Without Tracy Ullman there would be no Simpsons. However, with Tracy Ullman there is the upcoming Showtime series, State Of The Union which seems poised to lift up the top of your skull and pummel the sensory areas of your brain with irritating celebrity impression after irritating celebrity impression until it is as soft and pliable as Silly Putty and all you can do is laugh or cry–but mostly cry. Every time I see a commercial for this show, and Ullman's stars-and-stripes-covered tongue flashes on screen in between clips of her Renee Zellweger impersonation, I am reminded of how small the world is, because even if I went to the opposite end of the earth, I still wouldn't have a sufficient buffer between myself and the furious annoyingness of this show.
But how does Ullman annoy so efficiently? What is her process of irritation through impersonation? How does she transform herself into a one-woman Mad TV? Terrible answers follow:
Hmm. That energy, the sweaty slipping in and out of accents, those wild eyes fixed on laughter through impersonation and irritation: is it possible that all these years the person we thought was Tracy Ullman was actually Ullman doing an impression of Robin Williams?