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Oscar the Grouch on The Rosie O’Donnell Show
February 3, 1997

oscarcanI swear to you that this really happened.

Rosie
Boy, this is gonna be a good day. Y’know what I mean? [ Then Rosie notices that there’s a trash can on the set behind her desk. ] What is this doin’ here? [ She knocks on the can. ]

Oscar
What? WHAT?!?

Rosie
Oscar! Oscar the Grouch! What are you doin’ here on my show? How are ya?

Oscar
Oh, I’m rotten, as usual. Especially today! I got up on the right side of the bed.

Rosie
Aw. Don’t you hate when that happens?

Oscar
I hate when that happens! At least I had the rocks to sleep on.

Rosie
Yeah. Which is always good.

Oscar
Well, I kinda missed you, though. I haven’t seen you since you were on Sesame Street, there.

Rosie
Yeah, y’know, I was down visiting all my friends on Sesame Street. You, Big Bird, Baby Bear, Prairie Dawn.

Oscar
Yeah. Elmo says hey.

Rosie
Yeah? He does?

Oscar
Mmm hmm.

Rosie
Yeah, he’s cool, me and him. We hang.

Oscar
And I brought a tape to relive the memories, y’know?

Rosie
Oh, I didn’t know you were so sentimental, Oscar.

Oscar
Well… right side of the bed again.

Rosie
All right. Take a look.

[ They play a clip of Rosie O’Donnell on Sesame Street, playing Oscar’s Fairy Grouchmother. ]

Rosie
Yeah, I remember that! That was a lot of fun.

Oscar
Fond memories.

Rosie
I had a good time, y’know, Oscar?

Oscar
Yeah.

Rosie
Yeah. Guess who’s on the show here today, y’got any idea?

Oscar
Hmm. Michael J. Fox…

Rosie
Yeah. Michael J. Fox, yeah.

Oscar
I like animals…

Rosie
He’s not a fox, he’s an actor!

Oscar
Oh, well, forget it.

Rosie
No, yeah, well, you like him. You watch him.

Oscar
Yeah. He’s cool. But — I hear that it’s the First Lady…

Rosie
Exactly. The First Lady, yeah. You’re a big fan of hers, I hear.

Oscar
Well, yeah, well, I hate to say it, but… she’s done a lot for kids, ya know. I like kids.

Rosie
Yeah, I know you do.

Oscar
And I was wondering if you could do me a… favor.

Rosie
What is it, Oscar? What do you need?

Oscar
Well… When she comes out, could you ask her if I could, um… meet her?

Rosie
Well, Oscar, I don’t know. It’s a pretty big thing, ya know. She’s the First Lady…

Oscar
Yeah, but — listen, I never do this, I never say this word, but — please!!!

Rosie
Oscar the Grouch! Did you say please?

Oscar
Don’t tell anyone!

Rosie
What, do you have a crush on Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Oscar
I don’t want to talk about it…

Rosie
Oh, wow! You’re blushing, I think, Oscar! Look at ya!

Oscar
Oh, it shows…

Rosie
I’ve never seen you so happy about meeting somebody!

Oscar
I know…

Rosie
Now, look, I’m not gonna promise you. I’ll see what I can do.

Oscar
All right. I’ll stay tuned.

Rosie
Stay tuned. I gotta do a show, get outta here.

Oscar
Okay. [ His can slams down. ]

[ Later on… ]

Rosie
… We have a great show today. I can not wait. Hillary Rodham Clinton is here.

Oscar
[ Oscar pops up out of his can again. ] Hey, hey…

Rosie
What?

[ The audience cheers for Oscar. ]

Oscar
[ to audience: ] Pipe down! Rosie!

Rosie
What?

Oscar
Any news yet, about me and, uh, Mrs. Clinton, there?

Rosie
No, there’s no news yet, Oscar, there…

Oscar
Harummph. Life stinks.

Rosie
All right, I’ll see what I can do, ya grouchy grump.

Oscar
Thank you.

Rosie
You’re welcome.

Oscar
Whoops, did I say thank you? I didn’t mean… grrmmm… [ His can slams down. ]

Rosie
And Michael J. Fox is here too, so don’t go anywhere, we’ll be right back!

[ Later in the show: Hillary has plugged her book and tape, It Takes a Village to Raise a Child. They come back from a commercial break, and Oscar’s can is behind the desk again. ]

Rosie
So… look whose can is here…

Hillary
He came back.

