NEW YORK (AP) – James Austin Johnson “Saturday Night Live” unveiled a new Impressionist master whose meeting with Donald Trump over the weekend was a breakthrough for the rookie.
Johnson captured Trump’s stream of consciousness during Saturday’s opening segment, which discussed the election of Republican Glenn Yangkin as governor of Virginia. Critics from Vulture and TheWrap said Johnson “stole the show,” or at least a cold opening.
“Saturday Night Live” finally has a truly great Trump impersonator, “wrote Mother Jones’ Dan Spinelli. “Close your eyes and you think the new actor James Austin Johnson is real.”
When Youngkin as actor Alex Moffat looked uncomfortable on the split screen next to him, Johnson circled themes such as Dune, Star Wars, Chris Pratt, and Santa Claus as a countdown subject reflecting “Sorry to »ESPN. Interruption “.
“Most people don’t like him, but he’s a great guy, okay? Tall, rich, like my sons. Glenn, you’re like my son, ”Johnson said to Trump.
“Please don’t say that,” Moffat replied.
Johnson, a 32-year-old stand-up comedian from Nashville, Tennessee, has posed as President Joe Biden twice in five episodes of the season, along with Adam Driver, Joe Buck, John Gruden, Lindsay Graham and Louis C. K. It’s unusually fast. A start for a new SNL player, especially now that the on-air roster has grown to 21 people.
The show did not allow Johnson to be interviewed on Monday. Even before he joined Saturday Night Live, he got attention with his facial expressions, especially Trump. The video of Johnson as Trump discussing Scooby-Doo has garnered over 2.4 million views on Twitter since it was posted a year ago.
About this talk, Vice’s Josh Terry wrote last year that “there is something amazing about how accurately Johnson can manage the president’s cadence, speech and eccentricity.”
While it is unclear to what extent the news will dictate that Johnson will appear as Trump on Saturday Night Live, he is clearly the successor to Alec Baldwin, who last appeared as Trump shortly after the 2020 election.
In an interview with Vice last year, Johnson said that Baldwin brought “pure evil” to Trump.
“A lot of the hosts on the show are missing out on how much love there is for Trump,” he told Vice. “In an effort to portray him as a monster, which I certainly believe, they alienate some people who would otherwise laugh at their jokes. It is very difficult to laugh at the many images of Trump. It doesn’t make you feel good. I just want my comedy to be a balm, being really silly. “
However, not everyone was happy to see Trump “reappear” on the comedy show over the weekend.
Molly Garber of the Atlantic wrote that Johnson impersonated “very cleverly,” ridiculing Trump’s desire to make himself inevitable. However, giving Johnson a platform allowed Trump to get her attention.
“SNL has taken an interest in Trump as a joke for too long to ignore him as a threat,” Garber wrote. The most recent episode “suggests that the series looked back on previous years – and learned nothing.”