It’s not easy being green—especially if you are scaly, scary, kelpy, wrinkled, cold, slimy, or wise. I’m not sure when I first started liking green, but it was my mamaw’s favorite colour, so perhaps that had something to do with it. Inspired by the departure of spring, when everything here in Southern California starts turning brown, I’ve come up with a list of my ten favorite green fictional characters of all time.
(Actually, it was tough to narrow this down to only ten; I had to leave at least that many on the cutting room floor.)
10. Sigmund the Sea Monster
Although not the only green character created by Sid and Marty Krofft, he is surely the cutest. Anything with an egg tooth is all right by me. Tormented by his older evil brothers, Sigmund could have written a birth order book.
9. Frankenstein’s monster
Frankenstein was first published anonymously in 1818—almost 200 years ago! Mary Shelley was twenty-one at the time. I still can’t read this timeless work without crying at the end. According to the novel “he was the colour of dead skin,” which in the early films is black and white—but in our hearts he’s green.
8. (Release) the Kraken
Released by Zeus who obviously just doesn’t give a shit about his own children, the Kraken is one of the most memorable green fictional characters from one of my favourite classic films, Clash of the Titans (1981).
7. The Sleestaks
So retro. I suppose it was the scaly aliens from the Land of the Lost who are responsible for turning me to the dark side. Their big eyes, sizeable horns, heavy breathing and six-pack abs caught my full attention. These slow moving reptilian humanoids were hot. Pylon perfect, I no longer cheered for Chaka and the Pakunis. I was a sleestak girl.
6. The Great Gazoo
Okay, so The Flintstones did some serious shark jumping when they introduced the Great Gazoo. Nonetheless, I do like my aliens and he’s one of my favourites. Predator is my favourite alien character, but he’s not green.
Everybody loves a summer blockbuster comedy with a goofy ghost. When I first saw Ghostbusters, Slimer reminded me of a green Tasmanian Devil. When was the last time you were slimed?
The first of many creature features my father took me to see as a child. Originally released in 1954, Godzilla (Gojira!) is a Japanese sci-fi film directed by Ishiro Honda and produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka. In the final scene, Dr. Yamane warned that if mankind continued to develop weapons of mass destruction, Godzilla may return—perhaps faster than you can say Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
It was the little green slab of clay that stole the heart of my youth. Gumby would glide around town like nobody’s business (possibly because he was a bit light on the loafers). The theme song was cool too, and that voice. He talked all slow like. Those Clokey’s must have had their clocks permanently set to 4:20 when they created this little green gem. To this day, I don’t know if Gumby is male or female.
2. Wicked Witch of the West
One of the best character theme songs ever written, Sugar. Chasing poor little Toto all through Oz. What a bitch. I love her. Margaret Hamilton (The Witch) was originally hired for 6 weeks of work. She ended up working 23 weeks and suffered second and third degree burns to her hands and face during the fire and smoke sequence. Now that’s one hot green villain! The Wizard of Oz (1939) was the first film I saw on the silver screen. But not in its original run—I’m not that old!.
“Mudhole? Slimy? My home this is.” For someone so wise, one would think one would have better sentence structure abilities, wouldn’t one?
Bonus: Some Frog
Greenies surrounded me as a kid. Kermit was probably the first, but not my favourite by a long shot. Honorable mention only. He’s just here because everybody expects him to be. Just say no to singer/songwriter amphibians. His mellow personality lulled me into a nap-time stupor. It’s like he was hypnotizing the television audience with melatonin or something. Is that even legal?