Everyone knew “The President Show” was going to have to adapt to a rapidly evolving political landscape. For a show that, to some, seemed like a one-joke premise, each new week was going to bring with it a chance to cover yet another angle of the ongoing White House upheaval.
Four episodes in, Comedy Central has given the show a seven-episode renewal, taking the Anthony-Atamanuik-as-Donald-Trump-led talk show through to the end of the summer. And it couldn’t have come at a better time: “The President Show” just aired its best episode yet. (And, in regard to that “one-joke” argument, there are few other shows on TV right now that could get away with hiding a video of a decomposing fox in plain sight during its opening credits.)
Last Thursday’s episode, featuring special guest Deepak Chopra, brought together a number of the elements that have helped certain segments stand out early in the show’s run. It built out the supporting cast, beyond the subtle work already being done by the pitch-perfect Peter Grosz as Vice President Mike Pence. Bringing back Atamanuik’s 2016 election season traveling show partner — James Adomian as Senator Bernie Sanders — made for a familiar reunion that didn’t wear out its welcome or premise.
The Deepak Chopra interview itself represented the best of “The President Show” guests, a sincere approach to their Trump perspective, not trying to outdo the outsized impersonation across from them. Chopra got in a few jabs, but his overall approach wasn’t to use the airtime to settle scores, as some past guests have tried to do so far.
“The President Show” also demonstrated that it could toss in a prerecorded scripted segment as good as any of the field pieces they’d done in weeks past. (Grosz dragging Atamanuik out of a daycare playroom is the kind of absurdity that already feels like home for this crew.) This video dive into its main character’s psyche starts as a simple Kubrick parody, but quickly becomes the most Lynchian thing that aired on TV last week (on any network other than Showtime).
With an extra seven episodes to help solidify what this show is (and could be), it’s a no-brainer move for Comedy Central. Time will tell what material the headlines will give this flexible crew to work with.