The dark origins of Sesame Street are exposed in Saturday Night Live’s Joker parody, Grouch.
Nowadays, Sesame Street is known for its gentrification and lack of crime, but life on the street wasn’t always so easy. Saturday Night Live takes a hard look at how it all began with the movie trailer for Grouch.
This week, David Harbour, most notably of Stranger Things, headlined a new SNL, and there were some pretty quality sketches (SoulCycle!). But one, in particular, stood out above the rest: Grouch. Mimicking 2019’s Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, the sketch follows a garbage man named Oscar as he devolves into madness. Despite a cold open that boasted guest stars like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Billy Porter, and Woody Harrelson, Grouch is easily the best sketch of the night. In fact, it is easily my favorite sketch of the season so far.
Grouch gives a little insight into the past of other favorite Sesame Street characters, too (cross your fingers for future origin movie trailers). Who wouldn’t want to know about Mr. Snuffleupagus the pimp (Kenan!), The Count the addict, or Big Bird the stripper. Seriously, if you haven’t watched the sketch yet, what are you waiting for?! And no, this is absolutely not appropriate for children.
And if you’re still interested, check out the behind-the-scenes video: