Oscar the Grouch Puppet

Description (Brief)
Puppeteer Jim Henson created this delightfully disagreeable Muppet character in 1969 for the children’s TV series, Sesame Street. In Jim’s original sketches, Oscar was purple; in the first episodes of Sesame Street, his fur was orange. By 1970, he had evolved into a green creature, a final color change that resulted, as Oscar explained, from the dampness at his vacation spot, Camp Mushy Muddy. Oscar’s gruff, no-nonsense voice was created by puppeteer Carroll Spinney, who also enacts another beloved Muppet, Big Bird.
Oscar resides in his own battered aluminum trash can. In the back of the trash can is a crescent-shaped opening, which allows entrance and egress for the puppeteer. Oscar is animated by a metal rods attached to the character’s arms, which are manipulated by the puppeteer. The puppeteer moves the head by inserting an arm inside the puppets torso.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1989
Children's Television Workshop
Muppets, Inc.
Henson, Jim
overall: 3 ft x 2 ft x 1 ft; .9144 m x .6096 m x .3048 m
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Radio and television broadcasting
Television broadcasts
Children's television programs
Popular Entertainment
Family & Social Life
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.