Trump impersonator gets Comedy Central show

Anthony Atamanuik.
Anthony Atamanuik.

WASHINGTON • Alec Baldwin was a high-profile choice as the resident Saturday Night Live Trump impersonator, but after he debuted last year with much fanfare, some in the comedy world wondered: What about Anthony Atamanuik?

The Upright Citizens Brigade performer and instructor, who took his impersonation on the road for the Trump Vs Bernie mock debates last year, has earned widespread acclaim for his take on the President.

Now, Comedy Central is giving Atamanuik a full half-hour every week to play United States President Donald Trump in a satirical topical news programme. The President Show will premiere on April 27 and feature desk segments, field pieces and guest interviews.

The series will also feature The Colbert Report writer Peter Grosz, who will play Vice-President Mike Pence. It also appears to dip back into Colbert Report territory by centring an entire show on lampooning a political character.

For Colbert, it was a conservative pundit. With this show, it is the President himself.

This is not the first time Comedy Central has based an entire series on a presidential impersonation. The ill-fated 2001 show That's My Bush!, from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, lasted eight episodes.

The President Show adds to the growing late-night political comedy boom.

Colbert's more politically charged show beat Jimmy Fallon's in first-quarter ratings for the first time, giving CBS an edge it has not had in seven years.

Atamanuik has had some contentious Twitter exchanges with Baldwin. Some have speculated that Baldwin ripped off aspects of his impersonation - especially the pronunciation of "China" - from Atamanuik.

The President Show will follow The Daily Show once a week, taking the spot of Larry Wilmore's cancelled The Nightly Show.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2017, with the headline 'Trump impersonator gets Comedy Central show'. Print Edition | Subscribe