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Oscar's On-Again/Off-Again Accent

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by D'Snowth, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    We all know that Oscar's voice was inspired by a cab driver who drove Caroll to the original SST studio when he first came to New York, but has anyone else besides me noticed that in the earlier seasons of the show, Oscar also seemed to go back and forth in having a sort of Tony Danza-esque New York accent and not having an accent at all?
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I've also noticed that from Episode 1 and throughout the 70s, Big Bird would often bob his head when he would walk, much like a number of species of real birds do. These are subtle little nuances that Caroll gave the characters, but it kind of makes me wonder why he eventually dropped them.
  3. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I was just thinking about this the other day. He did really seem to go back and fourth with the accent. In later years it seems to be gone almost entirely, except for a few words, occasionally, like when he says "What d'ya got the-ya (there)" (Sorry, it's hard to type a New York accent)
    I noticed, Eric Jacobson seems to have added the New York accent back, just slightly.

    My guess is just that your arm tires more quickly when you add subtle movements like that. Big Bird did seem to get a bit stiffer in the 90s, though i'm not sure if that's due to Caroll's age or because the character seems to have gotten older and more mature, and therefore less plucky and energetic.
    gavry3 and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  4. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I seem to have notice a bit of an accent in Oscars voice specifically in Christmas Eve of Sesame Street especially with his phrases like "If I was you" and "tomorrow mohning." That did seem to be dropped around the 80s though.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  5. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    How about the Season 3 opener, with David and Oscar exchanging favors? "I'll do you a favuh fuh you if you do a favuh fuh me."
  6. gavry3

    gavry3 Well-Known Member

    I think in the early years Caroll wanted to keep the voice of the taxi driver, because that's what the voice was meant to be.
  7. Daffyfan4ever

    Daffyfan4ever Well-Known Member

    It's been so long since I heard that one.
    gavry3 likes this.
  8. cjd874

    cjd874 Well-Known Member

    The segment is on YouTube, skip to 5:39.

    I found another early example of Oscar's on-again/off-again accent from episode 158. Thoughts?
  9. LittleJerry92

    LittleJerry92 Well-Known Member

    I think Oscar's voice was alot more nasally during the first 3 seasons, and 4/5 is where I feel like Caroll fixed up the voice a little more. So I can hear the accent going on and off.
  10. Censored

    Censored Well-Known Member

    Best example of Oscar with an accent: -
  11. LittleJerry92

    LittleJerry92 Well-Known Member

    OUI! Caroll sure does a good French accent.
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Caroll learned to speak French, because when he was in the Air Force and was about to be shipped out, he hoped to be shipped to France . . . and he got sent to Germany instead.
  13. LittleJerry92

    LittleJerry92 Well-Known Member

    Oh jeez.... I can only imagine what that must have been like.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, he said he found it a bit odd at first, because he then learned that the French don't even like us, and he couldn't figure out how during the war, we helped liberate the French yet they hate us, and Germans were our enemies, yet they like us.

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