No matter which side of the political aisle you fall on, both sides can agree that President Trump’s first year in office has been wildly different than any political era in memory. This variance in character, personality, and overall decorum has made it ripe for parody, with every comedian that doesn’t live under a rock rushing for airtime to comment on what wacky tweet Trump pumped out today. My Cartoon President is one of the latest spoofs of the Oval Office, led by the efforts of longtime Comedy Central turned CBS star Stephen Colbert. Starting from a recurring segment on Colbert’s The Late Show, the animated tangerine-tinted caricature (barely) of the Commander-in-Chief got his very own show on Showtime. The first two episodes were broadcast last night, although the premiere has been available on YouTube since January 28th. Much like the administration it mocks, the show misses more than it hits.
It’s just over one year into the Trump era, and the media market is saturated with Trump parodies through and through. Colbert’s efforts just don’t make enough marks to stick in my mind after watching. It swings hard at easy targets but doesn’t play ball at political stabs as much as I would like it to. The herd of cabinet caricatures deliver lukewarm punchlines that make you groan much more than giggle. Visually, the animation style of individual characters ranges from decent to irritating. Yes, Jeff Sessions has big ears, but he also said that marijuana fuels the opioid epidemic. How about tearing him apart for that? All of the gags dropped just remind you of how much “material” this government has delivered, and that brings me to the most unavoidable problem of the series, and what will be the downfall of any weekly Trump program: each episode is instantly obsolete, sometimes within days. The premiere references the President’s alleged 2006 affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, but when was the last time you actually thought about that? Last week? Have you already forgotten that our President referred to “shithole countries” in a meeting last month? Donald Trump has turned the news cycle into a cyclone, churning through stories on a breakneck pace just to keep up with whatever he tweets next. If the news can’t keep up with the action, how can a TV show?
My Cartoon President does manage some triumphs, however: Don Jr. and Eric (Trump) are characterized as a frat bro and a dimwitted child, respectively, and they shine (for lack of a better word) in their screen time. Senior policy advisor and Trump scriptwriter Stephen Miller is reshaped into a Lucifer worshipping masochist who uses the power of the underworld to compose his speeches, which seems about right. Sadly, the show’s off-the-wall antics just can’t keep pace with the off-the-wall political reality we find ourselves in every day, as tough as that is to say.
Daniel Cohn is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.