Sunday, December 14, 2014

Was Oscar The Grouch Originally Orange?

Even though many younger generations of kids know him for being green (yellow-green?) colored, did you know that Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch was originally orange in color? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Many television trivia themed books sold during the past 40 years has probably made it well known that Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch was originally orange in color – as in during the first season of the iconic children’s educational TV show during its first airing back in 1969. But Oscar the Grouch’s transformation from orange to yellow-greenish for four decades now may be just part of the story. 

When I first saw Sesame Street during the early 1970s as a very impressionable toddler, color TVs in my neighborhood might as well have been a science fiction plot since most households in my neighborhood can’t afford a color TV set – even the “cheap” Made in Japan models. But something weird happened, when the powers-that-be at the Children’s Television Workshop decided to transform Oscar the Grouch from (probably puke) orange to yellow-greenish, every kid in my neighborhood noticed that Oscar the Grouch became “less dirty looking” even though we are watching the show in our black and white TV sets. Did my fellow toddlers back then noticed a different shade of gray of Oscar the Grouch? 

Based on these observations, will the powers-that-be ever try to make Oscar the Grouch orange colored again? Given today’s advanced OLED based video display screens touted to be capable of displaying colors that 1970s era Sony Trinitron color cathode ray tubes often misses to replicate, reminding today’s kids on how Oscar the Grouch used to look during the first season of Sesame Street might prove to be a ratings bonanza to the beloved children’s educational show. Unless of course Madison Avenue image consultants will just dismiss the idea as a cynical marketing ploy.    

1 comment:

May Anne said...

During the 1969-1970 season of the Sesame Street, Oscar the Grouch was indeed orange-colored and looked "much dirtier" in most black and white television sets of the period.