Donald Trump has less than a week left in office and Sarah Cooper is feeling reluctantly hopeful.
“I'm really excited. I'm really happy,” she tells me in this preview of next week’s episode of The Last Laugh podcast. “There’s still a part of me that's like, is it really over? Could it really be over?”
The comedian, who became wildly famous over the past year posting brilliantly realized lip sync videos of Trump on social media and later an ambitious Netflix special, says she “won't be able to breathe a sigh of relief until Biden has his hand on the Bible.” But she is “feeling more hopeful” than she did in the first few weeks after the 2020 election. “For a while, I was still very scared,” she says, “but I’m getting less scared every day.”
When I ask Cooper if she has a parting message for Trump, who won’t be attending Biden’s inauguration next week after finally, almost, sort of acknowledging his defeat, she laughs and replies, “What a petty bitch!”
“That is all I have to say. What a petty bitch,” she continues. “You can’t even shake the man’s hand? I mean, come on. It’s so on-brand though. If he had been gracious and conceded and been this amazing beacon of light at the end of his term, we would have been like, wait, he did pivot! But he never pivoted.”
As for the reckoning that Trump has faced, both from some prominent Republicans and the social media companies that previously enabled him, Cooper says she was most surprised that Twitter permanently suspended him. “I didn’t think they would ever do that,” she says. And as someone who spent years working as a designer for tech giants like Yahoo and Google before becoming a full-time comedian, she has some special insight into how these companies operate.
“I guess cynically, I think, why now?” she asks. “Because he had been promoting so much hatred and violence for so long. So it feels a little late.” Cooper wonders if they thought they were “going to be exposed if any more violence happened” or if they are “trying to curry favor with Democrats” now that the power balance has shifted in Washington.
“But whatever the reason, I think it was definitely for the best,” she says. “It’s almost like we've regained our sense of self by not having to watch his Twitter feed.”
Of course, Cooper has been liberated from Trump’s tweets for nearly four years at this point after the president blocked her from reading them all the way back in 2017.
“I was on his shit list from day one almost,” she reveals, calling herself a “presidential reply guy” long before she started replying to his most absurd moments with her viral videos.
“I said something like ‘Fake news: Donald Trump is not fit for president. Real news: Donald Trump was never fit for president,’” she recalls. “It was like, so innocuous it wasn’t even funny. But people were starting to retweet it and like it, and I think that’s why he saw it. I think that's why I got blocked. But it was shocking to go to his page and be like, ‘Donald Trump has blocked you.’ Me?!”
Now, it’s a lot less shocking that she’s gotten under his skin—even if he still claims not to know who she is.
“It was pretty cool to go to his page and it didn’t say I was blocked anymore,” Cooper adds. “It just said, ‘This account does exist.’”
Subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast now to hear our full conversation with Sarah Cooper about her surreal rise to fame, why she’s more than ready to move on from Trump, and a lot more when it drops next Tuesday, January 19.