Comedy Central’s “The President Show” will welcome Keith Olbermann as its first guest, the network revealed during a live sneak peak at the show in New York on Wednesday. Anthony Atamanuik, in full character as President Trump, announced the news in a mock press conference with real press.
“This guy is leading the resistance,” Atamanuik said about Olbermann. “We’re going to hit him with a drone strike.” Atamanuik took questions from the presidential podium while mocking the press in attendance in true Trump form, referring to some of the female reporters as “honey” and commenting on their appearance. “Don’t worry you’ll all die in your 30s because I’ll start a nuclear war,” he said.
The format of “The President Show” will be an immersive late night show, with Peter Grosz playing Trump’s sidekick, Mike Pence. “It rolls like a late night show with desk bits and a little bit of late night banter between me and Mike,” Atamanuik said after getting out of character. Like “The Daily Show,” Trump will also interact with characters “in the field” who will appear on his “magical television” mounted on the Oval Office wall.
Though Atamanuik played Trump on the comedy tour “Trump vs. Bernie” that traveled around the country, the new show was conceived and put together extremely fast. “We pitched it for the first time in January and we knew it was going in mid-February,” Atamanuik said. He added that his impersonation of Trump is based not on the president’s blustery public persona but more on the idea that Trump is an idiosyncratic, introspective person.
“He’s one of those weirdos with a granny cut going up the Upper West Side,” he said. “We have a New York shut-in as president.”
Asked if he hopes Trump watches the show, Atamanuik said “I would want him to watch and say ‘Oh my god, that’s how I come off?’ I would like him to say, ‘Wow, Steve Bannon really is manipulating me.'”
While the show certainly borrows elements from “The Colbert Report” in that it features a fictional character hosting a late night program, Atamanuik noted an important difference: Trump is a real person. “I think it’s a new genre of TV,” he said.
“The President Show” airs at 11:30 p.m. ET on Thursdays on Comedy Central, behind “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.”
Here’s a first look promo for “The President Show.”