Sesame Street Used to Lampoon Donald Trump With Grouch Developer 'Ronald Grump'

Ronald Grump.
Ronald Grump. /

Today I learned that there was an episode of Sesame Street where Donald Trump was parodied way back in January 1988. In fact, by Sesame Street standards, they kind of bodied Trump. A Grouch named Ronald Grump showed up on Sesame Street and swindled Oscar out of his home and build the gaudy "Grump Tower." After tracking down the video, I have to say the tweet that alerted me to Ronald Grump doesn't really accurately portray what happens to Grump in the end.

As you can see in the full clip, Grump shows up and convinces Oscar to move his trash can so he can move him into Grump Tower and he'll pay him three bags of trash for relocating. (Note that trash is the currency of grouches.) After Oscar pays Grump, he is threatened with eviction if he won't get rid of his pets or pay Grump 40 bags of trash to go away.

If you watch the entire thing, you'll see that in the end, Grump gets paid off by the human residents of Sesame Street. It is unclear what message this was trying to send, but the congrouch getting 40bags of trash and then skipping town seems kind of dark for Sesame Street. Lesson, not learned?

Ronald Grump would turn up two more times on Sesame Street, as shown in this video from the Washington Post. In 1994 Joe Pesci played a human version of Grump on a special. Then in 2004 he became the even more obvious Donald Grump and added hair for the Grouch Apprentice. Then a year later there was a straight up Donald Trump Muppet.

So Sesame Street has been calling Trump out for decades. And the show's Twitter even appeared to call him a monster after he won in 2016. And how the show is trending because he is tweeting about "the count." What a rivalry.