These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

As Christmas approaches, all things magical and fantastical come to mind, so I though a collection of fun characters that we've all grown up (and old) with would be in order. Enjoy!!!

The first episode aired November 10, 1969 and was sponsored by the letters W, S, and E and the numbers 2 and 3.

Between 1971 and 1985, Snuffleupagus was Big Bird's imaginary friend. He didn't appear on the show until 1985. Elmo was a background Muppet from the early 1970s on but didn't become a character until 1984.

The original name of Sesame Street was 123 Avenue B, but that was considered too "New Yorky." Sesame Street airs in over 120 countries. Some simply dub episodes while 25 others have their own version that represent the country culturally through the characters and segments.

Bert and Ernie were named after Bert the Cop and Ernie the Taxi Driver in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life.

Sesame Street was aimed at low-income families to help children learn and prepare for school. To help facilitate the feeling of an inner city neighborhood, the set featured peeling paint, alleys, stoops, and metal trash cans on the sidewalk.

First Lady Michelle Obama will appear on the 40th season premiere of Sesame Street on November 10. She will teach the residents of Sesame Street the benefits of growing a vegetable garden and eating healthy.


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was written in 1865 by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll.

Most of the book's adventures were based on and influenced by people, situations and buildings in Oxford and at Christ Church, e.g., the "Rabbit Hole" which symbolized the actual stairs in the back of the main hall in Christ Church.

Dodgson wrote the classic story for Alice Liddell, the daughter of the Dean of Oxford. He met the girl and her sisters while on a boat ride and passed the time by telling the girls a story of a girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure.

Dodgson never publicly acknowledged that he was Lewis Carroll and he rarely signed books or gave away his portrait. Dodgson did acknowledge his pen name among his friends, but publicly denied any connection with the Alice books.

The story was originally called Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, but Carroll feared that it might appear to be a book containing ‘instruction about mines.’

In 1951, the classic story was adapted into an animated movie by Disney. Elements were merged from both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and some of the original characters were omitted.

Winnie-the-Pooh's official debut was in 1926 in "Winnie-the-Pooh," by A.A. Milne.

The characters in A.A. Milne's stories are based on toys once owned by his son, Christopher Robin. The original toys are now on display in the New York Public Library.

Of the original Pooh characters, only Owl and Rabbit came solely from Milne's imagination.

Winnie-the-Pooh's original name was Edward but was changed after Christopher Robin met a real bear named Winnie at the London Zoo.

Christopher Robin's stuffed Eeyore lost the stiffening in his neck over time, which gave him the morose appearance that served as inspiration for Milne's character.

Tigger was not introduced until 1928 in "The House at Pooh Corner."

Individually, each dwarf represents a type of human personality generally found in most offices, schools or neighborhoods.

Other names considered for the dwarfs early on included: Wheezy, Puffy, Stuffy, Biggo-Ego, Jumpy, Baldy, Nifty, Gabby, Stubby and Burby.

Six of the dwarfs have eyebrows fashioned after Walt Disney's own expressive eyebrows as they fascinated everyone who ever sat in story meetings with him. Early on, the artists agreed on this resemblance however, Happy is the only one who is different as his eyebrows are white and bushy.

It was determined early on that the Dwarfs would carry picks rather than shovels or sacks as they make their way to and from the Diamond mine. Dopey was initially designated to carry a lamp swinging from his pick, but in the end, it is Doc leading the way with his lantern.

Artists were offered $5.00 - a hefty sum by late 1930's standards -- for every gag featuring the Dwarfs that made it into the final film.

The Seven Dwarfs appeared together in several commercial shorts after the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including: The Standard Parade - 1939, The Seven Wise Dwarfs - 1941, All Together - 1942 and, The Winged Scourge - 1943.


Charles Schulz called his first comic strip Li'l Folks. It appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947 to 1950. Two of the Li'l Folks characters were Charlie Brown and a dog that resembled Snoopy.

When United Feature Syndicate picked up Li'l Folks, the strip's name was changed to Peanuts - much to Schulz's dismay. It made its debut appearance on October 2, 1950, published in seven newspapers.

There were only three characters in Charles M. Schulz's first Peanuts comic strip- Charlie Brown, Shermy and Patty (not Peppermint Patty, she'd be "born" much later.) Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy was also part of the original gang, but wasn't included in the first comic strip.

