How Dr. Seuss Made Serious {Green Eggs and) Ham in 2020

To say Dr. Seuss’ legacy has stood the test of time would be the understatement of a generation. Everyone has a favorite classic attached to their fondest childhood memories. I’m definitely a The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas kind of girl. Never the less, it’s nothing short of remarkable to see Seuss Enterprises not only holding their own, but competing against giants like the MCU, DC and Harry Potter. In an era of streaming platforms competing for content, Seuss Enterprises thrived, bringing in $33 million dollars in 2020 alone.

That’s some serious (green eggs and) ham.

 

 

Image via History

 

Shortly before his death in 1991, Dr. Seuss noticed the transition of power from publishing culture to the quick-paced consumer culture. It’s with that in mind that he created a plan with his wife Audrey. He pled with her to spread his works far and wide, telling her “You use it or you lose it.” And, that’s exactly what she did. Nearly three decades after the famous author’s death, Seuss Enterprises earned an estimated $33 million before taxes this year—up from just $9.5 million five years ago—landing him at No. 2 on Forbes’ ranking of the Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities for 2020.

Two years after the death of her husband, Audrey Geisel started Seuss Enterprises; it all began with a small committed team and Audrey’s Cadillac perfectly donned with a “Grinch” license plate. In her attempts to fulfill her husband’s deathbed wish, she lead projects such as Jim Carey’s 2000 Grinch film (which became the world’s second highest-grossing Christmas film), Michael Myers’ The Cat in the Hat, and the smash hit, Horton Hears a Who!

 

 

Image via San Francisco Chronicle

 

In 2012, Susan Brandt took control of the company and turned Dr. Seuss’ classic fifty-word book, Green Eggs and Ham, into a big-budget animated TV series. The series, which debuted on Netflix in 2019,was the number one show on the platform during its first week, and a second season was ordered last December. Not to mention, Brandt launched a  traveling Dr. Seuss exhibition last year. It was put on hold during the pandemic, but the show sold more than 175,000 tickets. It’s no surprise that Dr. Seuss inched closer last year to becoming one of the world’s fifty biggest licensed brands according to License Global.

I think it’s quite fitting to say, Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the place you’ll go!”

 

feature image via The New Yorker