Monday, April 27, 2009

Sesame Street: The Mad Painter

The Mad Painter was the title character in a series of live-action films on Sesame Street. They used comedic slapstick to teach number recognition, emphasizing the symbolic representation of the numeral, and how it is drawn, in contrast to the Baker Films, which stressed counting and quantity.

The painter character is an eccentric whose hobby is painting numbers between 2 and 11 in various public and private places. Armed with a set of numbers, he would begin each skit by announcing the number he intended to paint. Streets, umbrellas, cakes, elevators, windows, stools, rubber toy balls, slices of bread, sailboats, and bald heads were all grist for the painter's mill. The painter's thoughts were heard in voice-over.

Occasionally, the numerical graffiti artist would suffer the consequences of his peculiar obsession, and elude irate citizenry in a comic chase. Still, he continued his campaign, gaining notoriety in newspapers (the film for 8 includes the blaring headline "PAINTER STRIKES AGAIN!")


  1. hey, a memory twofer -- he was also Mr. Bentley on The Jeffersons !!

  2. Loved him! He made me want to paint on things that could get me in trouble.

  3. Thank you, anon1! I couldn't quite place him!

    Thanks to the blogger for setting this place up. I'm totally enjoying the trip down memory lane. :)