As the years passed, Schulz added more colorful characters to his Peanuts family: Schroeder- the toy piano virtuoso and Beethoven fan was born in 1951; Lucy- Linus' crabby sister who runs a Psychiatrist booth appeared in 1952; Linus- the thumbsucking, blanket toter appeared the same year; Pigpen- the boy with the constant swirl of dirt around him was born in 1954.

The next addition to the Peanuts comic strip wasn't until 1959 when Sally- Charlie Brown's sister came to be. She was followed by Peppermint Patty- the addle-brained tomboy in 1966; Woodstock- the silent yellow bird who Snoopy befriended, in 1967; Marcie- Peppermint Pattie's best friend in 1968, and Franklin- the first African-American character Schulz put in Peanuts, in the same year.

Schulz wouldn't allow anyone else to draw his strip. He died just hours before his last original Peanuts comic strip was published. He had drawn nearly 18,000 of the strips during his career.


The original Grinch was not green—like everything else in the book, he was black and white with some red and pink splotches.

It has been said that the conflict between the Whos and the Grinch was inspired by how German immigrants in Dr. Seuss's native Springfield, Massachusetts, were mistreated by the owners of the factories where they worked.

For many years the line "You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch" was censored because it was considered too vulgar for television.

The live-action movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas features more than 52,000 Christmas lights, about 8,200 Christmas ornaments, and nearly 2,000 candy canes.

Thurl Ravenscroft, who sang such numbers as "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," was also the voice of Tony the Tiger.

The story was first published, in slightly different form, in the Ottawa Chronicle.

Buddy Ebson, the original actor hired to play the Tin Man, became very ill from the metallic makeup and was not able to appear in the movie, but his voice can still be heard singing "We're off to see the wizard," when Dorothy and her friends are dancing down the yellow brick road after the forest scene.

In the original book by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy's slippers were not ruby but silver. The color was changed in the movie for Technicolor purposes.

The horses in Emerald City palace were colored with Jell-O crystals. The relevant scenes had to be shot quickly, before the horses started to lick it off.

"Over the Rainbow" was nearly cut from the film; MGM felt that it made the Kansas sequence too long, as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended. The studio also thought that it was degrading for Judy Garland to sing in a barnyard. In 2004, the song was ranked #1 by the American Film Institute on the 100 Greatest Songs in American Films list.

Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Coroner of Munchkinland, was, at one time, the shortest licensed pilot in the U.S. During WWII, he volunteered for military service and was turned down. He was accepted as a volunteer instructor in the Civil Air Patrol.

The name for Oz was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N, and O-Z, hence "Oz."


A bonus quote:
"Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says
I'll try again tomorrow."
~~Mary Anne Radmacher (1957-), writer and artist,
author of Lean Forward
into Your Life and Live Boldly.


  1. I can always count on learning something here! I actually had been wondering what year Sesame Street was introduced.

    I hope you're feeling a lot better by now!!! I have had pneumonia and bronchitis, so I always used to tend to have illnesses settle in my lungs. But magically, I have been healthy for 3 years- not even a cold- and I'm not sure why. The people around me, including The Child, seem to be sick all the time!

    Healin hugs,

  2. OH these are all huge favorites of mine!!!
    I loved-loved-loved Sesame Street and started watching it right at the beginning. I was 3 years old!

  3. I think Sesame Street, though aimed for young kids, appealed to older folks too. I remember being a fan though I was in junior high/high school. The humor was really quite mature in some ways. My favorite--the sleazy muppet who tried to sell Ernie a bottle of air.

    Wonder when Spike joined the Peanuts gang. He seemed like a late-comer

  4. What a great post. I really enjoyed reading it.

    A few weeks ago Sunday Morning on CBS did a segmenet on Seasme Street. It was so interesting to read the history behind the show.

    Oh how I love Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Snoopy is by far the coolest dog ever. Oh...and as for Peppermint lesbian. :)

  5. love today's trivia! i knew many of the pooh ones as i happen to be quite the pooh connoisseur. the sesame street stuff was interesting . .i will have to check out michelle on SS. i loved that show--along with fraggle rock!

  6. Although I was a "Captain Kangaroo" child, my kids grew up with Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. My daughter, Gretchen, danced for three years as The Count with Sesame Street Live, so Sesame Street is dear to us.

    As for Peanuts, I learn something profound from that strip almost daily.

    Thanks for sharing these great facts with us.

    ~hippo hugs~

  7. I love all the characters and trivia here my mom helped name Oscar she says her entry is the middle name of my uncle who is not a grouch lol.


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