Satire soothes the soul and given the state of the current 2016 US Election, humanity needs it more than ever. Donald J. Trump’s run to the Whitehouse has liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, blacks, whites and people of all colors and creeds bewildered that this man could be the leader of the free world. But if there is one thing this real estate tycoon and reality television star cannot handle, it is a public takedown.
His opponent Hillary Clinton offered a direct and sobering assessment of a Trump presidency, saying in a forthright manner, “A man you can bait with a tweet can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons.” Regardless of political affiliations, it is difficult to disagree with her. From Mark Cuban, Rosie O’Donnell, Cher, Russell Brand and Modern Family executive producer Danny Zuker, Trump’s social media account should be enough evidence to suggest that a sound temperament is a virtue he can’t comprehend, let alone possess!
The gaffes and shocking statements are now so commonplace, the surprise factor is beginning to diminish. Not only has he doubled down on attacking the Khan family whose son died in the line of duty, but he also bragged about being handed a purple heart award from a veteran, kicked a baby out of a rally, invented a story about a plane flying to Iran carrying $400 million in cash, all before joking that Clinton should be assassinated because of a Supreme Court nomination. That was just the past 7 days.
It started as a gimmick, good fodder for late night comedians and a chance to blow off some politically incorrect steam. But this genie is out of the bottle and the Republican Party is in meltdown. Publicly they are falling in line and supporting the nominee, but privately the case could not be different.
Until November comes around, there is little left to do other than chuckle over the top 15 Donald J. Trump takedowns this election cycle. The alternative is not worth contemplating.
15. Will Smith
Out on a junket trip to promote his part in the latest DC installment Suicide Squad over in the Middle East, Hollywood star Will Smith was not backward in coming forward over the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. Speaking candidly without a filter and in a fairly relaxed state, The Fresh Prince offered his thoughts the best way he knew how saying “In terms of Islamophobia in America, for me that’s why it’s important to show up,” explained Smith. “I’m in Dubai, I’m having fun and I’m tweeting it and showing pictures and hey – it doesn’t look like they hate me, does it? As painful as it is to hear Donald Trump talk and as embarrassing as it is as an American, I think it’s good. We get to hear it, we get to know who people are and now we get to cleanse it out of our country.”
14. Seth Meyers
In private and solemn moments, many people have contemplated the notion that this presidential bid is fake. The constant gaffes, the incomprehensible ramblings and the campaign statements that would rule out any other candidate in any other election, really hammer home the unbelievable nature of the whole thing. Late Night host Seth Meyers decided to tap into this curiosity by offering his own show on NBC where he would act as the President.
“There is a theory that Trump never wanted to go this far, he just wanted the ego boost from running,” said Meyers. “Well, today is your lucky day because I have come up with a way out for you. I want to announce here for the first time on our show to Donald Trump – if you drop out of the presidential race anytime between now and the beginning of the GOP convention on July 18, NBC will award you a 13 episode scripted series where you would play the President of the United States of America.” Sadly, the Republican candidate did not take Myers up on that tempting proposal.
13. Joe Scarborough
Think of this moment as less of a takedown, but more of a threat to Trump voters who dare look themselves in the mirror and convince themselves that he is a more qualified candidate that Hillary Clinton. Joe Scarborough, the former Republican representative from Florida and now co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, decided that enough was enough when he spilled the beans on a private meeting between the candidate and foreign policy expert.
Speaking slowly to ensure the gravity of the situation, Scarborough said, “I’ll be very careful here. Several months ago, a foreign policy expert on international level went to advise Donald Trump, and three times, he asked about the use of nuclear weapons. Three times he asked – at one point ‘If we have them, why can’t we use them?’ That’s one of the reasons why he has, he just doesn’t have, foreign policy experts around him.”
12. Whoopi Goldberg
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Whoopi Goldberg and Donald Trump don’t see eye-to-eye politically, after all, The View co-host stormed off set when Bill O’Reilly was a guest on the program some time ago. But the comedic actress from such classic movies as Ghost and Sister Act pulled no punches when the feud with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly was all the rage earlier in the year.
“I don’t think when Hillary goes to do her debates she doesn’t particularly wants to be asked about her personal life and her husband but she does it because that’s what you gotta do when you want to be President of the United States,” starts Goldberg. “I don’t think Megyn Kelly wants to sit there and look at a man that says horrible stuff about her. She does because it’s her job.” Becoming more visibly worked up and upset, she finishes by saying, “You’re a coward Donald.”
11. Johnny Depp
Trump’s world seems so bizarre and out of kilter with reality that Johnny Depp’s Funny or Die 50-minute feature film Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Movie feels less like a mockumentary and more like a documentary. The parody film goes overboard with the grandiose manner of his lifestyle, his buffoonery and stupidity, but given what has been presented on the campaign trail to date, it appears to be not far from the truth.
