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The evolution of Oscar the Grouch.

Image As seen in / Year Notes
0001c
Sesame Street
Season 1
(1969)
The first orange Oscar puppet used in early episodes of season 1 was built around a right-handed work glove, with no foam interior. At this time, the way the set was built forced performer Caroll Spinney to use his left hand, making this version of the puppet look awkward. Its eyes can shift left to right. Though usually just seen from the neck up, the puppet has a visible arm in episodes 4, 9, and 10 (all taped prior to the first episode).
0056a
Sesame Street
Season 1
(1969-1970)
This larger rebuilt Oscar is used for the remainder of season 1. The puppet was given an eyebrow mechanism and the set was changed to allow Spinney to work with his right hand.
Oscar-FlipWilson
The Flip Wilson Show
(mid-1970)
Between the first and second seasons of Sesame Street, Oscar appeared on The Flip Wilson Show with a new design including green fur and a blue eyebrow. His head had yet to take its final shape. An altered version of this puppet would be used for Granny Grouch in the second season premiere, and Matilda in episode 0372.
OscarS2

OscarS6
Sesame Street
(late 1970-1986)
For the second season, Oscar's eyebrow has reverted back to brown and his head has been remodeled into its final shape. Although the puppet would be refurbished occasionally during this time, the design stayed consistent. In The Wisdom of Big Bird, Spinney said that the current Oscar's eyebrow (as of the time the book was written) is still the same piece of fur used for the original orange Oscar puppet. Oscar's tongue would noticeably get darker over time as well.
OscarS22

OscarS37
Sesame Street
(1986-2012)
Oscar's pupils are repositioned, looking less crossed than before. His fur becomes matted over time, which makes it appear shorter and less messy.
UntitledO
Sesame Street
Season 44
(2012-2019)
Oscar is refurbished with darker green fur and a solid pink tongue.
New Oscar

5112-Oscar
Caring for Each Other (2019-present) A new Oscar is built with a more circular head and longer, shaggier fur. This variant first appeared in A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration. During season 51, shades of brown were mixed into Oscar's fur.
Alternate Oscar Puppets As seen in / Year
OscarSSsign
Season 2 closing credit
(1970-1971)
This Oscar puppet can be seen in the 2-part sketch in which Ernie loses his Rubber Duckie, as well as in several closing signs.
Oscar573a

Oscar573b
Episode 0573
(1970s)
This Oscar variant has a slightly smaller head, a big lower jaw, and eyes that are further apart. His eyebrow is mobile and, much like the original puppet, his eyes are as well.

This puppet was used for Oscar in Episodes 0315, 0318, 0573 and 0603. It also appeared in the background of "C is for Cookie," the "Rainbow Connection" finale in The Muppet Movie,[1] and as a photo puppet in The Sesame Street 1974 Activity Calendar.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the puppet would be recycled for other Grouches, such as Hermine, Oscar's grandpa, and his brother, Ernest.

2406g
Episode 2406
(1980s)
This Oscar was used as a photo puppet during the 1980s, and appeared on-screen in Episode 1266, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and several Season 19 episodes (including 2399 and 2406). It was also repurposed for Oscar's mother and Ernest in Episode 2720.
Oscrpuppet93
Episode 3152
(1990s)
On the show, this puppet appeared in Episodes 3152, 4173, 4236, and 4411, and in Word of the Day segments with Nicole Kidman and Maria Menounos. It was also used in several Macy's parades and later by Caroll Spinney for live appearances.
Oscar2016
Sesame Studios promo (2016-2019) Another Oscar puppet that had been used for outside appearances (such as Sunrise) was used on the show as a spare puppet from seasons 46 through 49. The left side of the puppet's jaw is initially angled and crooked, but is reworked with a fuller, rounder head by season 49, as seen in Episode 4912.
Planning
Oscarpurplesketch
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, television cameras couldnโ€™t process magenta shades well. In these early sketches, Henson experimented with how the puppet would move, appearing slyer and more sinister than the grouch he would become.

Sources[]

  1. โ†‘ The Art of The Muppets Still of the "Rainbow Connection" finale, shot from a different angle
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