sesame street orange is the new black parody

I know what I go to Sesame Street for: spot-on parodies of popular adult-oriented shows that are indictments of the criminal justice system. If that’s not what you watch Sesame Street for, well, you’re missing out.

The educational children’s show released a parody of Orange Is the New Black titled “Orange Is the New Snack,” turning Netflix’s dark comedy about inmates at an all-female institution into a PSA about healthy eating. Because orange is a color…and a fruit! Get it? It’s kind of ingenious, really.

The first sign that Sesame Street went all in with its parody is that the show created its own version of the opening theme song, even imitating the haunting close-up shots of women, as the song asserts the importance of nutrition, the singer belting, “We’ve got time for snaaacks.”

The parody forgoes the prison setting — because even that’s a bit much for kids — for a school setting, with Piper “Snackman” arriving as the new kid in a private girl’s school with some dreary-looking uniforms. The depictions of each of the characters are eerily accurate, from the skeazy guard “Pornstache” (now a teacher they hilariously called “Mr. Mustache”), to Crazy Eyes (here “Googly Eyes”), Morello, and Red, who comes complete with a heavy Russian accent. The five-minute parody almost exactly echoes the beats of the first episode of Orange Is the New Black, with Piper getting into trouble with Red for refusing her food. This time though, it’s for an educational reason — she’s here to teach us that oranges are healthier than cookies.

There are some moments that are obviously only meant for the parents who watch the show — the in-jokes about the SHU and Morello’s obsession with marriage will definitely go over kids’ heads — but overall, it is surprisingly educational.

Orange Is the New Snack is the latest in a series of pop culture-relevant parodies meant to appeal to parents that Sesame Street has done over the years, from Mad Men, to Game of ThronesTrue Blood and Downton Abbey. None of these shows are close to appropriate for kids to watch, but are probably refreshing for the parents. And no, it’s not a new edgy marketing move, Sesame Street was doing this long before they were acquired by HBO.

The parodies have varying degrees of educational value — the True Blood one was lazily called “True Mud,” and didn’t really do anything other than make puns about mud — this Orange Is the New Black parody is probably one of the more successful ones.

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