On an ominous day in Sesame Street’s version of Washington, D.C., Frank Underwolf – spoofing “House of Cards” master manipulator Frank Underwood – speaks directly into the camera to lay out his evil plan of huffing and puffing his way into the “White House.”
“It’s a tale as old as time,” the suited-up Muppet says. “Three pigs, three houses: straw, sticks, bricks. But only one that I really want to get into: the white brick house, the strongest of them all.”
The wolf’s plan mirrors the plot of “House of Cards,” set to premiere its third season this Friday (pending any additional panic-inducing leaks). And Frank Underwolf is a striking resemblance to Kevin Spacey’s character, engraved gold ring and all.
“The others are just in my way … but not for long,” he says of the houses through a few dagger-like teeth. “In this town, you have to know which way the wind is blowing, and unfortunately, for those little piggies, it’s about to get very windy.”
Sound familiar? That line seamlessly delivered by the unibrowed Underwolf is a mash-up of a couple of Underwood’s famous lines. “Such a waste of talent. He chose money over power, in this town a mistake nearly everyone makes,” Underwood says straight into the camera in the second episode of season 1 of “House of Cards.” And then in season 2: “The president is like a lone tree in an empty field, he leans whichever way the wind is blowing and right now Raymond Tusk blows far too strong from the west.”
Underwolf heads to the first house, the straw house – “the weakest of building material” – and calls for the piggy to let him in. But when he’s rejected, Underwolf huffs and puffs and blows the piggy’s house right down to the ground. “Worked like a charm,” Underwolf chuckles.
“Sesame Street” takes this opportunity to present a quasi math lesson. “Once there were three houses. There are now only two. Three, take away one, leaves two,” Underwolf enlightens the children.
Onto the next house – the sticks house. The piggy from the straw house who’s taking cover in the sticks house tries to warn the other piggy, but it’s too late. Underwolf barely gives them a moment to read his warning text before huffing and puffing and blowing the sticks house down. “A thing of beauty,” Underwolf boasts.
Quick pause for a math lesson: “Three houses, take away two, leaves one more house: the white brick house.” Got that, kids?
At the white brick house, Underwolf asks again to be let in. But this time, the piggys are smarter, having all teamed up. They walk right out of the house leaving the door wide open for Underwolf to waltz in. He reclines into a chair in the “oval office” and says “finally, I get what I deserve.”
Yes, he does. The piggys huff and puff and blow the house down. “This wasn’t a house of bricks at all,” the piggy says. “This was a house, of cards.”
Three houses, take away three houses, that’s zero, FYI.
“Well, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and this time, the cards were stacked against me,” Underwolf says.
To be determined whether the “Sesame Street” version foreshadows what’s to come in season 3 of “House of Cards,” in which Underwood is finally in the White House as president after two seasons of finagling.