While everyone is intensely speculating about what will happen in the midterm elections, the people behind Comedy Central’s late-night talker The President Show are looking a little farther into the future in a new special, A President Show Documentary: The Fall of Donald Trump.
Led by Anthony Atamanuik’s peerless impression of the president, the special imagines a look back at the present and near future from the year 2030, starting with a Democratic sweep in the midterms and the installation of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as House Speaker (a development that really crosses Trump’s wires, because although she is leading impeachment proceedings against him and opposes everything he stands for, he also finds her attractive).
Comedy relies on surprise, so I won’t spoil by going into further details. Suffice it to say that Atamanuik’s take on Trump is far sharper and far more nuanced than Alec Baldwin’s one-note, if far higher profile version — Atamanuik gets the president’s wild shifts in tone from belligerent to confused to overconfident — his blithe, whispering insistence that all of this is far easier than he’s making it look is key to Trump’s persona and something Baldwin has never even attempted.
Atamanuik’s cast is rounded out by the show’s heard writer, Peter Strosz, as Mike Pence (almost no resemblance other than a white wig, but Strosz has Pence’s delivery down); Kathy Griffin as the forever-on-message Kellyanne Conway; Adam Pally as super bro-ey doofus Donald Trump, Jr.; Mario Cantone as Anthony Scaramucci; John Gemberling, bearing the closest physical resemblance to his splotchy subject, as Steve Bannon; and Stephanie March as a carefully curated set of characteristics that goes by the name Ivanka. (I suspected that March was also playing Melania Trump, which would have been clever, and I’m still not totally certain that she’s not, but both characters are featured in the same scene at one point, and I don’t think The President Show has the kind of budget to allow for that kind of trickery.)
Comedy Central canceled The President Show as a weekly series a while back, but it has lived on through one-off specials like this one. As its name suggests, The Fall of Donald Trump has an air of finality to it, and if it is the last we see of Atamanuik’s Trump, it’s a fitting end. But this team has made far better and more insightful comedic hay of otherwise depressing current events than anyone else, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see them come back, particularly if there’s another insane event to comment on — and given the last three years, that’s as safe a bet as any.
A President Show Documentary: The Fall of Donald Trump is available on demand on Comedy Central.