With its focus on class and manners, the UK series Downton Abbey has proven ripe for parody, with Sesame Street the latest to take up the challenge.

The children's TV staple has moved beyond straightforward training in the alphabet and numbers and now uses its YouTube channel to weave popular culture into its educational mix.

In a skit featuring the Downton Abbey characters Mr Carson, the butler, and Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, we learn the perils of living in the gravity-challenged "Upside Downton Abbey".

"Why have the crumpets fallen to the ceiling?" asks the Countess, in a voice remarkably similar to that of Maggie Smith, who plays the role in the original.

"It's most likely because we are upside-down," says Carson. He soon fetches another meal because he "lives to serve".

When that meal also ends up on the ceiling, he suggests turning Downton Abbey the right way up, an idea that is rebuffed in typical Dowager Countess style.

"Don't be ridiculous," she says, "we very well can't be right-side up in Upside Downton Abbey. It is simply not done."

"But of course marm," is the reply.

The video is one of the most popular on the Sesame Street YouTube channel at the moment, racking up nearly 600,000 views.

The puppet sketch is just the most recent to send up the drama. Another popular parody is Downton Arby's, where the show's storylines are played out in a fast food chain - Lady Sybil takes up with the fry cook for example.

Downton Arby's also comes with the distinction of being a favourite of the show's creator Julian Fellowes. He  said to the LA Times: "That one gave me so much pleasure. The gags display such an understanding of the characters. I loved watching Edith getting it all wrong, being depressed and ripping open those packets of horseradish sauce with her teeth."

Downton Abbey has been a hit with American audiences. Season three of the period drama premiered in January to its highest ratings ever, attracting nearly 8 million viewers – twice the audience of its season two premiere.

The ratings were no doubt bolstered by the arrival of Shirley MacLaine to the series. The renowned US actress plays Lady Cora's mother – and Maggie Smith's counterpart – Martha Levinson.

The show has been showered with nominations this awards season and has seen Smith walking away with both an Emmy and Golden Globe award for her portrayal of the Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Our other favourite TV parodies by Sesame Street:

Season three of Downton Abbey premieres on Seven this Sunday, 10 February at 8.30pm.