The Simpsons and Donald Trump: Writer talks political satire (The Investigators with Diana Swain)

The Simpsons and Donald Trump: Writer talks political satire  (The Investigators with Diana Swain)

I was not elected to serve one party you were not elected John Stewart of The Daily Show may have started the tide so according to Kelly and Conway there is now a lower bar of entry for the Senate than a mall and Alabama but now there are dozens of shows across the dial mixing comedy with politics stand out of groping range everyone it's gonna be a long four years if there was a moment that defines satires now more powerful role it was Jimmy Kimmel's successful on-air campaign to fight the repeal of Obamacare coverage for all know recently when Saturday Night Live didn't do a skit about Harvey Weinstein it was criticized and played catch-up the following week such is the level of expectation now that comedy and satire featured a good dose of politics animated shows like The Simpsons have been doing that for years nearly two decades ago this sketch predicted a president Trump we've inherited quite a budget crunch for president Trump it was around that time that Canadian Joel H Cohen became a writer on the show now co-executive producer he's written more than two dozen episodes and all because of what man okay so in shape points in basketball just don't make a big production of it so what does he think about the growing focus on politics in comedy and how does he feel about the stinging political backlash against the woman who gave him his first break in the comedy business who sat down to talk earlier this week in Toronto how long does it take from the period of time where you have an idea for a show till I see it it's very kind for you to think I have an idea for sure but no if I have from the time someone pitches something till it's on TV is roughly nine months just because the animation process so laborious and it takes about nine months to finish an episode which is a long time in in TV terms yes so how is it mistress show in any turn yes how is it that the show has maintained its ability to stay relevant when it's when it's actually served in time distant from the things that we're watching every day in the news you know it's funny it's in a way I think we don't do stuff that are it's time like we won't do a joke about whatever crazy thing Trump said this morning whatever that will be valid but whenever crazy thing he said because nine months from now it'll be there'll be 7,000 other crazy things that will have happened but we do do two little rewrites along in that nine month cycle and sometimes in the last rewrite we can slip something in it's only a month away from the air date but what I think is what we I think the bigger picture about the show that's really been great for the shows that you know characters never age there's 30 seasons almost of the show and you could turn on any season and be confused for any other season and we try I think to write stories that are a little bit universal so maybe some of the relevance just comes out the fact that it's evergreen and this constant and it feels relevant even when but when the white house is arguably churning out comedic material for you all the time is it hard to resist the temptation to kind of reference something I mean that's what Twitter for I think for individual writers and for Donald Trump himself but it's hard to resist but we just know unless it's a big issue that is gonna be around nine months or a year from now we just don't touch it in that specific sense you know some of them like gay marriage alternate so I'm mad but nothing you know about a tax bill or something like that because it's just not gonna be around I mean obviously we have the Rick Mercer show widely successful here the this hours 22 minutes but we don't have the late-night comedic culture that is you know like a bedrock now in the US and is driving a lot of the political conversation think about Jimmy Kimmel right I mean you're a Canadian who's lived worked in the States for years now why do you think that that isn't part of the culture here I think about the states it's just volume there's so many shows and they're all desperate for content and luckily the president has been very generous about providing content to all these shows he's a real jobs creator he's given all these comedy writers work but I don't you know I think just that in the States now they're there does feel like there's a little bit of a shift where it's almost like these performers have an understanding with the audience that we all don't like Trump right it's this assumption we're I think worth previous presidents the country was a little bit more split 50-50 but now it feels like there's a bit of a license to to really go a step further because it's this you feel like you're preaching to the choir to some extent and that is maybe emboldened them a little bit whereas previous you know there was Obama was funny stuff about Obama but I think you respected that half the country doesn't like Obama when you talk about going a step further I mean there is a step too far right there was a writer for SNL who tweeted about Baron Trump right after the inauguration she was fired the same day Kathy Griffin yeah famously held up this sort of mock head of truth and her career has really paid for it yeah I'm you know I'll say I'm friends with Kathy she will send an angry letter saying we are not friends or lawyers will be all over this but I've sort of seen through her that what's happened as a result of different people react differently and think this was obscene or too far I didn't necessary think it was too far at the time I thought it was just an art piece that was six months ago and I feel like now if that happened I don't think that response would be the same because I think this meter has moved her as to what is obscene and I still think you know people that are innocents like Baron Trump and anyone that is I'll just say innocent should not be dragged into it but there's no way Donald Trump of course isn't innocent and and he says horrible things and someone did something maybe counteractive to that so anyhow I think that meter has moved where that wouldn't be able to obscene today as it was at the time happening interesting to talk to you thank you oh well thank you


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