PM’s abs to guest on Col­bert’s Trump car­toon

An­i­mated se­ries showrun­ner says PO­TUS ‘tries to outdo ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing Canada’

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - TONY WONG

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau’s fa­mous abs will be an­i­mated and im­mor­tal­ized with a prom­i­nent guest ap­pear­ance on Show­time’s “Our Car­toon President.”

The highly an­tic­i­pated show, which fea­tures a bum­bling Don­ald Trump in the White House, is pro­duced by The Late Show host Stephen Col­bert and three-time Emmy nom­i­nated writer R.J. Fried. It will de­but, af­ter some spir­ited real-life NAFTA talks, on Canada’s Crave TV in Fe­bru­ary. The show is based on the an­i­mated Trump shorts that are fea­tured on Col­bert’s show.

In an in­ter­view, Fried, the showrun­ner and writer of the se­ries, gave some ex­clu­sive spoil­ers and in­sights into Canada-U.S. re­la­tions for the pre­mière sea­son.

“One of the episodes is a state din­ner where Justin Trudeau comes to town and Trump, jealous of Canada’s Obama, who is young, good­look­ing and smart, de­cides he wants to outdo him,” Fried says in an in­ter­view.

“Trudeau’s abs will make a cameo in that episode at some point. So his abs will def­i­nitely be there along with his good looks and charm.”

A scene where Trump takes off his shirt to best Trudeau might be in or­der, but Fried isn’t say­ing. The show is ex­pected to de­but half­way through the sea­son.

How­ever, there ap­pears to be lim­its to the car­toon pres­i­dency: When asked whether Trump would con­sider “nuk­ing” Canada as a de­flec­tion over the Robert Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Fried says that’s not a likely pos­si­bil­ity.

“It’s a very big de­ci­sion for him to nuke a coun­try. I think we would have jumped the shark,” Fried says.

I ask Fried, who says his early an­i­ma­tion in­flu­ences were “The Simp­sons” and “South Park,” if he’s not con­cerned whether real-life buf­foon­ery in the White House will sur­pass any kind of car­toon buf­foon­ery he can dream up.

“Of course, that’s al­ready go­ing on. Our job is to kind of put a fil­ter and make some sense about it.”

The show will ex­am­ine the re­la­tion­ships the president has with his fam­ily, the peo­ple in his pe­riph­ery such as his golf caddy, and his cabi­net in a kind of dys­func­tional work­place and fam­ily drama show. Trump’s fam­ily will make ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing his two sons Don Jr. and Eric who are likened to Beavis and Butt-Head.

“Don­ald Trump is a hu­man be­ing and there have been many shows based on peo­ple who are not per­fect heroes. He’s prob­a­bly a lit­tle less per­fect than most,” Fried says. “But I think one of the pre­vail­ing themes you will see is that Trump tries to outdo ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing Canada.”

In­di­ana na­tive Fried is no stranger to Canada. A lacrosse and hockey star at Har­vard, his col­lege line mate was Toronto Maple Leafs cen­tre Do­minic Moore, and Fried him­self was a draft pick in 2000, for the Florida Pan­thers, be­fore he be­came a com­edy writer for stars such as David Let­ter­man, Jon Ste­wart, and Sacha Baron Co­hen.

“I think (Fire and Fury au­thor) Michael Wolff stole all 10 of our episodes to write that damn book of his,” Col­bert told crit­ics. “Be­cause there’s noth­ing in that book that’s not in our show. And we just guessed.”

As for not call­ing the show sim­ply The Trump Show, Fried says the Trump name is trade­marked across tele­vi­sion.

Plus, if the show lasts into the next term, they’re all set up for the next car­toon president.


Show­time’s "Our Car­toon President," an an­i­mated par­ody se­ries in­spired by a pop­u­lar run­ning bit on "The Late Show With Stephen Col­bert," will de­but in Fe­bru­ary.

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