The Real Reason Sesame Street’s “Count von Count” Needs to Count Things

You might have found it amusing as a child when Count von Count from Sesame Street had the need to go around counting things so often, but there’s a real reason behind why this character felt compelled to do this. There are many myths and legends concerning vampires that differ depending on the telling of the tale or the region it’s told in. From a European standpoint however vampires do have one trait that is somewhat odd but still stands as a reason why the Count on Sesame Street was the perfect character. Vampires from European lore suffer from OCD, and must count things as a habit. This definitely points to the Count being a traditional version of the character that was derived from legend.

Kids likely won’t catch on to this until they get older and many adults probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it unless they came across an article like this, but to be honest it’s kind of interesting. It’s also kind odd to think that a vampire would suffer from something such as OCD. I have to wonder why such a thing would ever happen since despite being a common condition for so long many people never knew about until the 17th century. Of course back then the legends and myths were still well-spoken of, but the idea that a vampire might be halted by the need to count something such as millet seeds or grains of rice, according to the Chinese, is a bit hard to fathom.

It implies that if a person ever faced down a vampire that they would be better carrying a sack of something that contained hundreds of seeds or something that could be used to slow  the bloodsucker down. That would also mean that their desire to feast on your blood would be easily stymied by the need to count out everything you throw at them and would perhaps give you just enough time to find a way to defend yourself or else just run far, far away. That almost sounds like a stretch when considering how voracious vampires have been depicted as in the past. The need to hunt and kill seems like it would be more than a match for OCD.

But then using this for the Count on Sesame Street seems like a fun way to introduce the character that according to legends is supposed to be scary but on Sesame Street is one of the nicest guys around. He won’t leap for your jugular and attempt to rip your throat out, but he’ll count every single thing he sees no matter where he’s at just because he feels the need. He might stop in the middle of everything and start counting but that’s just what he does. That’s why he’s called the Count. Of course most folks wouldn’t bother to tell their kid the legends and how they apply to this character. I’m guessing that a lot of them don’t even know about the legends.

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