The Simpsons have weighed in on Trump’s first 100 days as President with a dark one-minute clip. Sean Spicer having hanged himself, Trump surrounded by books with ominous titles, such as ‘The Little Book Of Big Bombs’ and ‘Killing A Good Thing’, by Bill O’Reily – an obvious play on his recent release ‘Killing Bill O’Reily’ – and Ivanka Trump taking a seat in the Supreme Court, all make for a disturbing yet ingenious short clip. The exert goes into so much detail about his first 100 days, this attention to detail astonishing.
The only thing I felt watching this video, however, was fear. The crashing of thunder and bright sparks of lightening in the background, depictions of suicide by the White House Press Secretary, all within the first few frames, immediately sets a tone of fear rather than comedy. The silent pan across to two politicians strangling each other, only for one to say: ‘Don’t wrinkle the suit!’ highlights the hedonistic president’s true worries in an extremely macabre fashion. The aforementioned sentence itself comes out of nowhere and is shocking rather than funny. Then we pan up to Mr Trump’s bedroom, to see a selection of books mentioned before, the play on O’Reily’s book a classic Simpsons slap in the face to anyone Fox affiliated. Yet despite the genius and subtlety, Trump has these books beside him, worrying in the first place, yet to add more worry he is more interested in his Golf handicap and Twitter following than the potentials of international nuclear conflict. This isn’t a laughing matter, one of the only proposed budget increases put forward by the Trump administration is for the defence budget.
Trump continues by ignoring an important dossier given to him by a secretary, only to turn the television on to find his source of information. He even asks said secretary to give the dossier to Fox news so that they can present the information to him on TV. This again is a funny concept, but the fact that it is an actual reality is frightening, Trump really does use TV news as a vital source. Trump’s allegations of wire-tapping boiled down to a Fox news broadcast without any legitimate sources. Fox even removed their support of the wire-tapping story, yet Trump continued to believe this ‘fake news’. Ivanka Trump takes a seat in the Supreme Court, with the voice televising her takeover offering to sell her earrings for rubles, a subtle yet ingenious link to the allegations of Russian involvement in the Trump election campaign.
The most depressing moment of all the clip for me was to see Marge take what looks to be Prozac – an anti-depressant – out of her tree of hair, only to discover that the dosage she should’ve had for four years has almost been completely used up in just 100 days. To see Marge, arguably the most famous housewife in history, constantly the rock in the chaotic Simpsons household, taking anti-depressants, is sad, not funny.
Now I know that this was just a satirical clip highlighting the outrageous happenings of the last one hundred days, but nevertheless it is still a scary video to watch. If a TV show that is supposed to give me half an hour of escapism and laughter makes me feel so scared whilst watching it, I can only begin to question what the actual reality of the next four years may be like. Farcical? Yes. Fearful? Definitely.
Trump has been the subject of a Simpsons episode seventeen years ago in 2000, where, in the episode, Trump was proclaimed president. Yet the fact that it wasn’t actually happening and was fantasy made it hilarious to view. Fast forward seventeen years and the Trump clip The Simpsons have produced is equally witty, yet the fact that it is all loosely based on reality, not fantasy, makes it more frightening than funny.