Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 28° Clear
News >  Features

People: Donald Trump skewered in Funny or Die film

This image released by FunnyorDie.com shows a scene from Funny or Die Presents “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” a 50-minute film starring Johnny Depp as Trump. (Associated Press)
This image released by FunnyorDie.com shows a scene from Funny or Die Presents “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” a 50-minute film starring Johnny Depp as Trump. (Associated Press)
By Jake Coyle Associated Press

In one of the more elaborate and unexpected spoofs of Donald Trump, Johnny Depp has joined the ranks of the combed-over, starring in a mock documentary released the morning after the GOP candidate’s primary victory in New Hampshire.

The comedy website Funny or Die on Wednesday unveiled “Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” a 50-minute video styled as Trump’s own self-made TV movie adaptation of his 1987 best-selling advice book.

The film stars Depp as Trump in a startling transformation for even the actor known for outlandish metamorphoses, like the Mad Hatter and Whitey Bulger. After Owen Burke, Funny or Die’s editor in chief, came up with the concept, the site’s co-founder Adam McKay (and director of the Oscar-nominated “The Big Short”) called Depp and ran the idea by him.

“I pitched it to Johnny right there,” Burke said. “The fact that Johnny said yes, we were just so excited. We couldn’t believe it.”

Along with Depp’s leading performance, the movie is narrated by Ron Howard (who claims the film was discovered after “the Cybill Shepherd blouse fire of 1989”), features a theme song from Kenny Loggins and includes a cast of Alfred Molina, Jack McBrayer, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Merchant, Henry Winkler and Andy Richter.

With 1980 video graphics, “The Art of the Deal” is presented as written, directed and edited by Trump, himself – a relic of earlier brand-building propaganda by the businessman, long before his abrupt turn into politics.

“Successful people are always on the phone – even if there’s no one on the other end,” the fake Trump lectures a boy in one scene.

“The Art of the Deal: The Movie,” was first planned in August, when many didn’t expect Trump’s ascendance to last into the primaries.

“We were thinking: We’ve got to get this movie out before he goes away,” Burke said. “And it doesn’t seem like he’s going away.”

Cudlitz’s ‘Walking Dead’ mustache has its own Twitter handle

On “The Walking Dead,” Michael Cudlitz’s character, Abraham Ford, is known for his bright red hair and distinctive handlebar mustache.

His facial hair has so captivated fans of the zombie apocalypse drama that they’ve even created an off-color Twitter account for it at @CudlitzStache

“They play with it and they play with the fact that we don’t acknowledge it,” Cudlitz said in an interview this week. “It’s like, ‘What are you doing? I’m right here. I’m right under your nose.’ ”

Cudlitz said he usually doesn’t comment on the Twitter page because he doesn’t want to get in the way of fans having fun. But sometimes he just can’t resist and will chime in with something like, “ ‘Hey, knock it off,’ or I say, ‘I’m going to cut you off,’ ” adding that “everybody gets nervous when you say something like that.”

He spoke just days before “The Walking Dead” returns with its midseason premiere Feb. 14 on AMC at 9 p.m. ET.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.

You have been successfully subscribed!
There was a problem subscribing you to the newsletter. Double check your email and try again, or email webteam@spokesman.com