When I first saw the video of Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian—great comedians both, and cult icons for fans of the improv scene and podcasts like Comedy Bang Bang—debating as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders at UCB New York, I knew I had to see them live. But I didn’t know how that would happen, until they announced the Trump vs. Bernie tour. Alexandria, VA was close enough to North Carolina, so yesterday afternoon my friend Craig and I drove four hours north on Interstates 85 and 95 to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse. To give you an idea of what we were expecting, watch the UCB video that had us dying in the first place:
Heading into the theater, we knew we could count on pitch perfect impressions. What we didn’t know was incredibly shocking and cutting Anthony Atamanuik’s satire would be. He captured more than just voice and mannerism—he also captured the hateful spirit of the candidates in question. As Trump, he had the audience gasping at several moments, and laughing nervously in spite of themselves. To top it off, he closed with one of the more stirring meta-anti-Trump arguments I’ve heard—and I’ve heard my fair share.
Olga Lexell already wrote a wonderful feature/interview about the show for Paste, which you can read here, so I’m taking a different approach. Below are the 15 most provocative quotes from Atamanuik-as-Trump. It’s worth keeping in mind that the goal here is satire, so if you read them with a sense of shock and horror, well…that’s the point. Atamanuik supports Sanders, and he’s doing his best to reveal the true meaning behind Trump’s rhetoric.
Also, PS, spoiler alert: Don’t read this if you’re going to see these guys. And you should really, really try to see these guys, if you can.
“What’s really important here is we’re winning. We’re beating Ted Cruz, that slimy, Canadian weasel. And I’m suing him. I promise you that. I’m suing him. This guy is a tremendous loser and he’s a liar. He’s a real liar. I mean don’t get me started on Jeb, I’ll talk about Jeb. I mean, that guy, he’s a little tiring, you know. He’s a very tiring guy. And Carly’s out. Bye-bye Carly. Her face could not hold up to scrutiny. I love Ben Carson. He’s sleeping all the time. In fact, I don’t know if people know this, but Ben Carson’s actually been Ambien sleep-walking for five months. He doesn’t even know he’s running for president. I woke him up briefly during the debate, he said, ‘where am I?’ And I said, ‘go back to sleep.’”
“I’m a very good Christian, and I read the bible, I love the bible…There’s the book of Job, I mean that’s a great book. Job’s in the bible. I mean this guy, what a loser, right? He’s got warts on him, he stinks, nobody wants to go near him, everybody dies who goes near him. I mean it should be called the Book of Jeb, really. I mean it. I really do. I mean this guy, my God, he’s the Terry Schiavo of presidential candidates. I mean someone needs to put him down, his eyes are clicking back and forth. I mean, Jeb. He smells like a bag of Cheetos mixed with Sprite. It’s disgusting. And then he has the real gall to dress his testicles up with a gray wig and bring it out and say it’s his mother. It’s very offensive. It’s very offensive.”
“I’m the best Christian that’s ever worshipped. I mean I have a great relationship with God. He always visits me dressed in red. He’s got horns. He makes me sign a lot of contracts. We’ve done a lot of deals. We’ve done a lot of deals, God and I.”
“I mean, what’s he going to do, nominate a Kenyan witch doctor?”
“It’s one of the reasons I want this wall. You see, when they try to send all those jobs to Mexico, they’ll hit the wall and have to turn around and go back.”
“The Pope’s a Mexican, I think we all know that. I mean, he’s a Mexican. He speaks Spanish, he must be a Mexican. I would do this on a map, south of the United States, all of it would be called Mexico. Even Antarctica.”
“All those people who don’t have a job, I will personally give them jobs. I guarantee you that. I will give them jobs working for me. I have a lot of people who can be human ottomans for me. I have a lot of homes, and I will hire every single one of them.”
“China is building cities under the seas, so I don’t know how that’s going to work. The Chinese are under water, the Chinese are in space. China is in space because the Chinese are human-alien hybrids, I think we all know that. And I want to meet the mother ship, that’s all I want to do.”
“I will say this about the black people, I think they’re great people, they’re fun people. And I keep my friends close, but I keep my enemies closer, and I am very close with the black community. First off, I want to say, I have a great policy, when I’m president, we’re going to create spotlight on the black community, it’s going to be incredible. We’re going to install floodlights in all black communities and leave them on 24/7 so we can keep an eye on where they are…we’re going to have those Amazon drones outfitted with very tiny headlights that will follow stray black people who leave their communities.”
“I really believe in a relationship with the black community that the United States has already maintained, which is subjugation with the illusion of freedom. I think it’s worked out great!”
“Here’s the big deal here. I’ve been endorsed by a number of these groups recently. And I think it might be the future of American energy. I don’t know what it is, but I love the endorsements, it’s called ‘white power.’ I don’t know what it is, but white power, I think white power is the future of America. I think white power might solve all our energy problems. And a lot of people are telling me the country’s been running on white power for 25 years. And apparently the Republican have been using white power for over 60 years to get elected and they aren’t sharing this power source with the rest of the country, and I would. Here’s the thing, coal and oil are black power, and we need to get rid of it.”
“Of course I believe corporations are people. It’s ridiculous. They’re better people than people, to be quite frank. And I think if we became better friends with corporations, and gave over the rest of our independence and will to them, we could finally build the world we want, where have the perpetual enslavement of people distracted by consumerism.”
“I think they do horrible things with babies. There’s two things I would propose. First off, Planned Womanhood, which I think is a great new program, women can put their frontal lobes in escrow, until they need a man or have a baby. And therefore we know that they’re controlled, and it would be a free program for all women. And mandatory.”
“Okay, first thing, Carly dropped out of the race, I offered her an incredible position. I offered her the position of White House horse. So she would be the official horse of the White House. I mean that’s not a bella faccia, let’s face it, okay people? It is not a good-looking face. We’d put a feed bag there to cover it up. And I mean, come on! I’ve said this many times, she’s an ugly woman. And I mean I thought I was debating Medusa for the first three debates, I was afraid if I looked at her I’d turn to stone. But here’s the deal: Those baby parts are real and it was really terrible. I saw them. I actually built a Mr. Potato Head out of a fetus, and I put a little pipe in it, and I put a hat on it, and it was fun. And so I want to replace the Easter Egg hunt with a baby parts hunt. We take all the baby parts from Planned Parenthood, scatter them on the White House lawn, and we have children build babies, and whoever builds the most convincing baby wins. And of course, Carly’s riding around with a little wagon with the parts dropping out of it. That’s going to be a lot of fun on Easter. It’s going to be great.”
“People are losers who die.”