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Oscar the Grouch: Misc

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Muppet

Up to date as of February 02, 2010
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From Muppet Wiki

Performer:
Oscar the Grouch
Design Team:
Jim Henson • (designer)
John Lovelady • (original Oscar builder)
The original orange Oscar.
The Oscar puppet from the 1970s.

Oscar the Grouch is a furry, green Grouch who lives in a trash can on Sesame Street, in between 123 Sesame Street and Big Bird's nest. In fact, he loves trash so much that he's rarely seen outside of his trash can. His trademark song, explaining his passion for refuse, is "I Love Trash".

Like all Grouches, Oscar's mission in life is to be as miserable and grouchy as possible, and pass that feeling on to everyone else. When a visitor knocks on his trash can -- invariably interrupting him from a nap or an important task -- Oscar greets them with a snarl. He complains that he wants to be left alone, although when he's left entirely to himself, he's dissatisfied -- there isn't anybody around to irritate or complain to.

While Oscar has had many pets, his closest companion is his worm, Slimey. He also has a girlfriend, a Grouch named Grundgetta, although a romantic relationship between two Grouches is understandably rocky. Grundgetta usually calls him Oskie while he occasionally calls her Grungie. Telly Monster and Elmo both consider Oscar to be a close friend, although Oscar disputes this since Telly and Elmo are the two monsters that Oscar doesn't like at all.

Oscar's family includes Granny Grouch, who appeared in season 2 of Sesame Street, and was the first indication on the series that Grouches are a separate species. Since then, Oscar has been visited by his grandfather and his mother, and sometimes baby-sits his niece, Irvine.

According to performer Caroll Spinney, Oscar is 43 years old. [1]

Contents

Origins

According to Sesame Street Unpaved, "The character of Oscar was inspired by a nasty waiter from a restaurant called Oscar's Tavern in Manhattan. Jim Henson and Jon Stone were waited on by a man who was so rude and grouchy that he surpassed annoying and started to actually amuse both Jim and Jon. They were so entertained that going to Oscar's Tavern became a sort of masochistic form of luncheon entertainment for them, and their waiter forever became immortalized as the world's most famous Grouch." In the Ask Henson.com web column, Jim Henson Company Archivist Karen Falk said that the restaurant was named Oscar's Salt of the Sea -- and went on to say, "Some of the designs that we have in the Archives were done by Jim Henson on Oscar's paper placemats!"

Caroll Spinney says that Oscar's voice on another New York resident -- a Bronx taxi driver who drove him to his first day performing the character. On entering the cab, the driver snapped, "Where to, Mac?" [2]

While Jim Henson's first Oscar sketches were colored purple, the original Oscar puppet was orange (Henson later said in an interview that this change was made because the early cameras weren't good enough to capture the color right[3]). In chapter nine of the book The Wisdom of Big Bird, Caroll Spinney states that the Oscar puppet was rebuilt about a month after Sesame Street had started taping. Jim tore apart the original puppet, and a new puppet was built. An early version of the green Oscar debuted on The Flip Wilson Show in 1970 and Oscar's explanation for that was that he had vacationed at Swamp Mushy Muddy, where the dampness had turned him green overnight. In a 2003 appearance, Oscar stated that while his time in Swamp Mushy Muddy made him appear green, he is still in fact orange underneath all the slime and mold. (He's just never taken a bath). [4]

Oscar explained his family roots and fur color again in a Life Magazine article in 2009, "Most of the family was orange. But I had a lovely vacation in Swamp Mushy Muddy resort. It was so dark and dreary I kind of turned green. It's mostly moss. I like it — it goes with my eyes. I accidentally took a bath once, turned orange again and washed all the moss off, so I went right back to Swamp Mushy Muddy, and here I am.[5]"

Oscar's first line on Sesame Street, in episode 0001, was "Don't bang on my can! Go away." This would sum up his personality as it would remain for over 30 years.

Performing Oscar

During the first season of Sesame Street, the street set was arranged in such a way that Spinney, who is right-handed, was forced to operate Oscar's head with his left hand. A subsequent redesign of the set allowed Spinney to switch hands.

When Big Bird and Oscar (both performed by Caroll Spinney) are required in a scene together, Jim Martin often operates Oscar.[6]

Several instances, including at Sesame Street 4-D Movie Magic, when the regular puppeteers are not available, Paul McGinnis performs Oscar.

Transportation

Oscar has many forms of transportation. He can move with his legs sticking out of his trash can, as seen in early 70s episodes of Sesame Street (portrayed by Hervé Villechaize), in the specials Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, Don't Eat the Pictures and various stage shows. He also often has Bruno the Trashman carry his trash can around while he's inside. While the puppet Oscar frequently moves outside of the trash can on his own his limbs are rarely shown. A rare moment where his full body was shown was in Episode 3958. In a few episodes he has also made a few out-of-his-trash-can appearances during which the top half of his body is shown. Also, when he sings, "I'm Sad Because I'm Happy" we see his feet splash in the mud but his voice is off-screen.