Rosie
Think you might wanna…

[ Hillary knocks on the can. Oscar pops up. ]

Oscar
You rang?

Hillary
Hello, Oscar!

Oscar
Whoa! It’s Mrs. Clinton!

Rosie
I told you I would do it, and I did it! How are ya, Oscar? Are you feeling all right?

Oscar
Yeah, well, uh, a little nervous…

Hillary
Oscar, I heard you were going to be on the show, and I spent a little time putting together some things for you. [ She pulls out a little trash bag. ] I hope you don’t mind.

Oscar
Mind?

Hillary
Let’s see, what do I have in here? Oh, Oscar, I have some real honest trash from the White House.

Oscar
Whoa! Trash! I love trash!

Hillary
Empty M&M boxes…

Oscar
Whoa…

Hillary
Golf balls sliced by the President of the United States…

Oscar
Sliced! Sliced golf balls! Oh! Rosie… I’ll put ’em on my mantelpiece!

Hillary
Oh, and here is an old tea bag… and a coffee thing…

Oscar
Wow, real White House stuff!

Hillary
Real White House stuff… been used, as you can tell… Now, this is kinda nice. I’m actually going to give two of these to Rosie, and two of these to you.

Rosie
All right…

Hillary
This is more candy. These are more things we have around. Mints, with the Presidential seal on the mint.

Rosie
All right, I’ll take it. Even though it was in the trash, I’ll take it! I’m not picky about that.

Hillary
And Oscar, in case — and I’m not suggesting this, but in case you ever need to clean anything up, here are some White House towels.

Oscar
White House towels! Wow.

Hillary
And here’s the rest of it, all for you.

Oscar
Oh, the trash bag! That’s the best of all!

Rosie
Now, Oscar, I know you’re not big on this, but do you have anything to say to Mrs. Clinton?

Oscar
Well, yeah… I kinda… like ya so much… cause you’re very smart, ya know? You have brains. Grouches like that.

Rosie
Right…

Oscar
Like, uh… What’s two and two?

Hillary
Four, right?

Oscar
See what I mean?

Rosie
She’s smart, I know!

Oscar
Three minus one…

Hillary
Oh. Three minus one — uh, two?

Oscar
Oh, I love it! Now, what comes after the letter F?

Hillary
A, B, C, D, E, F… G.

Oscar
G! Right! The rating here!

Rosie
G, and it stands for Grouch!

Oscar
Yeah!

Rosie
Can I just say something, Oscar? For a grouch, you seem pretty happy.

Hillary
Do you think you’re turning over a new leaf?

Oscar
Oh, I hope not!

Hillary
Or kind of looking at the world in a different way, Oscar? I mean, we’re trying to be optimistic. This is the second term, the last Presidency of the twentieth century, we’re looking towards the Millennium… We’re trying to get everybody in a good mood, to help each other… What about it, do you think?

Oscar
Well, I hope they don’t get in too good a mood, because I’m getting grouchier by the minute! This is getting too nice!

Rosie
Can I say something to you, Oscar?

Oscar
What?

Rosie
You stink!

Oscar
Ohh…

Hillary
That makes him feel better.

Oscar
I think I’m in love!

Rosie
There ya go.

Oscar
But, uh, speaking of love, uh… Mrs. Clinton? I couldn’t maybe have, just, uh… a little kiss? I mean, grouches don’t usually like that, but… it’s you…

Hillary
Well, I’d like that. [ She kisses him. ]

Rosie
Oh, Oscar! You’re the best! Get outta here!

Oscar
Ohh… Ya know what, Rosie?

Rosie
What?

Oscar
I’m not gonna wash my face now!

Rosie
Well, good! You never wash anyway!

Oscar
I never did, either!

Rosie
Well, get in your can!

Oscar
Have a rotten day!

Rosie
You stink!

Oscar
Yeah! Thanks!

Rosie
You stink!

Oscar
Yeah! [ Can slams down. ]

Hillary
Bang!

Rosie
Oscar the Grouch! [ The crowd goes wild. Then Rosie and Hillary rattle on about children’s literacy for a while. ]

And here’s me again, with a note about that interview. It’s pretty weird, and pretty funny. But out of everything in that appearance, the one thing that I find most amusing and revealing is that Hillary Clinton doesn’t know what to call a coffee filter. There’s a message there, somewhere, if only we could figure it out.

Thanks! to my pal Rodney Elin for sending me this interview!

Next up in the Anthology: Cookie Monster destroys Martha Stewart’s kitchen!

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