Before their time

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Sarah Cooper's marvelous enactments of Donald Trump's rhetoric have earned her an enormous audience — 22.4M views for this one on twitter, for example, plus more views on tiktok and youtube.

But there's another comedian who pioneered the same technique — lip-syncing Trump — to a significantly smaller audience back in 2015 and 2016. Or I should say "comedy team" rather than "comedian", since these Trump-syncing videos come from a trio of comedians at Friend Dog Studios, Brian Huther, Ben Auxier, and Seth Macchi. I linked to an example in "Donald Trump's repetitive rhetoric", 12/5/2015. And I think their work deserves to be revived.

I framed the link to their skit this way:

I certainly don't mean to suggest that Mr. Trump's rhetorical style is due to alcohol consumption — just that the satire in that clip is not entirely random. I haven't been able to find any scientific investigation of this relationship, but Linda Sobell and Mark Sobell, who studied the effects of drunkenness on text reading ("Effects of alcohol on the speech of alcoholics", Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 1972) note that "many professional actors and others imitating drunken speech make great use of the characteristic of repetition".

There are more of these — Number 2:

Number 3:

Number 4:

Number 5:

Number 6:

Number 7:

And this one:


  1. Andrew Taylor said,

    August 21, 2020 @ 7:25 am

    In a similar vein, there was also Peter Serafinowicz's "Sassy Trump".

  2. Raul P said,

    August 21, 2020 @ 7:40 am

    I think the gender switch has a lot to do with Sarah's success – we shall see theses written about it.

  3. Bloix said,

    August 21, 2020 @ 8:28 am

    Another lip-syncher who thinks Trump sounds drunk:

  4. AntC said,

    August 21, 2020 @ 4:01 pm

    Jimmy Kimmel also has a 'drunk Donald Trump' section of the show — these are with the speech slowed down.

    Compared to Sarah Cooper (who is utterly brilliant), I don't think playing Donald Trump as drunken ramblings really comes as any surprise — he's everybody's embarrassing Uncle at Thanksgiving dinner.

    Sarah's 'character' is acted as soberly saying something deep and meaningful, with occasional cutaways to the 'audience' looking baffled/disturbed. I find it horrifying that anybody in such a position of power says this stuff when he is (seemingly) sober and compos mentis.

  5. zafrom said,

    August 21, 2020 @ 4:17 pm

    @Bloix @ 8:28 am, Thank you. Kylie Scott's video was previously featured on April 21. (You or your namesake commented on it on April 22.) Searching on her name will list related content. And other names for other entertaining rambles. Or does LL have a comprehensive list?, if "comprehensive" is the word to use.

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