Oscar has a car, the Sloppy Jalopy, which was used in Follow That Bird and episodes of Sesame Street. The Sloppy Jalopy's New York license plate says "SCRAM." Oscar has also been seen driving a broken-down taxi cab.

Trivia

Oscar in the Smithsonian
  • According to Caroll Spinney's book The Wisdom of Big Bird, Oscar's eyebrow has never changed in the entire run of Sesame Street. It is the same eyebrow that graced the Grouch's face when he was still the orange Oscar of Season 1.
  • In the show's early years, enthusiastic young viewers frequently mailed gifts of trash to Oscar in care of the Children's Television Workshop, eliciting dismay from the mailroom staff. As one Information Department staff member wrote in March 1971, "Aside from an unopened can of sardines, which are probably perfectly good, Oscar has been gifted with a box of old sneakers (not a box of Snickers), a ratty old bathing cap, some stale poppy seeds and some used Kleenexes. On the other side of the coin, an adult fan sent a $50 check to purchase a new trash can. We may soon need one for his fan mail!"[7]
  • Oscar temporarily turned white (and nice) in the Sesame Street Live show Elmo's Coloring Book in 1997.
  • Although he doesn't have a nose, one episode explained that he has a "cute" nub hidden among his fur.
  • Spinney is a golf fan and brought Oscar to the 2007 Irish Open at Adare Manor, where the puppet posed with Padraig "the Grouch" Harrington, the eventual tourney winner.[8]
  • When appearing on the game show 1 vs 100 Oscar revealed his age to Bob Saget claiming he's 43 years old and has always been 43.
  • In A Muppet Family Christmas, Oscar shares his trash can as a bed with Rizzo the Rat stating that he never had a rat in his trash can before and that it would be nice. He also complained that he hated "Deck the Halls" when it came time for him to sing the line "Follow me in merry measure".
  • Along with his girlfriend Grundgetta and the rest of his fellow Muppets Oscar sang "Just One Person" at Jim Henson's Memorial. [1]
  • Oscar has become somewhat of a mascot for waste reduction and waste management, including Canada's Waste Reduction Week, the Japanese Eco Kids Project, and various unofficial uses. [9]
  • Oscar makes a cameo appearance in the film Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
  • On the show, when the lid on Oscar's trash can opens by coming up. In illustrations, Oscar normally wears the lid like a hat. And whenever Bruno carries the trash can, the lid hangs from the side.
  • Oscar claims to own a cell phone. He says of it, "but it weighs 7 pounds — it's an old one Jim Henson threw away."[10]

See also

Sources

  1. "He's happy being Big Bird", Ellen Simon, The Washington Times. June 19, 2008.
  2. "He's happy being Big Bird", Ellen Simon, The Washington Times. June 19, 2008.
  3. a clip of this interview can be found in the "Bonus Behind-the-Street Scenes" feature on disc 2 of Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
  4. Caroll Spinney (as Oscar the Grouch) at a book signing appearance in Anderson Bookshop, Naperville, IL. May 13, 2003. (YouTube)
  5. "The Reflections of Oscar the Grouch", Oscar the Grouch, Guest editor, November 5, 2009. Life Magazine.
  6. Sesame Street Unpaved
  7. Patricia Tornborgh, memo, "Summary of Fan Mail Processed from Feb. 1 to Mar. 6, 1971," Children's Television Workshop archive, series II, box 45, folder 48, National Archive of Public Broadcasting, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.
  8. "When Grouches Meet," Irish Abroad, May 24, 2007.
  9. "South Euclid: City wins 'Oscar' for having most improved recycling rate in county", Piorkowski, Jeff The Plain Dealer. November 25, 2008. Web. Accessed November 25, 2009.
  10. "The Reflections of Oscar the Grouch", Oscar the Grouch, Guest editor, November 5, 2009. Life Magazine.

This article uses material from the "Oscar the Grouch" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

YCM

Up to date as of February 06, 2010

From Yu-Gi-Oh Card Maker Wiki

Oscar the Grouch
English: Oscar the Grouch
Attribute: EARTH Image:Earth.png
Types: Fiend/Effect
Level: 6 Image:Star.pngImage:Star.pngImage:Star.pngImage:Star.pngImage:Star.pngImage:Star.png
ATK/DEF: 1200/3000
Card Lore: If this monster was summoned with "Trash Can" on the field, this monster can attack directly.
Sets with this Card: Jim Henson Legacy

Ultra Rare

Card Limit: Unlimited
Other Card Information: Gallery - Rulings
Appearances
Tips - Errata - Trivia
Lores - Artworks - Names
Facts about Oscar the GrouchRDF feed
Level 6  +

This article uses material from the "Oscar the Grouch" article on the YCM wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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