“From the studio that brought you ‘Joker,’ and the twisted minds at Sesame Workshop, comes the next gritty antihero origin story,” a voice-over explains. “From director Todd Phillips and the writer of ‘P is for Potty.’”
“The once-friendly neighborhood of Sesame Street has now become a haven of crime and corruption,” says a newscaster named Guy Smiley for ABCDEFG News.
All your favorite characters are here, though not the way you remember them. Snuffleupagus is now an angry pimp (with a long furry tie in place of that nose). Ernie gets murdered in cold blood after he and Bert refuse to give up their rubber ducky. Big Bird is a stripper, while the Count spends his time shaking and counting the pills he’s addicted to. Cookie Monster remains a cookie addict, but now he’s also homeless. Elmo gets arrested while shouting “Elmo innocent! Elmo didn’t sell no crack! You only arrest Elmo 'cause Elmo Mexican."
What makes the fake trailer work so well is how closely it adheres to the actual “Joker” trailer, from Harbour’s Grouch explaining how the neighborhood is now filled with “hookers and pimps on every corner” (which makes him feel “grouchy”), to the scenes shot on location around New York City, to an honestly bone-chilling orchestral version of the “Sesame Street” theme song playing in the background.
“If everyone calls you trash and everyone treats you like trash, why don’t you just become trash,” Harbour explains to his therapist, as we watch him smear green paint over his face before lowering himself into Oscar the Grouch’s iconic trash can. Eventually, he’s living in that can, singing in a slow, tortured voice, “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street” and pointing a revolver at an unnamed person.
He kicks things off with his new persona by emulating Joaquin Phoenix’s now-infamous dance down some city stairs, before the voice-over helpfully says “Brought to you by the letter R.”
We only have one question: When does this masterpiece hit theaters?