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Oscar the Grouch Through the Years

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The Evolution of Oscar the Grouch (1969-present)

Image As seen in Year Notes
Original Orange Oscar Sesame Street
Season 1
1969 The original Oscar puppet is orange. This version used in the early episodes of Season 1 is built around a right-handed work glove, with no foam interior. At this time, the way the set is built forces performer Caroll Spinney to use his left hand, making this version look awkward. This puppet's eyes can turn left to right.
Next Orange Oscar Sesame Street
Season 1
1969 The second orange Oscar used in season 1 has a larger foam head. The set was changed to allow Spinney to work with his right hand.
1st Green Oscar The Flip Wilson Show
Episode #5
1970 Between seasons 1 & 2 of Sesame Street, Oscar appeared on The Flip Wilson Show with a new design including green fur & a blue eyebrow. His head had yet to take its final shape. Shortly after, in the second season premiere (episode 0131) an altered version of this puppet would be used as Granny Grouch.
Oscar (Season 2)

Oscar 1

Oscar 2
Sesame Street
Season 2
1970-1986 For season 2 Oscar's eyebrow has changed to brown & his head has been remodeled into its final shape. Although the puppet has been refurbished since the 70s, the design has stayed consistent. In The Wisdom of Big Bird Spinney says that the current Oscar's eyebrow is still the same piece of fur used in the original orange Oscar puppet.
Oscar 573a

Oscar 573b
Sesame Street
Episode 0573
ca. early - mid 1970s This rarely seen Oscar variant has smaller eyes and a rounder mouth than the one regularly used. Another defining feature is that not only is his eyebrow mobile, but his eyes are as well (like the original puppet). This particular Oscar puppet can also be spotted on the cover of a 45rpm single, and was later reused as Oscar's Grandpa.
Oscar 3

Oscar 4
Sesame Street 1986-present Oscar's fur becomes matted over time, which makes it appear shorter & less messy. His eyes are also slightly farther apart.
Planning
Oscar purple sketch
Design sketches for Sesame Street 1969 Jim Henson had initially intended Oscar to be magenta, as opposed to orange. The reason for the color change was because at the time, TV cameras couldn’t process magenta shades right. In these early sketches, Henson experimented with how the puppet would move, appearing slyer & more sinister than the Grouch he would become.

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