Want to do something exciting on June 1st? Celebrate Oscar the Grouch’s birthday! We show you how from easy to awesome with the yuckiest ideas.
We don’t just tell you what daily holiday it is – we show you ways to celebrate! We believe it’s important to put more play in your day to relieve stress and to have fun with family and friends because Good Times are the Glue to great relationships.
Should we sing happy birthday to Oscar?
Instead of singing “Happy Birthday” Oscar would probably enjoy it more if we wished him a grouchy birthday.
Or join him in a rendition of I Love Trash.
Oscar has lived on Sesame Street since the beginning.
Oscar the Grouch is one of the original characters from the children’s TV show Sesame Street when it aired on Nov. 10, 1969. He was voiced by puppeteer Carrol Spinney until his retirement in 2018. (Spinney was also the voice for Big Bird.)
In his book The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch)*, Spinney tells us he based Oscar’s voice on a surly cab driver from the Bronx.
Jim Henson created the character Oscar the Grouch after meeting a surly waiter at the restaurant Oscar’s Tavern in New York City.
Thank goodness for the surliness of some New Yorkers!
Oscar’s grumpy for a good reason.
Oscar may be a grouch, but kids adore him. His grumpiness and love for smelly fish in newspaper make him fun.
Oscar’s attitude is the perfect way to teach kids that bad moods happen, and how to handle negative emotions, just like he did in this clip with Nicole Kidman.
Wanna be surly and grumpy like Oscar the Grouch?
His book The Pursuit of Grouchiness* is his personal guide to life.
There’s some great tips in there!
Or here’s another great way to become a grouch! The Drab 5 are on the yuckiest show on television to help you with a grouch makeover. Grouch Eye for the Nice Guy teaches everything you need to know to be the perfect grouch.
Did you know that Oscar’s mother drops by periodically to make sure he’s grouchy enough? She’s worried about him because he lives in a good neighborhood.
Whenever Oscar says “please” to his mother – no matter how sarcastic he is – she washes his mouth out with vanilla ice cream!
Is Oscar *gasp* homeless?
In 2018 Sesame Street introduced its “first” homeless character Julia.
Oscar the Grouch fans protested. Poor Oscar has been living in a trash can with all the garbage for 50 years! Isn’t that homelessness?
I guess not, when you love trash! It’s a lifestyle choice.
Wanna have a birthday party for Oscar the Grouch?
You can make it short & sweet or as long as you want. Try our fun & easy ideas.
Depending on how much time you’d like to invest in Oscar’s birthday, we offer 3 choices.
- A trivia game for those who grew up watching Sesame Street. Test your knowledge & challenge your friends. Answers are concealed so everyone can play. You’ll learn everything you ever need to know about Oscar!
- Movie suggestion.
- Books that you can purchase in advance – even one read aloud on YouTube if you prefer.
- An active game: trash can basketball. Make it as competitive as you wish.
#1: Oscar the Grouch Trivia Game
The best way to celebrate Oscar the Grouch’s birthday is prove how much you know about him!
Have you watched a million Sesame Street TV shows, either as a kid or with your own kids? Do you think you know everything about Oscar the Grouch? Well test your knowledge – and see which of your friends are the grouch-wisest – with our Oscar the Grouch Trivia Game.
Answers are concealed so you can play along too!
Click on the question to see the answer.
What color was Oscar supposed to be in the planning stage?
Magenta. TVs couldn’t handle the color very well in 1969 so they had to change to another television-friendly color.
What color did Oscar the Grouch look like when he first arrived on Sesame Street in November 1969?
He was magenta, but he looked orange on the color TVs of the day. Jim Henson decided to make him green for season two.
How did Oscar turn green?
Oscar was on the Flip Wilson Show in 1970 and told him that while on vacation at Swamp Mushy Muddy he was very damp and turned green overnight. In 2003 Oscar said he was still orange underneath all the slime and mold.
Where was Oscar the Grouch born?
He is CANadian, born in Minto, New Brunswick, Canada. His father is from New Brunswick and his mother is from Nova Scotia, Canada.
Yes, Oscar lives in a garbage can on Sesame Street. But where else has he lived?
Like Dr. Who’s Tardis, Oscar’s garbage can is bigger on the inside. He has tennis courts, a swimming pool, room for a pet elephant and much, much more. Here he is telling Flip Wilson all about it in 1970.
