OSCAR’S TRASH CAN is the private home of OSCAR THE GROUCH on SESAME STREET & is situated between BIG BIRD’s NEST & the stoop of 123 SESAME STREET. Just like Snoopy’s doghouse, OSCAR’S TRASH CAN is actually considerably deeper than one would initially suspect. The seemingly bottomless domain also houses a variety of diverse GROUCH amenities & luxuries. 1 tradition is, whenever OSCAR sings "I LOVE TRASH", his signature song, he is always seen singing at his TRASH CAN, & NOwhere else.
OSCAR THE GROUCH was originally planned by JIM HENSON & Jon Stone to live in a manhole or in a pile of TRASH in a gutter. This was changed to a TRASH CAN, in part because "the studio had no trapdoors that would allow a puppeteer to work from under the floor."
In the earliest season 1 episodes, the TRASH CAN was atop a big blue crate adjacent to a wooden crate at right, w/ a few more TRASH CANs around; later on in season 1 till 1974, until 2015 the base & the crates were replaced, the latter by a trunk, with a TRASH pail on top of another crate at left. In 1974, & until 2015, the perch was redesigned, with a big burlap crate replacing the trunk & a barrel as the base, & the rest of the area consisting of more crates, a GARBAGE pail & a TRASH bag (though the previous look was re-instated for Christmas Eve on SESAME STREET in 1978).
In EPISODE 2089, OSCAR tells a fabricated story of the day he moved to Sesame Street. In his version, the space next to the 123 stoop was empty until he settled down. He first tried living in a tent made from newspapers, then a metal wastebasket. Finally, Bob replaces all the TRASH CANs on the block with brand new ones & OSCAR moves into one of the used ones intended to be be thrown out.
OSCAR shares his TRASH CAN w/ several PETS. OSCAR’s diverse menagerie includes goats, a horse, elephants (notably FLUFFY), a dolphin &, of course his favorite pet of all time, his beloved extremely loved pet WORM, SLIMEY. OSCAR’s niece, IRVINE, as well as his girlfriend GRUNDGETTA & several other GROUCH friends & relatives are frequent visitors.
For the most part very few of the "nice" residents of SESAME STREET dare venture into the bowels of the municipal WASTE CONTAINER. However, key exceptions have occurred over the years. While BIG BIRD was helping get ready for Miles' arrival on SESAME STREET, a lonely Mr. Snuffleupagus entered the TRASH CAN to play catch w/ FLUFFY in episode 2122. Wanda Cousteau sought refuge in the TRASH CAN in episode 3161 as a hiding place from the hungry Wolfgang the Seal. When Gina is studying to become a vet in episode 3787 she goes down into the TRASH CAN through the back door & successfully removes a splinter from FLUFFY’s foot w/ some elephants' tweezers. In a season 19 insert, Linda sat in the TRASH CAN when filling in for an "Ask OSCAR" segment. In a season 12 segment (found in SESAME STREET: 40 Years of SUNNY Days) in which OSCAR & BRUNO go to the movies, the various humans (& Barkley) arrive from inside the TRASH CAN as well. In at least 1 other episode that season, Buffy spends the night in the Grime Room in OSCAR’s TRASH CAN.
Also, the inside of OSCAR’s TRASH CAN was depicted on-camera for the 1st time in The Adventures of Elmo in GROUCHland. OSCAR has a door in his TRASH CAN to take people to GROUCHland USA. Elmo enters in search of his blanket & later a rescue party follows suit: BIG BIRD, Cookie Monster, Gordon, Maria, Telly Monster & Zoe. BIG BIRD in particular has a hard time fitting inside the TRASH CAN’s narrow opening.
The inside of OSCAR’S TRASH CAN was later shown in EPISODE 3997, though this time, the inside was a lot more like the normal inside of a TRASH CAN. In EPISODE 0799, OSCAR installed an Olympic-size swimming pool in his TRASH CAN.
