‘The President’ Speaks With Flagrant At Comic Con


By Evan Lambert

President Donald Trump is accustomed to receiving rousing applause wherever he goes. No matter the occasion, Trump always ensures that he has only the greatest, most terrific seat fillers to clap and cheer for him and make him feel like a big boy. But this past Friday, he became the first ever New York Comic Con panelist to get actual boos from the audience (we’re assuming.) Of course, he wasn’t actually Donald Trump — he was The President Show‘s Anthony Atamanuik doing his well-honed, spot-on impression of Trump — but the moment was still cathartic.

As soon as Atamanuik appeared in front of the audience for Friday night’s President Show panel accompanied by two Stormtroopers, the Star Wars Imperial March started playing and the crowd started jeering. Once he got on stage, he told a Stormtrooper in a synergistic moment of fan service, “This is not the President you’re looking for. This is not the President anyone is looking for.” He also introduced his co-host Mike Pence, played by President Show executive producer Peter Grosz, and claimed he liked ‘butt stuff.'”presidenttrooper

As the panel continued, with Atamanuik-as-Trump hilariously answering serious, legitimate questions posed by a moderator, he took the hate in stride, and even occasionally shouted “Get him out of here” at hecklers in the audience — a reference to the real Trump’s treatment of protestors during his campaign. He’d then go back to rambling about immigration and the 2016 election. At one point, he crowed: “There’s no way that I would be President if the people in this country didn’t hate women so much.”

He continued to brag when asked about his administration’s approach to health care: “Repeal and replace. Repeal and replace. Why do it when you can just say it? That’s the motto of the Trump administration.”

Trump 2.0 ended his appearance with a surprisingly optimistic view of the future, saying, “Just because we get rid of me, doesn’t mean our nation’s problems will be solved. Our nation has a race problem, we have a women problem, we have an LGBT problem … I hope my legacy is a reminder that it can get this bad.” He also claimed his legacy will involve “very large ass divots in all the seats.” Pence, for his part, claimed that when he leaves office ‘in 2028,’ America will just be a bunch of men drinking milk and drinking water and repressing any emotion that isn’t a smile.’

When Atamanuik spoke to Flagrant in a roundtable interview before the panel, he reminisced about how his impression has evolved from when he first debuted it at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in 2015 in a light blue suit and disheveled surfer dude wig. “I think the impression has changed with Trump,” he said. “I think Trump has changed quite a bit in two years in terms of tonality, his tone of voice. He’s aging in the presidency and I think he’s more tired.”

Atamanuik said he’s perfectly fine with the President not having seen his show, and suggested that Trump wouldn’t be able to take the jokes in stride anyhow. “I don’t know the level of sense of humor he has about himself if he’s not in charge of it,” he said. “I think he probably delights in other people’s pain, which is not the type of humor that I like.”

Atamanuik did say, however, that his earlier version of the show was able to change some Trump supporters’ minds. Those people, whom he called the “reachables,” told him that they wouldn’t vote for Trump after seeing him expose the President’s flaws on stage. He added, with a hint of regret: “That didn’t help.”


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