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The children’s show has been parodying the business mogul turned president since the early ‘80s, before Trump left his post at Trump Tower for the Oval Office.
Earlier this month, Trump unveiled a proposal to get rid of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which provides funding for PBS and National Public Radio stations. Though Sesame Street has moved to HBO, the children’s show aired on PBS for decades, and the network frequently airs re-runs of episodes.
“PBS makes Sesame Street available to all Americans and thereby continues to play a major role in helping less privileged kids gain access to preschool education that has proven and enduring value,” Sesame Workshop said in a statement on Trump’s proposal. “While Sesame Workshop currently receives no direct funding from CPB or PBS, we stand firmly and passionately in support of the vital public investment that allows them to continue this important work.”
In light of the president’s recent proposal, take a look back at all of the times Trump was trolled by the children’s show below.
1. Grump Tower (1988)
Ronald Grump, a Grouch builder who wants to upgrade Sesame Street, is the first character on the show to parody Trump. In a late ‘80s episode, Grump approaches Oscar the Grouch in an attempt to entice him with his plans to build Grump Tower. The tower, a play on Trump Tower, would be made up of six trash cans and built right where Oscar’s trash can sits on the street.
“You get one can upstairs and one can downstairs, it’s a duplex can-dominium,” Grump tells Oscar, offering him a spot in Grump Tower and three free trash bags. Oscar buys into Grump’s bargain and signs a contract to have his home run down.
2. Joe Pesci as Ronald Grump (1994)
For the show’s 25th anniversary special, Joe Pesci makes a cameo as Ronald Grump, a developer who tries to convince the residents of Sesame Street to allow him to turn the neighborhood into Grump World.
“I love you people. You deserve some of the finer things. Trust me, you won’t miss all this,” Pesci’s Grump says. “You all get shiny new apartments! You’ll even get a concierge.”
He changes his mind and decides to boot all of the residents out of his space after they oppose his plans: “OK OK, that’s it! I tried to be nice to you people, but you don’t want to listen! You got two weeks — pack up and get out!”
3. Grouch Apprentice (2005)
In a parody of the reality series The Apprentice, which Trump hosted from 2004 to 2015, Donald Grump searches for his own apprentice in a 2005 episode of Sesame Street. Grump, a wealthy Grouch with the “most trash in the world,” dons a suit and bright orange wig to poke fun at the business mogul’s signature hairdo while announcing his plans to enlist a helper.
“I’m Donald Grump, and I have more trash than all of you. I got so much trash, I need someone to help me sort,” Grump tells the other Grouches.
Elmo and the Grouches sing his praises (“His name is on every piece of trash in town!”), and participate in all of his trash tests (such as sorting old sneakers). But when Elmo emerges as the clear winner of Grump’s apprentice competition, he’s “fired” for being “too good.”
“I’m a Grouch! I can’t have a good helper! I got my reputation to think of,” Grump says. “Scram! You’re fired.”
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