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Vintage Sesame Street parody of ‘Grump Tower’ development is brilliant

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Oscar learns the Art of the Deal, pains of high-rise living

Grump Tower

Satire of real estate mogul and now-POTUS Donald Trump isn’t anything new, as this amazing archival clip from Sesame Street demonstrates. As Twitter user Pop Morris astutely points out, the iconic children’s television show parodied the billionaire developer’s real estate deals multiple times, beginning in 1988. In 1994, as part of the Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever! TV special, Joe Pesci even had a cameo playing the role of Ronald Grump.

In the first parody, from 1988, posted below, developer Ronald Grump (“You’re the Grouch who built a swamp in a day!”) explains his grand plans to build Grump Tower, a duplex “candiminium,” on Sesame Street, to the angst of many of the block’s neighbors. He propositions Oscar for his property and makes a deal, which the Muppet comes to regret later in the episode.

"If there’s one thing I despise," Pesci says during his turn as the Grump character, "It's cheap sentiment. Hugs; kiddie television; cute, furry animals..." Extremely coincidental coincidence—or eerie foreshadowing of the Trump administration’s new budget proposal, which defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?