Depp is barely recognizable as Trump, plastering on a tanned facelift with wig and fat suit to boot, coming up with such pockets of gold as: “The only thing with more brass is my balls,” “You know, suing someone, that’s the most beautiful thing one human being can do to another human being,” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. I can build you a much nicer one.” The satire reached peak levels when ALF appeared during a wedding scene.
10. Fareed Zakaria
There are few hosts on television, let alone on the CNN network, that carry as much respect as Fareed Zakaria. The eloquent Indian American is known best for tackling complex global problems on his own GPS program where he dissects, interviews and breaks apart the social and political machinations of an issue. Then there was one moment where his English accent and high IQ could only translate the interpretation of Donald Trump’s message in one way.
Speaking with Wolf Blitzer over his relationship with Putin and Russia, Zakaria said, “There’s a pattern here Wolf, every time it is demonstrated that Donald Trump is blatantly ignorant about some public policy issue, some well known fact, he comes back with a certain bravado and tries to explain it away with a tweet or a statement. He did it on Brexit, he did it on the nuclear triad, he did it on how US debt markets work, he thought that Tim Kaine was the Governor of New Jersey and now with this. It’s sort of amusing to watch how he’s going to pull it off this time, what is he going to argue, he usually adds that the press hates him. But there is a term for this kind of thing, this is the mode of a bulls*** artist.” Back to you Wolf!
9. Larry Wilmore
The 2016 White House Correspondents Dinner gave comedian Larry Wilmore a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell those in Washington to their faces exactly what he thinks of them. Before pulling some heavy punches on POTUS himself for his continued drone attack policy, Wilmore could not help himself but drop some bombs on Mr. Trump, saying “Donald Trump said that if Hillary were a man, she wouldn’t get 5% of the vote. OK, alright, first of all, if Hillary Clinton were suddenly a man, her biggest problem would be finding a bathroom she would be allowed to use in North Carolina.”
Following some awkward looks and nervous laughs, Wilmore continued “Now Donald Trump says he will try and be more presidential. He’s serious about it too. He says that now when he boasts about his genitalia during a debate he’s only going to refer to it as his President’s Johnson.” The unfortunate cancellation of his Nightly Show program was in no due part to the host’s ability to deliver cutting satire that didn’t hold back, or “keep it 100” as Larry would say.
8. Bryan Cranston
Since the smash hit series Breaking Bad transformed Bryan Cranston from a B-grade actor on Malcolm in the Middle to one of the leading peers in his field, people are keen to see and hear a lot more about what he has to say. Speaking with CNN via a live television interview, Cranston began by saying, “I don’t think anyone, perhaps with the exception of Donald Trump himself, thought that he would be around at this juncture in the presidential election.”
Rather than deliver a scathing attack, Cranston softened the blow somewhat by pointing out that an individual cannot come this far without having some instincts to fall back upon, saying “I’m ideologically opposed to almost everything that comes out of his mouth … but I believe Donald Trump loves this country and what we want to do is be able to disagree with someone without becoming disagreeable.”
Yet at the heart of his argument, Cranston put his cards on the table also saying “I don’t feel he is presidential, I don’t feel he has a grasp of the issues… he is a fearmonger… he is putting ideas forward in a demagoguery way.”
7. Samantha Bee
Samantha Bee is showing time and again why she could have and probably should have inherited The Daily Show from Jon Stewart. Instead, she is ensuring that her own adventure on TBS via Full Frontal stays true to the title in every sense. Her expose segment ‘Looking Under the GOP’s Hood’ in June this year was followed by the not-so-subtle description “Up next: a look at how Donald Trump is making crackpot paranoid fascist slogans great again.”
Calling the mogul “the orange supremacist at the top of the ticket,” Bee went on to diagnose the man’s racial undertones with comedic precision. “Guys your real problem isn’t one Donald,” she said directly to the GOP leadership, “It’s 13 million other Donald’s!” – pointing directly to the amount of votes he amassed in the Republican primaries. “Trump would like us to believe he brought these people to the party but he’s wrong, they were already there. They just weren’t having fun.”
6. Bill Maher
Veteran talk show host Bill Maher is not everyone’s cup of tea, often alienating conservative and liberal audiences with his forthright opinions on all things political. But the man is not a novice when it comes to trading public insults with Donald J Trump. Back in 2013, the billionaire attempted to sue Maher for $5 million. Why? Apparently, he thought his segment about Trump’s family heritage deriving from wild Orangutans was not a funny joke, but a statement of fact. The suit was duly dropped, but it demonstrated how easy he could be wound up.
