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

Stephen Colbert's Our Cartoon President takes some uncharacteristically weak Trump jabs in its first trailer

After releasing a teaser two weeks ago, Showtime deployed the first full trailer for its Stephen Colbert-produced animated political satire Our Cartoon President today, as part of the network’s showing at the ongoing TCA press tour. Starring voice-acting veteran Jeff Bergman as a grotesque, Muppet-esque take on Donald Trump, the show has its origin in a recurring bit on Colbert’s Late Show, in which he frequently chats with and berates the weird, sad, orange little man.


Unfortunately, it kind of feels like the new series has retained those same safe-for-network-TV sensibilities, despite the transition over to Showtime. Most of the gags in the trailer hit the big surface stuff—Trump’s orange, loud, and dumb, while his kids are morons, and Jeff Sessions is a literal elf—without ever hitting on much in the way of actual political satire. (Not that we don’t enjoy the sight of Trump giving a State Of The Union from the cab of a big ol’ firetruck.) It feels like a show that’s pulling its punches, something we don’t normally associate with Colbert’s comedic output. (To be fair though, he’s only producing, with former Letterman writer R.J. Fried handling the actual showrunning duties.) We’ll have to see if Our Cartoon President hits a little harder when the series debuts on Showtime on February 11 (or streaming a few weeks earlier, on January 28).

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