The 1989 book What’s in OSCAR’s TRASH CAN? & Other Good-Night Stories mentions the swimming pool as well as an ice-skating rink (which, on the series, has been used by Peggy Fleming) & a bowling alley. According to SESAME STREET UNpaved other items include a piano, art gallery & hearth & a train set ("GROUCH Central Station"). A 1970 article in Look Magazine also notes a pastry kitchen & a rococo staircase. In the Elmo’s World installment Episode 4064, Elmo’s World: "Farms" OSCAR gives Elmo a tour of his farm (shown in darkness with only the pair’s eyes visible). Also, as established on various occasions, OSCAR’s TRASH CAN also has a back door.
In addition to being able to store a wide variety of items in his TRASH CAN, OSCAR has also put holes into the bottom & can walk w/ his legs outside of the bottom. He 1st walked like this in episode 0276. He has continued to travel like this for many years, though he has also frequently been seen outside of the TRASH CAN. Outside of the show he has traveled w/ his legs sticking out of the bottom in Christmas Eve on SESAME STREET, the SESAME STREET Live stage shows & DON’T Eat the Pictures. This feature was also utilized in the opening dance number in Julie on SESAME STREET, where a series of dancing TRASH CANS w/ fuzzy GROUCH legs danced w/ Julie Andrews.
Apparently, in season 46, OSCAR’s TRASH CAN changed locations for the 1st time in the show’s history, moving into a dumpster unit with a recycling bin in the low wall outside of 123 SESAME STREET under Elmo’s apartment, OSCAR also has the ability to pop from multiple TRASH CAN & recycling bins around the STREET. In EPISODE 5029, OSCAR acknowledges the move & claims it was due to the other side of the stoop being a noisier place to live. Designer David Gallo explains:
- TRASH: SESAME STREET (1969 - present)
- A stereo set: EPISODE 0812 (1974)
- "The Queen MUDDY" - a toy boat: Episode 3831 (1999)
- A transit (bus) system: Episode 0560 (1975)
- A vacuum: Episode 0871 (1975)
- Lighting: Episode 0666 (1974)
- A pool: referenced on many occasions & in books, including What’s in OSCAR’s TRASH CAN? & Other Good-Night Stories (1991); its splash is seen in Lead Away! (1996)
- A trampoline: EPISODE 4173 (2008); EPISODE 4248 (2010); EPISODE 4315 (2013)
- A staircase, a pig pen, a play pen & China cabinet: Episode 3049 (1993)
- A piano: EPISODE 1859 (1983) & others
- "OSCAR’s TRASH CAN" appears as a property on the Monopoly: SESAME STREET Edition game board in place of Ventnor Avenue.
- An animatronic OSCAR in his TRASH CAN has previously been featured outside the SESAME STREET General Store.
- There is a foot pedal on the set piece which helps lift the lid up, but apparently CAROLL SPINNEY has hardly used the foot pedal now, in 48 years.
- ↑ STREET Gang
- ↑ JIM HENSON: The Biography
- ↑ The WISDOM of BIG BIRD
- ↑ Baer, Betty; "The Secrets of SESAME STREET". Look Magazine, September 22nd, 1970
- ↑ Inside the new SESAME STREET set: M is for Makeover, Mashable.com. May 11, 2015.
- ↑ MARTIN P. ROBINSON, "Inside OSCAR’s TRASH CAN", SESAME Family ROBINSON, 11th APRIL 2011.
- OSCAR’s signs
- OSCAR THE GROUCH walking with HIS TRASH CAN
- OSCAR THE GROUCH outside of HIS TRASH CAN
- Visitors to OSCAR’s TRASH CAN
- TRASH CAN
- TRASH CAN (disambiguation)
- Othmar the GROUCH’s TRASH CAN
- Donald GRUMP’s TRASH CAN
- Mordicus’ TRASH CAN
- RUMPEL’s RAIN BARREL
- OSCAR’S TRASH CAN article on the Muppet Wiki
- OSCAR’S TRASH CAN article on the OSCAR THE GROUCH Wiki
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