Video: The first good Trump impersonator

To cleanse the palate, you would think a character as vivid as Trump would have inspired all sorts of A+ impressions during the 35 years that he’s been famous. Not so. He’s surprisingly hard to mimic. Most impressions check off the basic elements — squint, pout, slight rasp, vaguely New York-ish accent — and count on the wig and tie to carry them the rest of the way. It’s easy for people to recognize that you’re trying to mimic Trump even when you’re mimicking Trump badly, which is the secret to Alec Baldwin’s “success” on SNL. He’s a famous actor on a famous show impersonating a very, very famous man, and so Trump-haters enjoy it even though the impression is objectively weak. Click that last link and take it in…

…and then watch Anthony Atamanuik. American television doesn’t much care for impressionists; you need to be awfully, awfully good to land your own show for doing one. He’s awfully, awfully good, especially in the promo below. All the cadences and, importantly, the hand gestures are right. He’s paid attention to the facial expressions. And he’s nearly perfect on Trump’s accent, which eludes most impressionists. You’ll see him slip up periodically in the Tax Day video when his voice rises to a sort of manic shrillness, which Trump’s never does, but that’s just comic license in front of a crowd to push the impression into absurdity, I think, not a sincere attempt at impersonation. This guy will end up with a standing invitation to play the White House Correspondents Dinner every year, I’m sure.