President Donald Trump - or a reasonable facsimile - is coming to late-night TV.
Comedy Central said it would launch "The President Show," a weekly late-night program created by and starring comedian Anthony Atamanuik, who has developed a reputation for his impression of the current U.S. President. The program, which will air Thursday nights at 11:30 p.m, following the network's "The Daily Show," serves to further the Viacom outlet's late-night ambitions, which were shaken by the cancellation last year of "The Nightly Show," led by Larry Wilmore.
The new program's premise: Atamanuik's President Trump is bypassing the mainstream media in favor and hosting a late-night show broadcast live from the Oval Office, where he doesn't have to field questions from reporters or deal with the other trappings of his position. The program is expected to include desk segments, field pieces and interviews Peter Grosz will play Vice President Mike Pence. The program will launch on April 27, and a broadcast of "@midnight" slated for that time will move to 12:00 a.m.
"Laughing at the President is a proud American tradition and we hope not to disappoint anyone in that department," Atamanuik said in a statement. " I'd just like to thank Comedy Central for giving us this platform to speak truth to power and if we're lucky, end up in prison!"
Comedy Central has tilted at presidents in the past. In 2001, the network ran eight episodes of "That's My Bush!" - a satirical series from "South Park" co-creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone that featured actor Timothy Bottom as President George W. Bush, Carrie Quinn Dolan as First Lady Laura Bush, and Kurt Fuller as advisor Karl Rove. The program served not only as a lampoon of the Bush presidency but also of TV sitcoms in general.
The network last week teased the new program with tweets from two different accounts believed to be linked to the cable outlet. The social-media remarks took funny swipes at CBS late-night host Steven Colbert and the general state of late-night TV.
"The President Show" is executive produced by Anthony Atamanuik, Peter Grosz, Adam Pally, Jason Ross, and 3 Arts Entertainment's Olivia Gerke, Josh Lieberman, and Greg Walter. The series is produced by Pally's Clone Wolf Productions and directed by Andre Allen. Sarah Babineau and Ari Pearce are the executives in charge of production for Comedy Central.
Atamanuik has struck a chord with his Trump impression, which has generated attention both on tour as well as in specials on the Fusion cable network. His impression of the President has surfaced on "The Howard Stern Show," "The View," and CNN, as well as Comedy Cetntral's "@midnight." Atamanuik has a longtime association with the Upright Citizen's Brigade improv group He had a recurring role on NBC's "30 Rock" and recently appeared in Hulu's "Difficult People" and Comedy Central's "Broad City." Grosz received two Emmy Awards for his writing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and is a regular panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me."