When the show was moved to HBO in 2016, Oscar had his garbage can for nostalgia, but he lived in the recycling area in front of Elmo’s brownstone. His recycling bins and composting receptacles were interconnected with tunnels throughout the whole neighborhood so he could go anywhere he wants.
Have we ever seen Oscar’s whole body?
Oscar gets around by being carried by Bruno the Trashman, making it unnecessary for us to see his legs.
There was one episode where Oscar is running through the New York subway. Hervé Villechaize (of Fantasy Island fame) was Oscar’s legs but the rest of his body was in a trash can.
But in 2008 it happened!
In Abby’s imagination, Oscar was once a handsome, kind prince who received trashy treasures from his subjects. One day, a Fairy Grouchmother witnessed it and was disgusted. With a wave of her wand, she turns him into a nasty Grouch.
Abby poofs herself into Oscar’s trash can and tries to find Oscar in the dark but ends up smooching his pets when trying to turn him back into a prince. Fearing he may be next, Oscar bounces on his trampoline and sky-rockets out of his trash can.
What special pet does Oscar have?
Slimey the Worm, a dark and light orange striped worm that is 2 3/4″ inches long.
Slimey was introduced in the second season of Sesame Street to show children that when you are small you can do heroic things like win a gold medal in the worm olympics, skydive, and be the first worm in space.
The way Oscar met Slimey was to show children that its okay if they have trouble making friends. Oscar went to the park on a rainy day to see the mud puddles and found one with a lot of worms playing in it. He then saw a lonely Slimey playing by himself. Slimey saw Oscar and crawled up on his shoulder and fell asleep. Feeling sorry for the baby worm, Oscar took Slimey home with him. At first Slimey didn’t talk – he would only whisper in Oscar’s ear – but now he has a digitally enhanced squeaky voice.
He is the only character that Oscar admits to liking because they both love mud, rain and soil. He also doesn’t wake him up when he’s sleeping.
Before Slimey goes to bed, Oscar reads a chapter of Trash Gordon to him, a parody of Flash Gordon. In the stories, Gordon from Sesame Street fights creatures with the letter and number of the day.
Who is the girlfriend of Oscar the Grouch?
Grundgetta (or sometimes spelled Grungetta) is Oscar the Grouch’s girlfriend, who is also a Grouch. Oscar calls her Grungie. She appeared on Sesame Street in the 80s and 90s. They sometimes had a rocky relationship, which you would expect from two grouches.
But here’s something you may not know: he was deeply in love – and rejected by – the Wicked Witch of the West when she lost her broom and it showed up on Sesame Street and she came to retrieve it. (You may not know this because episode 847 of Sesame Street was shown only on the date it aired, February 10, 1976. They got so many distressed letters that they banned it from being rebroadcast.)
In a freakish windstorm David notices a falling object and catches a broom which causes the wind to stop. David tries the broom out by sweeping the sidewalk in front of the store.
As electric guitars surge, the Wicked Witch arrives on Sesame Street, and realizes she’s somewhere over the rainbow. She sees David with her broom and demands that she get it back. David suggests she asks nicely. She tries to wrestle it away from him but gets an electric shock. She realizes that there are magical repercussions if she just takes it. She leaves in a puff of smoke.
Inside Mr. Hooper’s store, David tells Maria and the kids what happened. Maria doesn’t believe him until the witch shows up – again in a puff of smoke – demanding he return her broom. David insists that she treat him with respect.
Maria suggests that David ignore the Wicked Witch and serve them all some water. The witch helps him out by making it rain inside the store – after she’s gone. (We all know she melts in water.)
They all rush outside the store to get out of the rain. Maria suggests David just gives the Wicked Witch back her broom. David insists on being treated with respect. Big Bird joins them and David tells him to go back to the safety of his nest until this is over. Big Bird wants to help his friends and looks for a stick or something to defend them. He grabs the broom from David.
The Wicked Witch shows up and Big Bird tells her to leave his friends alone “or else”. She tries to take the broom from Big Bird and gets another shock. David takes the broom back. She threatens to turn David into a basketball and Big Bird into a feather duster unless he returns it to her. She conjures up a feather duster to taunt them. Big Bird stands up for his friends, so she leaves again in a puff of smoke, the feather duster smoldering on the ground.
