Aidy Bryant as Ted Cruz and Cecily Strong as Majorie Taylor Greene on Saturday Night Live

Ted Cruz Gets Skewered by SNL as They Take Us to a Nightmarish Right-Wing Sesame Street

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Texas senator and least popular American Ted Cruz was roundly roasted by the Internet after he derided Sesame Street’s Big Bird for receiving the coronavirus vaccine. Protecting children from deadly diseases and educating them about science is bad if you’re Ted Cruz! From the resulting hubbub, however, emerged the brilliant, hilarious, and incisive Big Bird for Senate parody account, which is gathering steam for progressive causes and ensuring a roast for Cruz on a near-daily basis.

Now Saturday Night Live has stepped into the ring. In a six-minute cold open, Aidy Bryant plays Ted Cruz as he introduces “Cruz Street,” a right-wing version of Sesame Street to be seen on “Newsmax Kids” (following White Power Rangers, natch). The sketch is funny and biting, but at the same time, it acts as a timely indictment of the absurdity and horrors of Republican and far-right politics and commentary.

“When Big Bird told children get vaccinated against a deadly disease, I said, ‘Enough,’ and I created my own Sesame Street called Cruz Street,” Bryant as “Cruz” says. “It’s a gated community. Kids are safe from the woke government.”

The sketch features Cecily Strong as an AR-15-clutching Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who calls one of the kids a “pussy” for not wanting to hold the gun and proclaims, “Today’s episode is brought to you by Q, not the letter, the man. He will tell us when JFK Jr., who is alive, will reveal himself and help President Trump proclaim his rightful throne.”

When “Big Bird” encounters Cruz, it plays out like this:

Then Big Bird arrived, telling Cruz, “Oh man. I don’t feel too good.”

“So this is what happened to you a week after you got the vaccine?” Cruz asked.

“It sure is,” Big Bird told him. “My feathers fell out. My nuts got huge. And my joints don’t work. It’s real bad man.”

Cruz then advises that a bath in Borax could cure Big Bird’s ills.

Also visiting Cruz on his Street is “our medical expert, Joe Rogan,” played by Pete Davidson looking like a cross between Nosferatu and Uncle Fester. “I used to host Fear Factor, and now doctors fear me,” snarls “Rogan” as he snacks from a giant bag of drugs that includes Zinc, ayahuasca, and “horse medicine.”

“Cruz” goes over the letters of the day, CRT, which he says he believes stands for “caucasian rights trampled.” He then introduces “two of our Proud Boys, Bert and Ernie.” Luckily for us but less so for Cruz, it turns out that this Bert and Ernie are proud in terms of their burgeoning relationship, and are now engaged.

While the sketch is clever and takes many a well-needed potshot at Cruz and the inanity of right-wing discourse, it’s terrifying to think that what they’re preaching on Cruz Street is what many kids are actually hearing from their parents at home.

All the more reason to have and support the real Big Bird and his friends, who have been telling us the truth and helping kids reach better understanding of the world since 1969, before Ted Cruz was even born. (Or at least the birth date he gives in an attempt to deflect from the fact that he could be the Zodiac Killer.)

(via Deadline, image: screengrab)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.