Jerry Nelson, the puppeteer who gave voice to dozens of characters on "Sesame Street," "Fraggle Rock" and "The Muppet Show," died at home in Cape Cod, Mass., on Thursday night after suffering from emphysema for several years. He was 78.

A statement on the Sesame Workshop's website (the company that produces "Sesame Street") paid tribute to Nelson, saying, "A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters."

Here's hoping Muppet Heaven desperately needs an elewaiter operator: