Showtime describes their new "workplace comedy," Our Cartoon President from liberal executive producer Stephen Colbert, as a “hilarious look into the Trump presidency.” Spoiler alert: this show is not hilarious, unless maybe you have Trump derangement syndrome or have extremely low standards for comedy.
In Sunday's first episode, titled “State of the Union,” President Trump is worried about his low approval ratings and sets about trying to find ways to bolster his numbers. Chief of Staff John Kelly convinces President Trump that the upcoming State of the Union (SOTU) address is the perfect way to do this. The joke's on Colbert, in real life President Trump's SOTU speech was so well-received that it actually did raise his approval numbers.
The show takes great joy in trotting out various Republicans for insult. Throughout the show, Senator Ted Cruz stalks Trump in the White House residence and begs to take over the State of the Union address from Trump. “I promise not to stab you in the back for the sake of attention,” he tells Trump. Naturally, the next thing we see is Cruz speaking on television calling for a boycott of the SOTU.
Vice-President Pence and his wife, Karen, are portrayed as boring religious dimwits. Trump goes to Pence to ask for suggestions for an anniversary present for Melania. Pence ends up suggesting a night out for Melania with girlfriends. Trump sees this idea as an easy way out of him having to participate in the evening and agrees.
Trump: Look Mike, I hate to do this but I need to listen to you. I need to get Melania an anniversary gift. What do you get the woman who has the man who has everything?
Pence: The Bible says in times of -
Trump: Skip it.
Pence: I got Karen and her closest gal pals third-row tickets to Joel Osteen's prayer fest. I would have joined them, but my impure thoughts for an audiobook narrator forced me to take shelter in the arms of God for the evening.
Trump: So, wait, wait. You pawned Karen off on someone else?
Pence: Why, she loves spending time with her fellow Christ-ettes. Say, why don't we set up the gals on a night out?
Trump: Michael, have you met Karen? It's like talking to a human shower curtain.
Pence: Why, thank you, sir.
Trump: That's not a compliment, Michael.
Melania is none too pleased with the dinner with Karen Pence, who she says doesn’t even dress fashionably and "tried to baptize me in the reflecting pool.” To get back in her good graces, Trump decides to make Melania the national bird, instead of the bald eagle. Yes, this show is that dumb and goes out of its way to portray Trump and everyone around him in the lamest light.
In episode two, titled “Disaster Response,” a mudslide has occurred in Alaska and 58 people are dead. In order to get Trump to say he will go and comfort the people, Chief of Staff Kelly has to remind him, “Sir, they’re white people.” Get it? Trump is racist and unfeeling to disaster victims.
Trump asks, “Why did I ever want this job?” of the presidency. Then he answers his own question by saying, “Oh yeah, Obama was mean to me once.” Seriously, this is as deep intellectually as this show gets.
As he realizes he will be expected to comfort disaster victims in the future, too, he asks National Security Adviser McMasters to find and train some Trump impersonators to send to future disaster areas. Ted Cruz continues begging for the presidency in this episode so he wants to be an impersonator, too. He “covets” the presidency.
Along the way, the mission of the impersonators includes fanning across the country to boost Trump’s approval rating. When they are able to get his approval up to 40%, he calls them in off the road.
The end of the show includes a scene where Senator Ted Cruz is portrayed as a weird sexual pervert in an apparent reference to the fetishes alleged in the Steele dossier. Of course.
Cruz: Honk honk, zoom zoom! It's the car from Back to the Future! Just kidding, it's Ted Cruz! I heard you're one impersonator short, and if I'm going to take up the mantle, I've got to get to know the real Donald after he's kicked off his boots and gotten his Roku on.
Trump: You're lucky I've lost touch with my family and I'm desperate for even the lowest form of human contact.
Cruz: So much great content coming out of Hollyweird right now. Let's see what they got in the way of independent dramas with a strong female lead. Speaking of strong females, I like it when a lady stomps her high heel on my coin purse. Would that be in character, Don? Ooh, Riverdale! Hearing great buzz around that. Buzz buzz! There's also buzz that you like to be spanked with a copy of Forbes magazine. Now, I like a lady to beat me senseless with a National Review while I beg her to stop! Whoo! Grace and Frankie! Two iconoclasts making their way around San Diego. I also enjoy the occasional punch in the butthole! Whoo! Better Call Saul!
As I said, this show is not hilarious, unless you are Trump deranged.
Each episode painted Trump, his family and cabinet members as shallow imbeciles or overzealous. They also go for the lamest, most obvious jokes. For example, John Kelly wears his full military uniform, Melania is made out to be unhappy and a gold digging wife sticking around for gifts, and the Trump sons are loyal idiots for their father. It is exactly what I expected from Stephen Colbert. Maybe a future episode will include something mildly original in thought, but I won’t hold out much hope of that.