The 92nd Academy Awards (lovingly known to most people as the Oscars) will be held February 9. While I’m sure several of you out there are planning on watching, or even attending amazing viewing parties, in my house the only Oscar we are likely to watch lives in a trashcan.
If you’ve ever lived with young children (and I assume you have since you’re reading the Mom’s Blog!), then you’ve probably seen more episodes of Sesame Street than you can count. Oscar the Grouch is without a doubt one of my family’s favorite Sesame Street residents. I remember my Grandaddy thinking he was absolutely hysterical- he even sometimes referred to his truck as the Sloppy Jalopy. My younger sister once got an Oscar trashcan toy chest we would climb inside and push each other around the house in. And somewhere I have a video of my then-two-year-old daughter knocking on the lid of our kitchen trashcan and calling out, “Oscar, where are you?”
Last summer, I was lucky enough to get to meet Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who gave life and voice to Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years. I’m not going to lie. I cried when I gave him a hug. (For those of you who don’t know, Mr. Spinney also provided the puppet and voice for Big Bird- the only guest at the one tea party I ever had as a child.) I cried again when Mr. Spinney died this past December.
In honor of Mr. Spinney, Oscar the Grouch, and the upcoming Oscars, here are some fun facts:
- For the first season of Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch wasn’t green– he was orange! He later turned green after a visit to a swamp.
- Despite being famously rude (his best-known catchphrase is quite possibly, “Scram!”), Oscar frequently helps his friends and even has a significant other named Grundgetta.
- Oscar’s trashcan is much larger than it appears: the inside houses a farm, swimming pool, ice-rink, bowling alley, and a piano, and is home to not only Oscar but also to his pet worm Slimey and his pet elephant Fluffy.
- Caroll Spinney has a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his body of work, which is mostly comprised of acting/voicing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.
- Caroll Spinney worked as a Sesame Street puppeteer until almost a year before his death at the age of 85.
Oscar the Grouch is one of the stars of Sesame Street, which has won 189 Emmy Awards and 11 Academy Awards. Sesame Street has been running over 50 years, and new episodes are still being produced by HBO. Older episodes can be viewed on PBS and on the PBS kids app.
The 92nd Academy Awards, AKA the Oscars, will air on February 9, 2020, and will premiere on ABC.