New from the creators of "South Park": The Trump deepfake show

New from the creators of "South Park": The Trump deepfake show

Not their funniest work, but comedy is secondary here. The point is to make you marvel at what deepfake tech can already do in its infancy.

And Trump as “Fred Sassy” really is marvelous. That’s a top notch, basically seamless fake. Most of the other cameos are rough around the edges, as you’ll see, but the tech people involved went the extra mile to make the main character seem plausible. I’m curious what explains the difference in quality. Was it a matter of spending extra time “formatting” the Fred Sassy footage somehow? Was it a case of finding an actor whose head size and shape mapped especially well with Trump’s face? Did they do something to fine-tune the lighting on the character’s face and the ambient light around him to make it more consistent? That’s a problem with some of the other characters.

Whatever it is, I watched all the way through just to see how well they could keep up the illusion that there’s a ridiculous local news anchor with ridiculous hair who happens to be the identical twin of the president. Pretty well, it turns out.

Actor Peter Serafinowicz is also involved and is apparently responsible for the pitch-perfect Michael Caine vocal impression. It was so good that I assumed at first it was an audio deepfake of Caine himself, not an impersonation, especially since the “Caine” character ends up talking about audio deepfakes in his segment. (Those exist too, you know.) Reddit says otherwise but I’m still not fully sold. If Caine’s voice is being impersonated by an actor, who’s impersonating Julie Andrews? Her voice is also spot on.

Look out for the deepfake within a deepfake of “Trump” being interviewed by “Chris Wallace” and having a brief stroke on camera. I think that bit was designed to show off just how convincingly the deepfake technology can contort a famous person’s face into ridiculous expressions while maintaining verisimilitude. Again, pretty well.

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