No one can tell at this point if President Trump will get four more years in office, but Anthony Atamanuik will get at least seven more episodes to make fun of him.
Comedy Central has extended the episode order for Atamanuik’s “The President Show,” in which he plays Trump as a rambling late-night host who holds court in the Oval Office and at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla.
The weekly half-hour, which launched April 27 in the 11:30 p.m. Thursday slot, snared 1 million viewers over the course of three days, according to the network, marking the biggest series premiere on the Viacom-owned outlet since the launch in 2014 of “Broad City.” Over four episodes, the program has attracted an average of 870,000 viewers and has increased its ratings in the adults 18-49 demo in the timeslot by 21%, the network said.
The show’s initial success is likely to bolster Comedy Central’s efforts to gain more traction in late-night following the cancellation of “The Nightly Show” last year. The network has plans to launch a weekly program from comedian Jim Jeffries that it has positioned as a late-night format, though it has not released a time or day when the show might air. Comedy Central also plans to launch a new 11:30 p.m. show featuring Jordan Klepper in the fall.
Atamanuik portrays Trump as a whimsical, childlike egomaniac who thinks he can talk his way out of anything. In recent weeks, he has gained notice for a field piece in which a young girl walks up to the fictional Commander-in-Chief and tells him he is “a disgrace to the world,” and for doing interviews with Keith Olbermann and Deepak Chopra.
“Whether we’re witnessing the end of democracy, or merely the end of the world, it’s a privilege seeing it from the inside,” said Comedy Central president Kent Alterman.
Atamanuik says his impression is based on Trump’s speech patterns, which he likens to that of blue-collar workers he interacted with while growing up in Chelsea, Mass. “All those guys, Lou and Joe, that was how they talked — in circular speaking. It is a specific vein of communication that is sort of arcane,” he said in April. Basically, Atamanuik said at the time, “I’m just playing my uncle at Thanksgiving dinner.”
“The President Show” is created and exec produced by Atamanuik along with Peter Grosz (who also plays Vice President Mike Pence on the show), Adam Pally and Jason Ross. It hails from Pally’s Clone Wolf Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment.