Go-to green: In cinema, literature & music, green is the color to be
Red? It’s OK as far as colors go, but iffy in entertainment. Consider, say, “The Red Shoes,” which in the original Hans Christian Andersen tale a girl is cursed to dance until she dies — and even after, her amputated feet still have to keep dancing!
Yellow might do, until you recall that weird time after the 1966 release of Donovan’s song “Mellow Yellow” when people inexplicably smoked banana peels.
Orange is too strongly associated with the pried-open eyes of “A Clockwork Orange” and blue is for “Blue Velvet,” “Blue Christmas” and “The Bluest Eye” — uncomfortably trippy, a bummer and a big bummer, respectively.
No, the most entertaining color is green, the hue of superheroes and gables and vegetables willingly eaten. For reasons having nothing to do with snakes or St. Patrick or the questionable luck o’ the Irish, green is the go-to color for all your cinematic, literary or musical needs, including:
■ “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green,” a song first recorded by American treasure and flawless icon Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) in 1970. Despite blending in with leaves, Kermit realizes green is the color of spring and can be cool and friendly-like. Preach, frog!
■ “Soylent Green,” which is people. It’s people! Poor Detective Frank Thorn (Charlton Heston) made a very unpleasant discovery in the 1973 film.
■ “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the M.G.‘s, inspiring people to dance all funky and low since 1962.
■ Green Day, by now the elder statesmen of punk, who gave the world such classics as “Basket Case,” “Welcome to Paradise” and “American Idiot,” to name a few from more than 30 years of music.
■ Green Lantern, who is any of a number of DC Comics superheroes working in intergalactic law enforcement for the Green Lantern Corps. They are excellently accessorized.
■ “Anne of Green Gables,” one of the greatest novels ever (this is scientific fact) about orphan Anne Shirley and her new life at Green Gables farm on Prince Edward Island, was written by L.M. Montgomery and published in 1908.
■ “Big Green Tractor,” Jason Aldean’s 2009 homage to the power of John Deere in facilitating romance.
■ Green chile, which is extremely delicious and thus entertaining to eat. Somebody please write an “Epic of Gilgamesh”-style ode to it immediately.
■ “Green Light,” Lorde’s surprisingly upbeat, danceable tease to her much-anticipated sophomore album, “Melodrama.” Last week, it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 100 and this week it’s No. 19.
■ The green light, located at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock and a source of fascination to Jay Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”: “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.”
■ Al Green, the good reverend who blessed the world with the likes of “Let’s Stay Together,” “Tired of Being Alone” and “Here I Am.”
■ “The Green Berets,” a 1968 film featuring John Wayne at his squinty-eyed, commie-loathing best.
■ Green salad, a delightful prop on the “woman laughing alone with salad” meme of several years ago. Honestly, stock photos are entertainment GOLD.
■ “Green Eggs and Ham,” Dr. Seuss’ immortal 1960 children’s book in which neither green eggs nor ham will be eaten in a box with a fox, in the rain or on a train. So there.
■ “The Green Mile,” and whether it’s Stephen King’s 1996 novel or the 1999 film starring Tom Hanks, BRING ALL THE TISSUES!
■ Mr. Green Jeans, who was Captain Kangaroo’s sidekick for decades and always very helpful at the Treasure House and very interested in the good Captain’s newest additions to the menagerie.
■ Jolly Green Giant, who began life in 1928 on a bag of Green Giant Great Big Tender Peas and lodged himself in the collective consciousness with the TV jingle “Ho ho ho, Green GI-ant!”
■ Green Man, the lycra-suited mascot of Charlie Kelly’s (Charlie Day) invention on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” who is both creepy and funny.
■ Green Jell-O, which it goes without saying is the most entertaining of all the Jell-Os. Remember how green Jell-O pins were all the rage during the 2000 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics? Good times.
■ Green Hornet, a masked crime fighter by night who came to life in 1936 on a radio program, and infiltrates the underworld with sidekick Kato.
■ “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,” Fannie Flagg’s 1987 novel that will make you want to move to Alabama, to your very great surprise.
■ Green M&Ms, which get pop culture shout-outs all the time on account of their purported aphrodisiac qualities.
■ Also, shout-out to all the greenies of entertainment: Yoda, the Incredible Hulk, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shrek, Mike Wazowski (from Pixar’s “Monsters Inc.”), Godzilla, Pete’s Dragon, Frankenstein’s monster, Greedo (from “Star Wars”), Slimer (from “Ghostbusters”) and Gumby, to name a few.