Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Anthony Atamanuik (Photo: Comedy Central)

Comedy Central‘s The President Show continues to present the wish-fulfilling spectacle of Donald Trump talking to people the actual Trump should spend some time with, but never, ever will. After previous episodes saw Anthony Atamanuik’s reliably funny faux Trump learn about race relations from scholar Michael Eric Dyson and the intelligence community from Evan McMullin, last night’s installment saw Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef (subject of the new documentary Tickling Giants) giving his first-hand account of what it’s like to live under an authoritarian regime. The President Show’s interviews are a strangely compelling balancing act between Atamanuik’s entertaining schtick as Trump and an opportunity for people with real insight to bounce some challenging ideas off of Atamanuik’s blustering Trump doppelganger.

Still, the way that Atamanuik’s Trump’s eyes lit up whenever Youssef talked about how current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (“I love him!,” exclaimed Trump) has jailed critics, taken control of the courts and the media, and shut down dissenting websites, was undeniably creepy. “God, you’re giving me a chub,” exclaimed this Trump, before asking Youssef—who was jailed himself for his Daily Show-inspired political comedy show, El Bernameg, by former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi—for some more pointers. Thankfully, Trump and Youssef went on to talk about why American foreign policy has always been so so fond of propping up strongmen (oil, security, and buying big heaps of our very profitable weaponry, according to Youssef), and why Trump (the real Trump) recently cozied up to Saudi Arabia despite that country’s history of funding terrorism and sold $12 billion in arms to Qatar after accusing them of the same—that same week. “By having absolutely no moral center whatsoever!,” beamed Atamanuik’s Trump, once again proving that the comic has really gotten inside his character.


You can watch the full episode here.

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