|Sesame Street character|
|First appearance||November 9, 1970|
|Created by||Jim Henson|
|Portrayed by||Jerry Nelson|
The first Herry puppet appeared in the second season, with Jerry Nelson performing the character since day one, though Jim Henson filled in for one segment. He had a furry nose that matched the rest of his body and was hard to distinguish. Because of this, a new puppet was quickly built with a smooth blue nose. Herry got his signature purple nose for the third season. The original Herry puppet was rebuilt into the Big Bad Wolf.
Herry's gruff voice was patterned after that of Jimmy Durante. He is larger than Cookie Monster or Grover, is a lighter blue than either of them, and has a purple, bean-shaped nose. In book appearances and on merchandise, he usually wears red-and-white-striped pants, but appears sans pants on television.
His close friends on Sesame Street include Grover, Cookie Monster, Kermit the Frog, and Bert and Ernie. He made recurring appearances alongside all of them, especially the monsters. For most of the 1970s, they were the three main monsters on the show. His parents and grandmother have appeared on the street. He also has a baby sister, but she has only appeared in books.
Herry is a very talented athlete, well known for his feats of strength. He is often seen playing baseball and lifting weights. He doesn't know his own strength, and in earlier seasons, he would clumsily break things simply by handling them. Unlike a stereotypical jock, however, he is quite gentle and sensitive. He loves playing with his little sister, and has a stuffed doll named Hercules. At one point, he had a baby doll named Elizabeth.
Herry's roles on the show have been varied. He sang in many songs on Sesame Street (solos, duets, and group numbers), was perhaps the most frequent actor in Prairie Dawn's plays, and also starred in a few Monsterpiece Theater sketches. He hosted a Sesame Street video entitled Monster Hits!. He appeared in several "Muppet & Kid Moments" in the early years. In Season 30, he finally got his own recurring sketch entitled "Monsters in Day Care" (a variant of "Muppet & Kid Moments").
Herry has been one of Jerry Nelson's main characters on Sesame Street for more than three decades. But in 2004, Nelson, citing health reasons, would limit his performing and focus most of his time on his most famous character The Count. Because of this, Herry is no longer a major character on the show. However, he still made occasional minor appearances, such as the 35th anniversary special The Street We Live On, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 2007 special Elmo's Christmas Countdown, and a cameo in a season 40 episode (puppeteered by Jerry Nelson). One year after Nelson's death, Herry, as portrayed by Matt Vogel, appeared and sang in "Just One Person" at "From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook", on January 28, 2013.