The rest of the story is in the video below. Oscar sees her and thinks she is the most beautiful person he has ever seen. (Hey, she’s green and beyond grouchy.) He declares his love for her! This gives her an idea: disguise herself as an old woman and trick David into giving her the broom.
It works. She takes off on it, and Oscar never sees her again. (No one ever sees her on Sesame Street again. She’s banned forever.)
Resources: Muppet Fandom
Bonus Question: Who is Oscar’s puppeteer after Carroll Spinney retired in 2015?
Eric Jacobson is now the puppeteer for Oscar the Grouch.
He is puppeteer for the Muppet characters Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and Sam Eagle as well as the Sesame Street characters Bert and Grover – roles that he inherited from their original performer, Frank Oz.
He is also the puppeteer for Guy Smiley who was performed by Jim Henson.
#2: Watch a movie: Elmo in Grouchland
Here’s a trailer:
Elmo loves his fuzzy, well-worn blue blanket more than anything in the whole world. When Zoe wants to play with it, the answer is NO. They get into a tug-of-war. Telly accidentally takes it away from them as he rollerskates by. Oscar gets it, sneezes on it and tosses it into his garbage can.
When Elmo goes in Oscar’s garbage can to retrieve it, he falls down a tunnel into Grouchland USA. Oscar tells everyone back on Sesame Street what happened, so they go on an adventure to rescue Elmo.
This movie focuses on lessons in sharing and co-operation.
You can watch it on YouTube (watch the trailer above and click “rent or buy” button in the sidebar), or see it on Amazon Prime*. (If your kids love the movie, there’s a collection of just the songs with Elmo on Amazon Prime* or DVD* .)
#3: Read a book
The perfect book to read to celebrate Oscar the Grouch’s birthday is Oscar’s Rotten Birthday*.
Everyone on Sesame Street helps Oscar enjoy the rottenest, yuckiest birthday ever.
If you’d rather have it read to you, here is a video of the book:
4. An active game of trash can basketball.
There are several ways you can play trash can basketball:
- Make it a fun way for the kids to throw out their real trash after the party!
- If you have enough people, make 2 teams. You can have two “basket” trash cans at each end of the playing area, or make them vie for one trash can like 3 on 3.
- Ball up paper of different colors so everyone has their own “balls” at the end of a free-for-all, count how many of each color actually made it in the trash can basket.
It isn’t a party without cupcakes – Oscar the Grouch cupcakes!
You could just frost cupcakes with green icing, but why not take a few extra minutes and wow the crowd?
All 3 types of cupcakes are easy – your choice.
- First one has green sprinkles for fur, candy eyes and chocolate icing in a tube to make eyebrows (made by the Workman Family)
- Middle Oscar the Grouch cupcakes feature coconut tinted green for the fur, with a marshmallow cut in half for eyes with fondant mouth, tongue, pupils (by Cupcakes by Claire)
- Last cupcakes look difficult but they aren’t – Typewink on Etsy has the Sesame Street and trash can cupcake printables and this video shows you how to make icing look like fur
What shade of green do you want to make Oscar’s fur? Here’s how many drops of food coloring you need.
Easy cupcakes from cake mix
I wouldn’t leave you hangin’ without a basic cupcake recipe, too. Both recipes are on the same page – and they use a cake mix as a base so it will turn out perfectly! Then you add a few better ingredients and voilà you have the best ever cupcakes that you can call your own.
So . . . the next question is – what mix-ins would make these Grouchy Cupcakes? Of course, you could always stick with the favs like chocolate chips or SKOR bits, but maybe small green candies in a white cupcake would be fun, too.
Want more inspiration for your party? See our Pinterest party board for more ideas.
See our Oscar the Grouch party Pinterest board for more information and inspiration. (My fav is the photo booth pic of the man in the trash can with Oscar the Grouch eyebrow prop! He needs a “Trashy Birthday” or “Scram” sign.)
Show the love with Oscar the Grouch onesies & t-shirts.
What better to wear for Oscar the Grouch’s birthday than cuddly, warm Onesie pajamas that doubles as a costume?
Of course, if you’re leaving the house, maybe a t-shirt would be better!
Want more? See all of the June 1 daily holidays.
Show us how you celebrated Oscar’s Birthday!
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