Going Green

Kermit the Frog, the Incredible Hulk & More Iconic Green Pop Icons (PHOTOS)

From Shrek to Slimer, Jean Trinh pays homage to the our favorite emerald-tinted pop-culture characters.

For St. Patrick’s Day this year, we’re taking a look back at the most celebrated emerald-tinted characters in pop culture. From Shrek to Slimer, Jean Trinh pays homage to the stars that make being green look easy.

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America’s favorite clay figure has graced our television sets since the ‘50s. Not only is the beloved character known for getting into adventures with his best friend Pokey, he’s also been parodied by comedian Eddie Murphy as a cantankerous cigar-smoker in his “real” backstage persona on Saturday Night Live.

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Yoda, the cloaked, diminutive Star Wars icon is symbolic of all things Jedi…and green. The character was designed by make-up artist Stuart Freeborn, who based the facial design on his own features and on scientist Albert Einstein's. The creative-effects genius passed away last month at 93, as reported by BBC News.

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“I ain’t afraid of no ghost!” Spud, disgusting blob, ectoplasm—whatever you call it, Slimer found fame as the first ghoul caught by the team of spirit-chasing misfits in the ‘80s film franchise Ghostbusters. The green bugger had a penchant for gorging on food and was even capable of driving a bus in the second installment.

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The Wicked Witch of the West

Let’s talk about one of the most depraved green villains in pop culture—the Wicked Witch of the West. From books to the silver screen, this Wizard of Oz character has been thoroughly covered, with even Mila Kunis playing the role in latest Disney film, Oz the Great and Powerful.

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What the Shrek movies have taught us is beauty lies on the inside, even when we’re green on the outside...right? Shrek, the grouchy ogre in this Dreamworks family blockbuster series discovered a loving side of himself when he met his other jade-tinted counterpart, Fiona. Actors Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz lent their voices to this CG-animated hit.

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Greenzo from 30 Rock

In the second season of NBC’s 30 Rock, Jack Donaghy was challenged to bring on a mascot for the network’s environmental initiatives. Thus enters Greenzo (hilariously played by David Schwimmer), decked in green with a backwards baseball cap, serving as "America's first non-judgmental, business-friendly environmental advocate.”


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“Cowabunga, dudes!” The pizza-loving, anthropomorphic turtles—named after Italian virtuosos—that popularized surfer talk and ninja moves ruled the airwaves and the big screen during the ‘80s to the ‘90s, and were revived in 2012 with a Nick animated series.

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The Hulk

Lou Ferrigno, Edward Norton, and Eric Bana have all portrayed the green, muscular monster with the trademark purple torn shorts. Stan Lee’s mutated creation first surfaced in the comic book scene in 1962.

Oscar the Grouch

Public television’s most lovable curmudgeon, Oscar the Grouch, sure enjoys living inside of his steel trash can in PBS’s Sesame Street. Children have been delighted by the furry green puppet for decades, hearing him pay tribute to his one true love in his song, “I Love Trash.”

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The Green Giant

The Jolly Green Giant, the mascot of General Mills’ frozen and canned vegetables empire, sprouted onto the advertising route back in the ‘20s. Fans can visit a 55-foot statue of the famous giant erected in Blue Earth, Minnesota.

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Kermit the Frog

In the words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” The iconic tadpole—the most popular of Jim Henson’s creations—has graced shows like Sesame Street and flopped around in the 2011 The Muppets film starring Jason Segel.