Late night talk shows are having a great year.
The premiere of Comedy Central’s new series, The President Show, had over one million viewers. The late night talk show where actor Anthony Atamanuik stars as Trump is garnered the network’s biggest audience since Broad City, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mocking Trump has been a ratings winner since last year’s campaign. Atamanuik is following in the footsteps of his more famous colleagues who have all benefited from Trump’s campaign and administration, namely Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver.
Comedy Central recently ordered more episodes of The President Show, and hope to keep it running all summer, according to an article by Michael O’Connell. The writer also mentions that The Daily Show, hosted by Trevor Noah, has experienced an increase in viewers ever since it started to address Trump’s administration.
The standard for mocking Trump, as set by previous comedians, is to try to attack Trump as personally, vulgarly, and violently as possible. In Anthony Atamanuik’s show, in the first episode, the actor tries to dig at Trump’s relationship with his wife as much as possible. It portrays their relationship as violent, dysfunctional, and childish.
The scene sets up Trump as trying to show a reporter his home in Trump Tower, only to discover that Melania has “locked him out.” Throughout the rest of the clip, Trump tries to show the reporter “his New York,” all the while cursing out his wife. The actor portrays Trump as a disgruntled tyrant who refers to his wife as “that bitch .. who couldn’t answer the goddamn door.”
This is intense, vulgar treatment of a private marriage, that has not been seen since the Clinton scandal broke two decades ago. The media gave a triumphant and cute representation of the Obamas, and while Bush was the subject of many media attacks given in the form of entertainment, his marriage was, for the most part, left alone.
Very little of the supposed satire focuses on Trump’s policies, and much of it looks at his family relationships. In another clip, the actor says that Germany is not nice, because they “booed Ivanka Trump.”
While there is nothing wrong with political satire, it seems that The President Show, in congruence with other comedians, is attacking, not mocking, Donald Trump.