Among the legions of celebrities that have openly picked a fight with President Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert has been particularly vocal in his criticisms. The late-show host got himself into a spot of trouble in early 2017 for referring to Trump’s mouth as a kind of, er, holster, and at one point, he started incorporating an animated Trump into some of his routines. Last summer, he confirmed that the animated Trump would be expanded into its own Showtime series and today, we got our first full look at Our Cartoon President via a new railer unveiled at Showtime’s TCA panel, which you can take a look at below.
Truth be told, this never struck me as a particularly good idea. Plenty of wits have attempted to skewer Trump and have failed miserably. No one’s version of Trump will be as laughably absurd and pathetic as the real Trump. It’s what makes him so appealing to a section of the electorate and its also what makes him so dangerous. So, the fact that none of the jokes in this 2-minute trailer are particularly scathing or even uniquely delivered makes me deeply skeptical of what Colbert and his team are up to here. The animation design is interesting enough and there’s a base-level entertainment value in seeing Ted Cruz, Jeff Sessions, Melania Trump, and other high-level politicians and family members rendered into animated form. It can also make the real versions of them seem cute by extension, which is troubling.
Still, I’m willing to reserve judgement on this until I see what a full episode of Colbert’s show looks and sounds like on Showtime. The first episode of the series will arrive on January 28th, and will also be available On Demand. The series will begin its regular run starting on February 11th on Showtime. The channel’s history with comedies has not been sparkling, though comedic dramas like Shameless and SMILF have flourished. If the show itself is a bit more biting and comes from a place of genuine frustration and anger over the whole of 2017 and most of 2016, it could break that dry spell.
Here’s the first trailer for Our Cartoon President:
Here’s the synopsis for Our Cartoon President via Showtime:
From executive producer Stephen Colbert comes this hilarious look into the Trump presidency, animation style. Starring two-dimensional avatars of Donald Trump and his merry band of insiders and family members, this cutting-edge comedy presents the truish adventures of Trump, his confidants and bon vivants. It’s a workplace comedy where the office is oval, a character study in search of character, and a timely political send-up of our always-colorful forty-fifth president and his family. Trust us, it’s yuge, and you’re going to laugh bigly.