To cleanse the palate. Trump fans should consider this a a victory prize of sorts: It was made, quickly and very quietly, months ago in anticipation that Trump would implode at any moment. When his lead in the polls kept holding, they decided to hold the movie’s release back in the expectation that he might actually win a primary. And now here we are.
“The plan was to move really fast because we thought Trump would go away, as least as a presidential candidate,” Mr. Burke said. “When he bizarrely didn’t go away, we had a little more time. But that meant keeping the secret for longer.”
How did they zip everyone’s lips?
“We had a few people sign nondisclosures, but mostly we just begged people not to say anything,” Mr. Burke said…
“Absolutely bananas” is how Mr. Burke described Mr. Depp’s performance. “Because we tend to move so fast, we’re usually just slapping wigs on people,” he said. “But Johnny brought, like, a whole team of professionals to help him get into character. Or at least style his hair.”
The busy-ness of the blogging day has kept me from watching more than a few minutes but Depp as Trump is worth a look purely for the curiosity factor. (Why they wanted to do this as a 50-minute special instead of a more Internet-friendly eight-minute short, I don’t know. Is there enough material here to justify that?) One problem is that Depp’s accent isn’t quite right, which is a common glitch for Trump impersonators. People who do it tend to lapse into a generic New York, or even Jewish New York, accent without worrying too much about getting the voice or the idiosyncracies of his speech patterns (beyond the requisite “yuge,” etc) right. A really spot-on vocal impression of Trump could make even mediocre jokes hysterically funny, I think, but it looks like they played this broadly — get an A-lister who’s game, slap a ridiculous wig on him, and you’ve got your Trump. It’ll get clicks, which I suppose was the point.
The intro music, by the way, is by Kenny Loggins, part of the wider satire of 80s culture here. Which makes sense: Adam McKay, who runs the Funny or Die site, also directed “Anchorman,” another comedy with lots of jokes at the expense of a particular time in modern America. Click the image to watch.