*With funding for “Sesame Street’s” parent company under threat of being axed by President Trump, The Hollywood Reporter has reminded us that the show has been parodying the Orange One since the late 1980s.
It all started in 1988, when a Grouch builder named Ronald Grump told Oscar he wanted to build Grump Tower (six trashcans on top of each other) in the spot of his canned abode.
“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.
Joe Pesci appeared as Ronald Grump in 1994, this time wanting residents 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 kick all of the residents out of his space after they resist him: “Okay okay, 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!”
Watch below, beginning at the 14:48 mark:
In 2005, “Sesame Street” parodied “The Apprentice” with Donald Grump launching his own search. In a suit and bright orange wig, the businessman proclaims: “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.”
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.”