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Stephen King tells Stephen Colbert which of his fictional monsters Donald Trump most resembles

Stephen King, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Ever-folksy master of horror Stephen King is no fan of Donald Trump, as any one of King’s nearly five million Twitter followers can tell you. On Wednesday’s Late Show, the best-selling author of more than 50 best-selling books and fully 40 percent of all your nightmares touted that day’s court ruling that Trump can’t block people online any more. King explained that Trump had blocked him some “eight or nine months back,” presumably because the Donald decided he didn’t want someone who can actually string a coherent sentence together making fun of him. “What did you do, Stephen King?,” asked Colbert in mock admonishment, to which the courtly King replied that he may have implied that Trump’s head is somewhere “a certain yoga position would be necessary” to achieve.

There to publicize his most recent guaranteed chart-topper/future disappointing movie The Outsider, King was, instead, mostly all-in on the Trump-mockery. Which is the sort of relaxed attitude towards promotion only Stephen King can get away with. (After all, unlike his least favorite president, King’s actually a successful, charitable millionaire, and he writes his own books.) Asked by Colbert to list which of his fictional demons, madmen, slashers, monster clowns, vampires, werewolves, or satanic laundry machines Donald Trump most readily brings to mind, King ruminated before coming out with two of his more recognizably human villains. First, there was The Dead Zone’s presidential candidate Greg Stillson, a right-wing zealot whose ruthless rise to power brings America and the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. So, that’s unsettling. And then King cited Maine Selectman Big Jim Rennie from Under The Dome, a decidedly more low-rent politician who, nonetheless, fashions himself into an authoritarian bully in a town walled off from the rest of the world. Again, solid choice, Steve. (King’s metaphorical pronouncement that the hypocritically sociopathic Rennie “chokes on his own pollution” at least leaves this choice the more hopeful of the two.)


Explaining that he’s Twitter-blocked Trump right back, along with “creepy” Mike Pence (who he compared to an evil soap opera doctor secretly running “a prostitution ring from Bulgaria”), King told Colbert that Trump also brings to mind deformed, backward Superman villain Bizarro. (Although our own Ryan Vlastelica says there’s more than a little of Trump’s twisted vision of America in The Outsider as well.) Noting that he’d gone from receiving the National Medal Of Arts from President Barack Obama one year to “a president who blocked me on Twitter” the next, King and Colbert commiserated over the idea that we, indeed, seem to have slipped into a suspiciously King-like, parallel, seriously screwed up reality.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.