'Saturday Night Live' spoofs 'Joker' with Oscar The grouch parody

Erin Donnelly
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- "David Harbour" Episode 1770 -- Pictured: Host David Harbour during the monologue on Saturday, October 12, 2019 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
Stranger Things star David Harbour hosted Saturday Night Live on Oct. 12. (Photo: Will Heath/NBC)

He’s by far the grittiest character on Sesame Street, but is Oscar the Grouch ready for the Joker treatment?

Saturday Night Live’s 12 October episode saw the moody Muppet starring in a fake film trailer parodying Joker’s dark anti-hero origin story.

The fictional Grouch — “from director Todd Phillips and the writer of P is for Potty!,” a narrator intones — sees this week’s host, Stranger Things star David Harbour, playing a grumpy, trash-fetishising garbage man who bemoans the “hookers and pimps on every corner” of, yes, Sesame Street.

Sure enough, Kenan Thompson’s Snuffleupagus appears as a tough-talking pimp laying down the law for Prairie Dawn, while Ernie gets slashed trying to protect his rubber duckie from a mugger, much to pal Bert’s horror. The Count turns to drugs, Big Bird starts stripping, Cookie Monster panhandles and Elmo gets hauled into a cop car.

It all makes Oscar ... “grouchy.”

Read more: Could Joker win big at the Oscars?

“If everyone calls you trash, everyone treats you like trash, why don’t you just become trash?”

Harbour’s Oscar explains to his therapist as a montage shows him painting himself green, hoisting a black garbage bag over his shoulder and stepping into a bin.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 23:  Oscar the Grouch speaks onstage during The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcasted on HLN held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on June 23, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/WireImage) 22542_004_0818.JPG
Oscar the Grouch speaks onstage during The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. (Michael Buckner/WireImage) 22542_004_0818.JPG

“Brought to you by the letter ‘R,’” the parody mimics Joaquin Phoenix’s transformation from downtrodden Arthur Fleck into the Joker, complete with a shimmy down a staircase and a jazzy suit.

But while Joker continues to dominate the box office, Grouch sadly won’t see the light of day — unless Phillips feels inspired? With apologies to Harbour, “stranger things” have happened.