Soon after the news reached the Tough Pigs forum that Jerry Nelson had passed away, folks starting sharing clips of their favorite moments from Jerry’s Muppet career. What better way to celebrate the man than to enjoy his great work? There are so many great ones to choose from, but here are a handful that I hope are representative of his work.  Not surprisingly, many of them are musical.  We’ll start with some of Jerry’s regular characters.

First, from The Muppet Show, Floyd sings “New York State of Mind.” I can’t help but prefer this one to Billy Joel’s original version:

Again from The Muppet Show (and serving as an oasis of niceness in the bizarre Alice Cooper episode), Robin sings “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”:

Here’s a funny Sesame Street sketch with the Count as an elevator operator, in which he predictably derails Kermit’s attempt to get off at the 7th floor:

Here’s Jerry with his frequent performing partner Richard Hunt as the Two-Headed Monster, as they/it go shopping for shoes:

This is an all-time classic. Herry Monster counts to 20 with John-John:

As Mr. Johnson, Grover’s long-suffering customer at Charlie’s Restaurant, Jerry perfected the role of the exasperated straight man. Grover is the star of these sketches, but Mr. Johnson’s fuming is always equally hilarious.

From Fraggle Rock, here’s Gobo singing “Catch a Tail by the Tiger”:

Here’s another Floyd song from one of my favorite Muppet Show episodes, with guest star Pearl Bailey:

Now here are a few featuring non-recurring or shorter-lived characters.

Here’s one that always sounded Fraggle Rock-y to me: A Sesame Street Anything Muppet sings “Pretty Little Song” (That’s Richard Hunt again as the bird):

This is possibly the best thing to come out of the “Land of Gorch” Muppet sketches on Saturday Night Live. It’s Jerry’s character Scred singing “I Got You Babe” with Lily Tomlin.

Here’s one Muppet fans hear at least once every year.  From A Muppet Christmas Carol, The Ghost of Christmas Present sings “It Feels Like Christmas”:

I’ve always loved this one from The Muppet Show, for some reason… “Burlington Bertie”:

Now let’s see a few clips of Jerry Nelson as Jerry Nelson…

Our friends at the Muppet Wiki uncovered this rare TV appearance in which Jerry plays a Muppet expert:

It’s always a good time to revisit Jerry’s (very brief) cameo in The Great Muppet Caper, alongside his daughter Christine:

Finally, here’s Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold singing “When the River Meets the Sea,” from Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, at Jim Henson’s memorial service:

Click here to remember Jerry Nelson on the Tough Pigs forum.

by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com

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