Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Just let John Lithgow play all the right-wing ghouls

Former New York mayor, lawyer, and Saturday Night Live alum Rudy Giuliani is just one President Trump’s many sycophants, sure, but he’s undoubtedly the most entertaining, his every news interview resulting in a litany of gaffes and, in more than one instance, accidental admissions of guilt. It’s hard to parody the idiocy of a man who touts printouts of a right-wing blog as “affidavits on live television, but it helps when you’ve got John Lithgow.


Lithgow, fresh off writing a New York Times column criticizing our “performer in chief,” appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last night wearing a bald cap and some gargantuan dentures for a looney, over-the-top turn as Trump’s attorney. In the clip, he shushes, chugs wine, and lobs conspiracy theories as Colbert confronts him with questions about his cozy relationship with those recently arrested Ukranians and the federal investigation into his own allegedly crooked business deals with the country. Lithgow commits hard, spouting off zingers with abandon: “I was going to Vienna because I love classical music and I have reason to believe that Hunter Biden has stolen Mozart’s bones!” In the end, he accuses the younger Biden of colluding with Nazis on the moon and names himself Mayor of Space.

It’s quite the performance from the Oscar-nominated thespian, one that we imagine is a touch less nuanced than his upcoming turn as the late, disgraced Fox News mogul Roger Ailes. Lithgow’s Ailes will appear in Bombshell, which co-stars Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, and Charlize Theron as the women at Fox News who helped expose its culture of sexism and abuse. Who’s next for Lithgow? Brendan Gleeson’s lined up to play Trump, so why not use that fancy de-aging tech and have him play Stephen Miller?

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.