“I’m sorry, it looks like you choked, Joffrey.”
These are not the witty words of Tyrion Lannister from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Rather, they are said by “Grover Bluejoy” in the Sesame Street parody of the wildly popular HBO show. Watch Sesame Street poke fun at Thrones, all while staying kid-friendly:
The Thrones parody is just the latest in a long line of Sesame Street parodies of adult shows. Others include House of Cards, Homeland, True Blood, Downton Abbey, Mad Men, and 30 Rock. But “Game of Chairs” is probably the best yet.
If you’re thinking the content in Game of Thrones is wildly inappropriate for a child of Sesame Street-watching age—well, you’re right. The vast majority of children watching are unlikely to get the in-jokes. They may not even realize they’re watching a parody at all. The parody, like all of Sesame Street‘s parodies, is aimed at parents.
“We’ve been dealing with writing on two levels from the very first season of the show and that’s, by design, an educational tool we use to draw the parents into co-view,” Sesame Street producer Carol-Lynn Parente told Variety in 2013. ”We know the educational impact is deeper when parents are co-viewing.”
It’s a fantastic strategy, both for the reasons Parente points out, but also because it gets us internet-people buzzing about the show. In that way, its writers are actually crafting the show on three levels: one for children, one for their parents, and one with the knowledge that, in all likelihood, these segments will wind up on the internet where people of all ages, with kids or without, can appreciate them.
The parodies also ensure that the legacy learning show, which has been on the air for over 45 years and is seen in dozens of countries, can still stay competitive against a growing number of productions that appeal to both kids and their parents, like many Nickelodeon shows or that one animated Disney movie about an icy princess—Freezing, I think it’s called?