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|Sesame Street character|
Telly Monster and a tuba
|Voiced by||Bob Payne (1979)|
Brian Muehl (1979—1984)
Martin P. Robinson (1984—present)
|Alias||Telly, The Television Monster|
On his debut in 1979, he was known as the "Television Monster", a character that was fixated on television. His name is derived from the British slang term for a television, "telly". Initially the character had antennae standing out of the top of his head, and his eyes would whirl around when he watched television.
In Telly's first Sesame Street appearance, when he was performed by Bob Payne, a T.V. obsessed Telly, enters Hooper's store, where he nervously asks Mr. Hooper to plug in the T.V. using his outlet. Suddenly, Telly runs out of the store, leaving Mr. Hooper nervous. David then enters the store, and Mr. Hooper tells him about how he let Telly use his outlet. Mr. Hooper and David together, decide to follow the orange cord outside where they find a disturbed Telly occupied by his T.V. However, when Telly simply replies "I'm glued", David comes up with the idea to ask him if he was moving into the neighborhood. Telly tells David that he had already moved in, and also when Mr. Hooper asks Telly if he was going to live right on the street, Telly said that he was right with his T.V. set not needing anything else. Mr. Hooper, Telly and David finally decide to settle things by getting to know each other, and after introducing himself, Telly turns around from his set looking at David and Mr. Hooper with his whirly, red eyes. Afterwards, both Mr. Hooper and David become puzzled with Telly's strange name.
After Telly Monster’s stint through season eleven, producers worried that the character would be a negative influence on their easily influenced viewers, and changed him into the worry-wart character that he has been ever since.
Telly is a triangle lover, and he has a pet hamster, Chuckie Sue. He has been known to pogo stick uncontrollably around Sesame Street, often causing havoc with all that gets in his way. This segment is shown on Sesame Street Unpaved. Baby Bear is his best friend and appears occasionally in many of the main plots in the later series. Telly also has something of a friendship with Oscar the Grouch, since they appear in many segments together.
In the 1998 special Elmopalooza, after Jon Stewart, Prairie Dawn and the crew are stuck in the dressing room, Telly reacts that if they can't get out, there is no show, which makes the people sad and not go to work tomorrow, which also leads to the economy collapsing, making the United States being doomed. Elmo calms him down, saying that it's just a TV Show, making David Alan Grier scold him.