Donald Grump on Sesame Street

There have been three episodes of Ronald Grump on Sesame Street

“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. Like Trump, Grump’s ambitions started out big and got huge. He has appeared in three episodes since the late 1980s — a grouch in a tacky fedora, knocking on Oscar’s iconic trash can to offer a deal. Now Trump wants to defund Sesame Street.  READMORE at the WASHINGTON POST

I — Grump cons a muppet into signing a draconian contract

“Grump’s the name. Ronald Grump,” he says. “I’m a builder.”

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

Oscar is intrigued. His friend Maria is horrified.  “We don’t want that monstrosity on this spot!”

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

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.

“Isn’t it tony?” Oscar brags from the top of the tower.

But then Grump notices the grouch’s worm and elephant friends living below.

“Get ’em out!” he snaps. No pets in the contract.

II — Sesame Street gets politically woke

It had been years since Grump last showed his face on the block. 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.

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

“I tried to be nice to you people! You got two weeks. Pack up and leave.”

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

Over the course of the special, Grump physically intimidates Benny Rabbit and sort of hits on a reporter played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

The muppets try to win him over. With clip montages. (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.”

“If there’s one thing I despise, it’s cheap sentiment,” he says.

Finally, Big Bird recalls Sesame Street’s greatness. He leads all the residents in a march to stop Grump. 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.

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.

“This neighborhood does not deserve a Grump Tower anyway,” Grump 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.

III — Grump pits the muppets against each other. And someone sort of gets deported.

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.”

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.

With a great rumble, Grump popped out of a can atop a table strewn with Grump-branded trash.

The muppets chanted: “Grump! Grump! Grump!”

“I’m the trashiest, I’m the grouchiest Grump,” he sang.

And then, as he always did, Grump sowed division on Sesame Street.

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.

When a pair of grouches’ performance displeased him, Grump told them to leave Sesame Street.

“Don’t forget your suitcases,” he said.

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.

Elmo worked the hardest and won all the events. In a fit of cruelty, Grump cut him anyway.

He chose as his apprentices the two other grouches because, he explained, they were caustic and ineffective at their jobs.
“I’ve got a reputation to think of,” Grump said.

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