The Grinch is the Christmas-hating title character of a 1957 Dr. Seuss
cartoon book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
. The story follows the Grinch -- a furry and grouchy cave-dwelling critter -- as he becomes annoyed with sounds of holiday cheer emanating from Whoville, in the valley below his hilltop home on Mount Crumpet. He decides to put an end to the merry-making by posing as Santa Claus
and stealing all the gifts and trappings of Christmas. The result, naturally, is not exactly what he expected. A popular animated version of the story first appeared on television on December 18, 1966 and has been broadcast annually on U.S. networks ever since. The CBS special, directed by Warner Brothers cartoon veterans Chuck Jones
and Ben Washam, featured the voice of Boris Karloff (best known as the monster in the 1931 movie Frankenstein
) as both the narrator and the Grinch. The Grinch has also been portrayed by human actors: by Jim Carrey
in a 2000 feature film directed by Ron Howard
, and by Patrick Page in a musical version that ran on Broadway over the holidays in the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.