Hey, kids! Want to learn how to count? What’s that? You’d rather not? Well, don’t worry! This next segment will guarantee that you remain mathematically illiterate:
#2 Limbo (Nobody)
Yes, you are seeing that correctly: that is, indeed, a creepy disembodied face floating in total darkness counting down numbers in a psychedelic setting.
And, no, you are not having a nightmare. Or a fever dream. Or a bad drug trip. (Though something tells me the creators of this segment were inspired after going on one!)
This—thing—you are watching is called “Limbo,” though most people refer to him as “Nobody”—for obvious reasons!
The puppet, as you can see, consists of two string-like eyes and a string-like mouth that are operated using an elaborate system of wires that are manipulated via glove.
Because of this, I have very mixed feelings about this puppet. On the one hand, the technological innovation behind it is highly impressive. On the other hand, GOOD SWEET MERCIFUL CELESTIA, THAT IS HORRIFYING!
This segment of his first appeared on Sesame Street in 1970. It was one of two segments that he appeared in, and those were his only two appearances on the show.
No! But he seems like such a charming character that children would simply adore—and by “adore,” I mean simultaneously piss their pants and lose their lunch over.
However, those wasn’t his only appearances on television. The character had starred in many of Jim Henson’s early work such as Sam and Friends as well as his appearances on late night shows such as The Tonight Show.
One of Limbo’s more infamous appearances was the sketch The Organized Mind, which was a psychedelic look into the mind of an ordinary man, with some creepy side effects:
The creepiest part about this segment has to be the appearance of one nightmarish hell-spawn that appears for a split-second, and fittingly enough, the name of that puppet was “Nightmare.”
Thankfully, THAT puppet never made any other appearance outside of this segment, especially on Sesame Street.
Though you have to wonder what Henson was thinking, or even smoking, when he considered putting Limbo on the show.
“Hey, guys, you know that disembodied, ghost-like face puppet I have, the one that I featured in a skit about a man’s nightmarish journey into the dark recesses of his own subconscious? Yeah, I was thinking of giving him his own segment on Sesame Street. The kids are going to love him!”