Donald Trump has not appeared on late-night television since the infamous hair-mussing incident of 2016 on The Tonight Show. But on Thursday night, Stephen Colbert got the next best thing: Trump impersonator and star of Comedy Central’s upcoming The President Show Anthony Atamanuik.
Atamanuik explained that his Trump impression began back in 2015, when he was improvising at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York, as a funny joke about what it would be like if the reality star actually won the presidency. But since then, it has become all too real. By the summer of 2016, he was touring the country as Trump alongside comedian James Adomian’s Bernie Sanders.
“Trump pitches forward, so when he stands, he stands like this,” Atamanuik said, demonstrating his posture as Trump. “He has no center of gravity. That’s why he’s always leaning on people, because he’s afraid of stairs and slopes.”
Atamanuik’s appearance came just two nights after Colbert hosted a slightly more famous Trump impersonator, Alec Baldwin, who also demonstrated how he gets into character as the president for Saturday Night Live.
Last month, Baldwin took a veiled shot at Atamanuik during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, referring to the comedian as “a guy who’s on the internet” and accusing him of “lobbying” to play Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner in place of the real president, who has decided to skip the event.
The pair of Trumps traded some nasty tweets, appropriately enough, later that night.
Colbert did not ask Atamanuik to weigh in on his beef with Baldwin, but he did ask him to say some “phrases Trump will never say but we’d all like to hear.”
“My support of Bill O’Reilly was wrong, insensitive, and totally stupid,” Atamanuik’s Trump said. And then, “I would like to officially announce that I will no longer be seeking a third term.”
“But how does this then become a talk show? Because you can’t do a talk show in character, being a right-wing blowhard for years on Comedy Central, it can’t be done,” Colbert told his guest, before adding, “Good luck, you’re gonna kill it, man.”