It was, however, Maher’s New Rules piece titled “Trump’s Low Bar” on June 17 this year where he tore Trump to shreds saying “It’s been a year and a day since Trump descended down an escalator and since then, he’s kept on descending.” After pointing out what was considered a huge political gaffe in the 80s and 90s like sighing and looking at a watch, Maher showed the footage of Trump at one of his rallies where he proclaimed “Look at my African American friend over here, look at him!” How times have changed.
5. Stephen Colbert
Colbert’s made a career out of absurd conservative figures. His Comedy Central program The Colbert Report laid the platform for him to eventually take over from David Letterman on The Late Show and amid all the Trump mania going on, there has been plenty of material to laugh and cry over. Yet there was one poignant moment when Trump dropped the bar even lower than many thought was possible straight after the Orlando shootings.
Taking credit for predicting such an attack would occur by tweeting “I called it,” Colbert used a chalkboard to demonstrate his narcissistic insanity. Using his ‘Figure-It-Out-Atron 5000’, Colbert said “To think like Trump I’m not going to take my meds” before he managed to draw a swastika symbol between the phrases ‘Muslim’, ‘Trump’, ‘Obama’, ‘Inconceivable’, ‘Something going on’, ‘Radical Islam’, ‘Not smart’ and ‘Bad thing.’ It was a segment only Stephen Colbert could have pulled off on network television.
4. Louis C.K.
Comedian Louis C.K. is calm and philosophical about the Trump phenomenon, telling Charlie Rose in a television interview that “He is an entertainer – he is one of us.” But that demeanor changed significantly when he penned an online plea with a less than flattering comparison. “Please stop it with voting for Trump,” wrote Louis. “It was funny for a little while. But the guy is Hitler. And by that, I mean that we are being Germany in the ‘30s. Do you think they saw the s*** coming? Hitler was just some hilarious and refreshing dude with a weird comb-over who would say anything at all.”
C.K. could not help himself but throw in hilarious jibes one after the other, but kept his email message fairly blunt including “Don’t vote for Trump. He is not one of you. He is one of him. Everything you have heard him say that you liked, if you look hard enough you will see that he one day said the exact opposite. He is playing you… He’s a symptom to a problem that is very real. But don’t vote for your own cancer. You’re better than that.”
3. Barrack Obama
Given the current political climate, Republicans will never agree with a position taken by a Democrat. To be seen to align with the other side of the aisles, even on issues that the conservatives originally took, is to commit political suicide. But it is unprecedented for a sitting President to call a party’s official nominee for the Whitehouse “unfit.”
That is what Barrack Obama said as of August in 2016, biding his time and taking in the public ridicule from various Trump rallies and outcries to make a pointed remark that is unheard of. Even looking back in modern times on previous races with an incumbent President – Bush v Clinton 1992, Clinton v Dole 1996, Bush v Kerry 2004 and Obama v Romney in 2012, never would the man in the position of power state for the record that his opponent is unfit. They would always push the campaign to the limits and try and outline their weaknesses in a subtle manner, but never to this degree.
2. Jon Stewart
Having retired from his regular post at The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has rarely sought the need to speak publicly about this entire fiasco. Viewed by many as the sharpest satirist with an ability to cut down figures with a barrage of eloquent and quickly delivered taunts, the American comedian offered his opinion when speaking with former Democratic campaign manager David Axelrod at The University of Chicago earlier this year.
“He (Trump) makes sense if you view it through the prism of talk radio … it is 24/7 of ‘Your country is being taken away from you’,” begins Stewart. “Are you eligible to run if you are a man baby or a baby man? I’m not here to be politically incorrect but if they are referred to as Man Baby Americans … he has the physical (appearance) of a man and a baby’s temperament and hands.” After retelling the anecdote about a tweet sent to Stewart over his original birth name, he outlined how the team came back to respond to Trump’s alleged Christian name “F**k Face Von Clownstick.”
1. John Oliver
One 20-minute segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver vented more about the disaster of Donald Trump than any other person or platform has done. Over 28 million hits on YouTube alone speaks volumes about the British comedian’s ability to break down all of the candidate’s flaws and it was clear the February episode banked hundreds of hours of footage and thousands of hours of research to take the billionaire down more than a notch.
From the theory that his campaign is self-funded, to his bankruptcies to his immigration policies, his family history’s initial name of Drumpf before it was changed to Trump, and his father’s inheritance, Oliver absolutely destroyed Trump one barb after the next.
Trump’s response to one critique about the size of his fingers was responded to in gold sharpie, a point that Oliver explained saying the action “Is so Donald Trump – something that gives the passing appearance of wealth, but is actually just a cheap tool.” For those would-be voters that loathe the man, it is the most cathartic television experience out there.