Keswick

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - FEA­TURES -

Trump in Doones­bury 30 years ago? What was he do­ing at the time that you de­cided to take him on?

In the fall of 1987 Trump took out some full-page news­pa­per ads tout­ing his for­eign pol­icy views. Ap­par­ently the whole world was laugh­ing at us even back then, es­pe­cially Ja­pan. The ads were widely seen as a trial bal­loon, and peo­ple started spec­u­lat­ing that he would run for pres­i­dent. The New York com­edy com­mu­nity erupted. We knew from years of en­dur­ing his big honk­ing hubris and id­iocy that there was no one on the planet less suited to be pres­i­dent. To ig­nore his pre­sump­tion would have been com­edy mal­prac­tice.

The jacket of your new book “#SAD! Doones­bury in the Time of Trump,” in­cludes an ex­cerpt from “Trump: Sur­viv­ing at the Top” that men­tions you by name, and in­di­cates that he’s not fan of yours. What are the dif­fer­ences be­tween the way you han­dle crit­i­cism, and the way Trump han­dles crit­i­cism?

The main dif­fer­ence is that I don’t par­tic­u­larly mind it. It’s an oc­cu­pa­tional hazard. Also, I poke con artists and hyp­ocrites for a liv­ing, so if one of them says “ouch,” it means I’ve done my job.

What’s the deal with the Roland B. Hed­ley Jr. char­ac­ter in the new book? He even has a real-life Twit­ter ac­count.

Roland was an early adopter. The idea of a per­sonal broad­cast­ing sys­tem was cat­nip to him, so he jumped on Twit­ter in 2009. For me, writ­ing in 128-word snip­pets was an in­ter­est­ing chal­lenge, a kind of com­edy haiku. It was also a ma­jor time-suck, so af­ter a year, I sus­pended his ac­count and pub­lished all his tweets in a book called “My Shorts are Bunch­ing. Thoughts?” Fol­low­ing the 2016 elec­tion, I re­ac­ti­vated him, mostly be­cause I was no longer do­ing the daily strip and wanted a way to re­act to the Trump pres­i­dency in real time. As “Trump Tweets Bureau Chief” for Fox News, Roland’s re­quired to de­fend the in­de­fen­si­ble, so for me as the writer, ev­ery day is Op­po­site Day.

How long ago did you an­tic­i­pate Trump’s run­ning for pres­i­dent, and why?

I never re­ally pre­dicted it, I just sat­i­rized his ev­ery head fake. Most peo­ple have for­got­ten that he ac­tu­ally ran in 2000 as a Re­form Party can­di­date. His cam­paign only lasted a cou­ple months, but I was all over it.

What was your per­sonal re­ac­tion to the 2016 elec­tion?

Hor­ror, but not de­spair. I have a lot of con­fi­dence in the ro­bust­ness of our in­sti­tu­tions.

On the ban­ner on his Face­book page, co­me­dian Lewis Black is stand­ing in front of a “Fake News­stand” and hold­ing a news­pa­per with a head­line that reads: “Pres­i­dent makes co­me­di­ans ob­so­lete.” Agree or dis­agree with that?

To­tally dis­agree. It may be a tragedy for the coun­try, but this is a golden age for com­edy and satire. Look at the large, ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ences all the late night shows are at­tract­ing. I se­ri­ously doubt even Black ac­tu­ally thinks co­me­di­ans are ob­so­lete. I see the head­line as just a joke about Trump’s clown­ish­ness.

How is “the Time of Trump” go­ing to end?

In ig­nominy. It’s just a ques­tion of when. He’ll never shake all the in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Once out of of­fice, he’ll spend the rest of his life in le­gal jeop­ardy, if not pri­son. His­tory will be even less kind.

What is the sta­tus of “Al­pha House” (The satir­i­cal Ama­zon stream­ing se­ries, cre­ated by Trudeau, starred John What: “Doones­bury” cre­ator Garry Trudeau. When: 8 p.m. Nov. 13. Where: Keswick The­atre, 291 N. Keswick Ave., Glen­side. Tick­ets: $35-$65. Info.: (215) 572-7650, www.keswick­the­atre.com. Good­man, Clark John­son, Matt Mal­loy and Mark Con­sue­los as four Repub­li­can U.S. sen­a­tors shar­ing a house in Washington D.C.)?

The show is over, al­though we’re not sure why. Ama­zon or­dered fresh episodes, but then changed their minds. The stu­dio’s a bit of a black box.

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