Donald Trump has made a hit by giving impersonators huge inspiration to score laughs with audiences. On the heels of Alec Baldwin’s impression, gaining great ratings for “Saturday Night Live,” Comedy Central has turned the Trump presidency into a weekly satire, “The President Show,” with the first show airing April 27, 2017.
Trump Is a Hit on Television Once Again
Comedian Anthony Atamanuik is making a splash mocking Trump, complete with a Mike Pence impersonator playing his sidekick. The show is staged in a replica of the White House Oval Office. Atamanuik, as the president, begins the show with a skit called “Nice, Not Nice,” making fun of others in true Trump style. He follows by taking the audience on a hysterical tour of New York City, after finding himself locked out of his penthouse.
The Comedy Central show portrays the president’s persona hosting his own talk show, in an attempt to combat fake news by taking control of the media. Atamanuik is playing the character to neither lean left nor right, but for pure laughs. Keith Olbermann stepped in as the first guest serving to answer ridiculous questions by the impersonator. Olbermann talks about his web series, “The Resistance,” as Atamanuik’s character plays dumb confusing it with Star Wars.
On April 25, Atamanuik gave viewers of “The Daily Show,” a preview of “The President Show.” As Trevor Noah sat at his desk reporting on Trump, the impersonator walked on stage to crash the show. Noah bantered lightheartedly as Atamanuik, in full costume, complained about Noah reporting fake news. “The Daily Show” host responded, “yeah but that’s the point, we’re a comedy show Mr. President.” The two went on to discuss political issues in jest, including the border wall, using phrases the actual president has made famous.
Trump Causes Feud Among Impersonators
Not only has the president provided laughs for impersonators performing skits, he has caused a feud between two of his most famed imitators. In March, Atamanuik and Baldwin exchanged words, in true Trump bravura, in the form of a Twitter battle. It began when Baldwin made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
The “SNL” star spoke with Kimmel about how, unlike other impressionists, he is not looking to play the president at the White House Correspondents Association dinner. Although not mentioned by name, Atamanuik took Baldwin’s words personally and went on the defense.
Before “The President Show,” Atamanuik acted as the current president, during the election, on another Comedy Central show, “Midnight.” His twitter response included a “Midnight” remark indicating the endorsement by Mark Hamill for Atamanuik to play the president’s persona at the dinner:
No one’s lobbying Alec. I think it was @midnight that did that for me. But thank you for the f@%k you on Kimmel.
Baldwin replied with a simple “You’re welcome” tweet.
From there it escalated with James Adomian, the Bernie Sanders impersonator, who became famous for bantering with Atamanuik’s Trump, tweeting back to Baldwin:
Whoa just when you thought Alec Baldwin sucks at Trump he reminds you he’s scared low class trash. Sorry fatface @AlecBaldwin, Tony wins!
The feud between the two mimics began in October 2016, after Atamanuik auditioned for “Saturday Night Live,” by presenting Trump and Baldwin impressions. When Baldwin first appeared, as the then-candidate on the show, he performed a play of words saying Gyna in referencing China. Atamanuik and others saw it as being very close to “The President Show” actor’s joke.
Adomian tweeted another remark to Baldwin, in defense of his friend, referencing the “SNL” tryout, claiming that Baldwin used Atamanuik’s audition tape to plan his own act. In response, the “Saturday Night Live” actor tweeted back that he would pursue a lawsuit, but it would not be worth giving Adomian more than the “bitterness and obscurity” he has already.
Trump Makes Late Night Fun Again
In promoting “The President Show,” Atamanuik made an appearance, April 20, 2017, on Stephen Colbert’s show. Colbert chatted with the new late night star about how he takes on the president’s identity. Atamanuik described how he morphs into character, as he demonstrated it for the host. He explained, he sees the president as having trouble balancing and that is why he seems to slant forward when standing.
Joking around, Colbert asked Atamanuik to verbalize some jokes in Trump fashion. The new late night star shot back, in character, a Bill O’Reilly reference, and a statement that he would not seek a third term as president.
Colbert, in mocking his previous right-wing Comedy Central character, questioned how Atamanuik will do a talk show in a persona that was not his own. Colbert then wished him luck and support. Trump is certainly contributing by providing impersonators with material that scores big laughs for viewers.
By Carol Ruth Weber
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Vanity Fair: Watch “Donald Trump” Crash The Daily Show to Fight “Fake News”
The Daily Beast: Trump Impersonator Anthony Atamanuik Bests Alec Baldwin on ‘Colbert’
Vulture: Alec Baldwin Gets a Little Too Into Character, Fights With Fellow Donald Trump Impersonator on Twitter
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Marc Nozell’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License