Character.deena
PERFORMER Karen Prell
DEBUT 1980
DESIGN Ed Christie designer/builder
Oscar.and.red

The original Deena puppet used in season 11.

Deena and Olivia in 1458

Deena and Olivia in Episode 1458.

Deena-1980Parade

Deena with the cast on the show's float in the 1980 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Deena is a young, energetic pink monster with red hair and wild rolling eyes, like Cookie Monster's. She talks in monster grammar: "Deena wants to play!" She lives in a cave with Pearl, who functions as her caretaker.

Deena was first seen during Season 11 of Sesame Street in Episode 1403. She, along with Pearl, virtually vanished after season 12, but they did pop up occasionally. They also made background appearances in the wedding finale of The Muppets Take Manhattan.

The character was created by Norman Stiles, who named her after a friend of his.[1] In a 2015 interview, he spoke of the character:

The character was a monster whose main obsession was play; turning everything, every situation, into an opportunity to play. At the time, the significance of play as a critical element of brain development wasn’t being promoted as avidly as it is today. We know now that free play, encouraging children to play, is, if anything, one of the most critical things that children do and that parents can do with their children that will help their brains develop.

Play for Deena was like cookies for Cookie Monster and counting for The Count. For whatever reason, as we tried the character in a few sketches, Deena’s insistence on playing was more annoying than amusing.[1]

Notes

  • In her first appearances in season 11, Deena was depicted as a red monster. The puppet was changed for season 12, but the original puppet continued to be used on the show, often as a Grouch. The later Deena with purple fur became a stock AM monster, and was converted into Humphrey.

Episodic appearances

See also Deena and Pearl Sketches

Book appearances

See also

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Muppets Gone Missing: Norman Stiles at GraphicPolicy.com
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