For decades ‘Sesame Street’ brutally parodied Trump, who wants to defund PBS

In the 1970s, the New York Times notes, the Justice Department sued him and his father for allegedly refusing to rent to black people. The developers settled with the government, admitting no guilt. Trump, too, had his tenant issues.
"Don’t forget your suitcases," he said.

He first appears in an episode in the late 1980s – a grouch in a tacky fedora, knocking on Oscar’s iconic trash can to offer a deal. Like Trump, Grump’s ambitions started out big and got huge.
With a great rumble, Grump popped out of a can atop a table strewn with Grump-branded trash.
"We don’t want that monstrosity on this spot!"
(This is an anniversary show from the mid-90s, after all.) But the memory of a little girl kissing Kermit the Frog after being taught to count leaves the Grump "deeply and profoundly disgusted." The muppets try to win him over. With clip montages.

The other thing is that Trump, as president of the United States, wants to end public television funding that created "Sesame Street" – more often known for lessons on counting and sharing than biting satire.

"Trust me, you won’t miss all this," Grump says – then flies into a rage at the first sign of dissent.

You should know a couple of things before we embark on a recap of "Sesame Street’s" surprisingly vicious takedowns of Donald Trump, which span three decades leading up to his political rise.


The contest narrowed to a matchup between Elmo, Oscar and his girlfriend, Grundgetta. But the latter two spent all their time arguing with each other about the prize.

But then Grump notices the grouch’s worm and elephant friends living below.
And then, as he always did, Grump sowed division on Sesame Street.
Seriously, don’t.

In the next scene, the dented trash can that generations of children had grown up watching is gone. A shabby stack of Grump cans stands in place of Oscar’s old home.
"I’ve got a reputation to think of," Grump said.
Grump shows Oscar a color rendering of six trash cans stacked on top of each other.
Now he was played by Joe Pesci, trying to pitch a crowd on his plan to build a combination tower, restaurant and theme park. Historic Sesame Street would be turned into a luxury boutique in the lobby. It had been years since Grump last showed his face on the block.
"If there’s one thing I despise, it’s cheap sentiment," he says.

Then he joins all the muppets in a celebratory song to end the episode, because that’s just how children’s TV sometimes works. "This neighborhood does not deserve a Grump Tower anyway," Grumps says.
No pets in the contract. "Get ’em out!" he snaps.

He enlisted the muppets into a contest to become his helper, making them compete with each other to perform menial tasks, like sorting his old sneakers.

"I’m the trashiest, I’m the grouchiest Grump," he sang.
"Real estate tycoon Ronald Grump has announced plans to demolish Sesame Street and create a lavish new Grump Tower," a dire Barbara Walters announced in 1994, at the beginning of the show’s 25th anniversary special.

In 2005, his likeness returned to Sesame Street as "Donald Grump": a grouch again, but now in an orange wig – and famous among muppets for his reality show and spectacular wealth.

More than 10 years went by after the special. In the real world, Trump made his first flirtations with politics and began honing his public image as the severe host of "Celebrity Apprentice."
Back on Sesame Street, Oscar was in a bind. He either had to put Slimy and Fluffy out on the street, go homeless, or pay Grump 40 bags of trash to get his old can back, which would leave him in poverty.
"I tried to be nice to you people! Pack up and leave." You got two weeks.
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There are only three known episodes in which the character "Grump" appears, each time playing the villain in a moral allegory.

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Whenever Grump visits Sesame Street, chaos is not far behind.

A few years later, as the Atlantic recounted, renters accused Trump of cutting off their heat and water and using other intimidation tactics to kick them out of a building. Trump sued them for $150 million.
(Screengrab) “Donald Grump”, a character on Sesame Street.
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"Sesame Street’s" parent company has not yet responded to questions about Grump’s origins, and whether he might return during the Trump administration.
They find him once again trying to con Oscar into moving out of his trash can. Grump Tower’s would-be tenants refuse to mingle with grouches. Finally, Big Bird recalls Sesame Street’s greatness and leads all the residents in a march down Sesame Street to stop Grump.

Grump, Elmo think we will be history," Elmo says. "If we don’t do something about Mr. The muppets are despondent.

"Isn’t it tony?" Oscar brags from the top of the tower.
First: Trump is most often depicted as a grouch – unpleasant monsters who base their culture and economy around garbage. So when "Donald Grump" appears in a 2005 episode as a badly toupeed muppet "whose name equals trash," that’s not necessarily an insult.

Because, he explained, they were caustic and ineffective at their jobs. He chose as his apprentices the two other grouches.

Ronald Grump," he says. "Grump’s the name. "I’m a builder."
By the way: If you have any nostalgia for vintage "Sesame Street,"do not watch Pesci’s outtakes from the anniversary special.


Grump," Oscar says, laughing. "Goodbye Mr.

The muppets chanted: "Grump! Grump! Grump!"
In a deus-ex-machina twist that baffled at least one critic, Oscar reveals that his can is government property, and so Trump can’t force him out.

When a pair of grouches’ performance displeased him, Grump told them to leave Sesame Street.
Elmo worked the hardest and won all the events. In a fit of cruelty, Grump cut him anyway.
Over the course of the special, Grump physically intimidates Benny Rabbit and sort of hits on a reporter played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

And someone sort of gets deported. 3)  Grump pits the muppets against each other.

Oscar was only saved when his friends cobbled together their own trash bags to pay off Grump and get rid of his tower. Appeals to Grump’s conscience did no good.

We know of nothing to suggest any link between these skits and Trump’s budget proposal. He is not the first president to desire the elimination of public broadcasting funds. And because the show now airs on HBO, Trump’s plan is unlikely to destroy Sesame Street, as Grump tried so hard to do.

1)  Grump cons a muppet into signing a draconian contract

"It’s a duplex can-dominium." "Grump Tower," he says, giving the "u" a faux-European pronunciation.

The original Trump Tower in New York had opened a few years earlier. That was Trump’s fame too, then.

2) Sesame Street gets politically woke

But Grump entices Oscar to sign a contract – essentially bribing him with a free room in the tower and three bags of trash.
But Grump would be back.

Oscar is intrigued. His friend Maria is horrified.