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Before 'Avatar': A history of blue characters

As "Avatar" rockets to mega-hyper-ultra blockbuster status (now third on the all-time box-office list), the movie's blue-skinned Na'vi join other similarly hued characters who have fired our pop culture imaginations:

Huckleberry Hound

FIRST SIGHTING 1958 on "The Huckleberry Hound Show"

THE DEAL Hanna-Barbera cartoon character who wore a bow tie and a battered hat and spoke in a Southern drawl.

Nightcrawler

FIRST SIGHTING 1975 in Marvel Comics' "Giant Size X-Men" issue No. 1

THE DEAL A mutant with the ability to teleport, among other powers.

Sulley

FIRST SIGHTING 2001 in the movie "Monsters, Inc."

THE DEAL John Goodman provided the voice of the head scarer of Monsters, Inc. (the company, that is).

Smurfs

FIRST SIGHTING 1981 on their own NBC cartoon (in the United States, anyway; the characters originated in a 1958 Belgian comic strip)

THE DEAL Lovable, tiny blue humanoids who lived peacefully in the forest. 

Marge Simpson

FIRST SIGHTING 1987 on short segments airing on Fox's "Tracey Ullman Show"

THE DEAL Homer's spouse sports the world's coolest blue beehive (unless Amy Winehouse has dyed her hair recently).

Blue Man Group

FIRST SIGHTING 1988, holding a "funeral for the 1980s" in Central Park (objects to be buried included a Rambo doll and a yuppie effigy)

THE DEAL Trio of mute performance artists, who appear in black clothing and blue grease paint over bald caps.

Blue

FIRST SIGHTING 1996 on Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues"

THE DEAL She's an animated dog who leaves clues marked with her paw prints to a puzzle that the show's host and viewers must solve.

Cookie Monster

FIRST SIGHTING 1969 on "Sesame Street"

THE DEAL Muppet with an appetite for just about anything. In the show's first episode, he ate Kermit's "W." Over the years, he has chomped on objects ranging from doughnuts to typewriters.

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