Everyone loves the kind and sweet Big Bird, but the other character of Caroll Spinney, the famous grump, who lives in the trash can, Oscar the Grouch, also has a hot fan club.
He hates talking to people, complains all the time and treasures an old fish wrapped in a newspaper and his pet, Slimey the Worm.
But the rough nature of Oscar and his dirty and matted green fur make him more attractive to his admirers. And with her constant kvetching, she offers children lessons on how to handle conflicts or negative emotions, such as discomfort or anger.
Oscar was one of the original residents of "Sesame Street" when the show first aired on November 10, 1969. Spinney, the puppeteer who announced his retirement on Wednesday, played with Oscar, as well as with Big Bird.
"Oscar the Grouch, thank you for helping me learn as a small child that can be put in a bad mood, and it's not the end of the world," wrote a reader from New York City in a commentary on Our article about Mr. Spinney's retirement.
Another reader, Barbara Johansen Newman of Needham, Mass., Wrote that "she especially loved Oscar and his irreverence, yes, this was a children's program, but this was a programming for children that adults found entertaining as well."
In his book "The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the dark genius of Oscar the Grouch)," Mr. Spinney wrote that he based Oscar's voice on a Bronx taxi driver who took him to a meeting.
"He was the stereotypical taxi driver of the time, a man in his 40s in the Bronx who wore a tweed cap with a bit of a wing, and growled out of the corner of his mouth:" Where, Mac? " # 39; "Mr. Spinney wrote.
He had found "the ideal model" for his new character, and he marveled that the driver "went on and on, colorfully expressing his opinion of Mayor Lindsey with many four-letter words."
Oscar, who was originally orange, was not bad with children, but he did not appreciate anyone knocking on his door (which was the lid of his trash can). And he was not impressed by celebrities either, even when many of them called.
Once, Johnny Cash accompanied him with "Nasty Dan", a song about "the baddest man I've ever met", from his 1975 children's album.
Tito Puente also came, just before Oscar was about to organize a meeting of the Grouchketeers.
"I suggest you and your little band go play somewhere else," Oscar told him. But not even the most famous grump in the world could resist Dancing his song "Ran Kan Kan", a song that appeared on the soundtrack of the movie "The Mambo Kings".
"Do not ever do that to me again!" Oscar begs at the end of the song.
"Sesame Street" was originally intended to help prepare children from disadvantaged environments for school, and the shows were carefully designed to maintain their attention while helping them learn, as in this clip where Oscar, unknowingly, helps Nicole Kidman explain the meaning of "stubborn".
The researchers had advised not to mix the Muppets with the human characters, because it could be confusing. But after street scenes with only human characters plummeted with test audiences, the late creator of the Muppets, Jim Henson, decided to add Big Bird and Oscar, author Michael Davis wrote in his book "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. "
In a 2010 interview, Charlotte F. Cole, then senior vice president for global education at Sesame Workshop, who runs the program, explained that Oscar's intention was "to help children understand different perspectives."
"He likes noise, where other people would like to be quiet," he said. He likes trash. By having this character, it was a vehicle for children to see that other people look at different situations in different ways. "
Dr. Paul Donahue, a child psychologist at Scarsdale, N.Y., said that Oscar embodied the mixture of strong feelings that children experience and must learn to solve.
"Ambivalence was allowed," he said. "You could be a little irritable and irritable or cranky and that did not mean you were a bad person."
Arnie Herz, a lawyer on Long Island, once wrote A blog post about how to see Oscar with his daughter had helped him become more empathetic at work.
"I think it's easy to deal with Oscar the Grouch because he's so cute," he said in a telephone interview. "If you're cute and cranky, it does not have the same edge."
In more recent years, Oscar, the garbage lover, has also begun to teach lessons on waste reduction. After The program moved to HBO in 2016 (although it is still broadcast on PBS) a recycling bin was placed next to their long-standing home, and began appearing through an underground tunnel that leads to recycling and compost bins. (He has also served as a "spokesperson for the Muppet" for the Waste Reduction Week in Canada).
And even Oscar is positive sometimes, as with his girlfriend, Grundgetta. (Well, not really, the Grouch girls do not want to have fun, after all).
Oscar, as it seems to be everything these days, has also inspired a holiday: the National Grouch Day is recognized on October 15 (celebrations are not recommended).
And he is the author of an upcoming book: "The Search for Arrogance: The Guide to the Life of Oscar the Grouch", considered as a guide to lose friends and reluctantly influence people. It will be published by Imprint in April.