Friday August 04, 2017
Too much material: A satirical look at the political year so far
The first six months of the Trump presidency have been packed with jawdropping surprises, frights and intrigues — not unlike a roller coaster season of reality TV.
And so, while we normally wait until the end of the year to unpack political absurdities with a panel of wits, we figured a mid-season check-in was in order this time around.
'If this was a sitcom, we'd be telling the writers' room to tone it down.' -Terry Fallis, author and political satirist
Clearly the cast of characters in Trump's entourage is prime material.
On The Current, Washington Post humour columnist Alexandra Petri joked of Anthony Scaramucci's departure, saying, "[Scaramucci] was the one trying to say he and Reince Priebus were like Cain and Abel, but he should have been more careful about how that story ended."
Comedian and disability advocate, Maysoon Zayid, had a slightly different take on the ousted communications director's unparalleled profanity and lack of professionalism during his ten-day stint at the White House.
"I think Scaramucci was a really good guy, and I am convinced 100 per cent that he was a mole. I think that he was sent to the White House to get close to them, to get all the goods. I think he's the reason we have the grand jury … because no one, no one, could behave that way unless they were paid to — unless it was for a greater good."
Zayid finds Steve Bannon to be equally ridiculous, albeit more frightening.
"Steve Bannon was fined thousands of dollars for melting a Jacuzzi with acid. We talked about Scaramucci being a Mafia caricature? I'm from Jersey — the only reason you melt a Jacuzzi is to melt a body."
But our comedians would be remiss not to focus on the star of the show — Donald Trump.
Petri speaks to his considerable influence on the international stage.
"Our world leaders are wasting maybe 30 minutes of their time cumulatively aggressively shaking hands until the veins pop out on their arms — because anything else would be an unthinkable loss of face. There were playground bullies in the fifth grade who were more subtle and nuanced in their approach to masculine posturing."
Zayid recounts her favourite image of the Donald Trump presidency thus far — what she calls "the grope of the globe."
"As a Muslim, I saw in that moment that [Trump] was happier and more comfortable than I've ever seen him. And I finally figured it out: he likes to project, and he's been calling Barak Obama Muslim all these years and it's him — he's the closet Muslim."
Terry Fallis, author of the political satire The Best Laid Plans, chimed in with his favourite Trump quote: "During the campaign when he said of his abilities as a public speaker, 'I have great words, I have the best words.'"
Fallis' favourite Trump tweet?
"He delivered [it] on July 12th. It opened with 'The White House is functioning perfectly…' I mean need we say more than that?"
When thinking of the Canadian political landscape, our panelists' maintain this country's most pressing issue consists of Justin Trudeau's yoga body flexing on the cover of Rolling Stone.
"I am extremely concerned for my friends in Canada, and the reason I'm concerned is I think that when the Predator-in-Chief comes back from his vacation, he's going to nuke Canada ... he's going to nuke Canada because Justin Trudeau is a 10, and Donald Trump is a negative 666," jokes Zayid.
"My thought is I want to know as little as possible about Justin Trudeau, so I can feel he is entirely a perfect meme," says Petri.
Fallis adds there's really nothing to satirize about Canadian politics while the 'Trump fire hose' of drama continues to explode.
"If this was a sitcom, we'd be telling the writers' room to tone it down."
Listen to the full conversation at the top of this post.
This segment was produced by The Current's Karin Marley.