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#28 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -
Is it just me or was that video really scary....TheBeast789
It's not as bad as this one. http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Wd-Q3F8KM
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#29 Posted by TheOddQuantum (2472 posts) -
Wow now that you mention it...
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#30 Posted by Hewkii (26339 posts) -
doesn't sound like Watto to me.
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#31 Posted by Timstuff (26840 posts) -
doesn't sound like Watto to me.Hewkii
I found Watto to be especially odd, because George Lucas is BFFs with Steven Spielberg who is himself Jewish.
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#32 Posted by clembo1990 (9976 posts) -
I don't know, but he certainly has a potty-mouth
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#33 Posted by R0cky_Racc00n (5088 posts) -
I think of it as just a mere cariacture, not for racist purposes. If they wanted him to be racist, they could have done much worse with his character. The count likes to count, nothing wrong with that. Is he seen as greedy or any other bad traits?
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#34 Posted by Jakendo (3841 posts) -
I thought he sounded Jewish...
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#35 Posted by 48361157 (25 posts) -
According to folklore, one can throw salt to protect against vampires. This is because vampires are said to have the compulsion to count every single grain of salt therefore giving you ample time to escape. I believe this is where they idea originated along with the name "count" being play-on word.