With all the terrifying and very real political events that have unfolded over the last few weeks, it’s easy to forget that our current commander-in-chief had a previous life as a perpetually failing businessman and cartoonishly transparent huckster. Over his long career of embarrassments, Donald Trump has dabbled in nearly every corner of business and entertainment, including a failed attempt at turning his personal brand into a competitive game show. No, we’re not talking about the bafflingly successful Apprentice. This is Trump Card.
Trump Card, which was filmed in “the spectacular Trump Castle in world famous Atlantic City,” was hosted by former NFL wide receiver and sports broadcaster Jimmy Cefalo. Over the course of the show, three contestants would attempt to correctly answer trivia questions in order to blackout numbers on their podium’s “Trump card.” In the second round they are given a tool—confusingly also called a “Trump card”—which can be used to impede and ultimately screw over their competitors. The first of these contestants to cover their entire card goes onto the final round where they answer more questions in order to blackout more numbers on a giant card. All of this results in a game show that is uniquely Trumpian—which is to say loud, befuddling, and gold-plated, but otherwise unremarkable.
The show only lasted one season and Trump himself only appeared on the first episode. During that brief appearance Trump praised the show as “intelligent” and claimed that “in the great tradition of America, if you’re smart and persevere, you’ll come out on top,” further proving that no aspect of this show stands the test of time.