The evolution of OSCAR THE GROUCH (1969 - present)

Image As seen in / Year Notes
Original Orange Oscar
Season 1
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 makes performer CAROLL SPINNEY use his left hand, making this version look awkward. This puppets eyes can turn left to right.
0009 f
Season 1
OSCAR is refurbished for episodes 9 & 10 with an arm (he had no limbs before).
0056 a
Season 1
(1969 - 1970)
The second orange OSCAR used in season 1 has a larger foam head. The set was changed to let SPINNEY work with his right hand.
1st Green Oscar the Grouch
The Flip Wilson Show
Episode 5
(mid 1970)
Between seasons 1 & 2 of SESAME STREET, OSCAR appeared on The Flip Wilson Show w/ a new design including green fur & a blue eyebrow. His head had yet to take its final shape. Shortly after, in the season 2 premiere (episode 0131) an altered version of this puppet would be used as GRANNY GROUCH, OSCARs grandmother.
Oscar 1

Oscar 2
Season 2
(late 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 CAROLL SPINNEY also says that the current OSCARs eyebrow is still the same piece of fur used in the original orange OSCAR puppet.
Oscar & SS sign
Season 2
(late 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.
Oscar 573a

Oscar 573b
Episode 0573
(ca. early-mid 1970s)
This rarely seen OSCAR variant has smaller eyes & 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 in "C IS FOR COOKIE", on the cover of a 45rpm single & was also used at the end of "The RAINBOW Connection" finale in The Muppet Movie[1]. The same puppet would later be reused as GRANDPA GROUCH & ERNEST THE GROUCH.
Oscar 3

Oscar 4
(1986 - 2012)
Eventually, in later years, OSCARs fur becomes matted over time, which makes it appear shorter & less messy. His eyes are also slightly farther apart.
Season 25
An alternative puppet used during the mid-1990s.
Untitled O
Season 44
(2012 - present)
OSCAR is refurbished entirely, confirmed by CAROLL SPINNEY in an address at the University of Illinois, giving him a darker green color, bushier eyebrows, & a solid pink tongue.
Oscar the Grouch 2016
Season 46
(2016 - present)
Another OSCAR puppet that had been used for live appearances is used as an alternate beginning with Season 46. This puppet has shaggier fur, bushier eyebrows & a crooked jaw, giving him a visible chin.
New Oscar
A Swingin' SESAME STREET Celebration (2019) A new OSCAR is built with a more circular head & longer, shaggier fur.
Oscar purple sketch
Design sketches for SESAME STREET
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 couldnt process magenta shades right. In these early sketches, HENSON experimented with how the puppet would move, appearing slyer & more sinister than the GROUCH that he would become.


  1. The Art of the Muppets Still of "The RAINBOW Connection" finale, shot from a different angle

See alsoEdit

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OSCAR THE GROUCH stage puppets OSCAR THE GROUCH walk-arounds
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