Carrol Spinney

Toy Box Tales, Trois

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Welcome to our continued exploration of the stuffed characters on display in the open toy box displayed prominently in our Toy Box. Today, we go into the depths of the box, where Oscar the Grouch has taken up his headquarters.  An iconic member of the Muppets of Sesame Street, Oscar is best defined as a gruff, occasionally mean, guy with a heart of gold. Sure, he’s rude, but don’t think of ‘grouch’ as a description of him, so much as his species, as revealed in the 1999 theatrical musical-comedy adventure film The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. 

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Oscar debuted in the first season of Sesame Street, back in 1969! Back then, he was yellow. He turned orange pretty quickly, when his creator – a guy named Jim Henson – decided he shouldn’t be the same color as Big Bird. After a season of being orange, Oscar turned green after a mysterious incident at Swamp Mushy Muddy. He’s been green ever since.  Beloved puppeteer Carol Spinney has voiced and operated Oscar since 1969 and continues to do so today (with the help of a surrogate when necessary).  Spinney is also the man behind Big Bird.  A few notable pieces of trivia about Oscar: he was born in Canada, in Minto, New Brunswick. He has a pet elephant and a pet worm living with him in his trashcan, which is big enough to also hold a farm, a swimming pool, and a bowling alley.