The Year-Long Roast of Donald Trump


The Year-Long Roast of Donald Trump

Illustration: Sushant Ahire / Arré

Alot can happen in a year. A one-night stand can turn into a baby, and a shaved orangutan with insecurity issues can become President of the United States of America. Exactly one year ago, a rotting, wrinkly orange peel climbed out of America’s dustbin and became the country’s president. While America instantly began to fight the spread of orange, another country picked a fight against black money on the same day with what would come to be known as Anti-Black Money Day.

Over the next 365 days, both the nations would fight their respective fights very differently. India chose to go down the path where sharing a parody video or drawing a cartoon can get you jailed, while the US went down the road of roasting their president, culminating in the glorious finale of a Twitter employee deleting Donald Trump’s account.

In this one year, America has turned skewering Donald Trump an art form. “The Roast of Donald Trump: Presidency Special” has been running for a full year now. The rumblings began during his election campaign, but the volcano of bad hair, small hands, and tiny brain jokes truly erupted once the unthinkable happened and he won.

Soon after, we got one the first viral responses to the election results: “Emo Trump”. Compiling Trump’s tweets into the lyrics of a typically whiny, mid-2000s emo song, “Emo Trump” gave us a taste of the year to come, and boy, it did not disappoint. Since then, POTUS has had to face barbs as savage as “a clown made of mummified foreskin and cotton candy,” and “a used diaphragm from the Jersey Shore”. He has been roasted by the who’s who of modern comedy greats, from John Oliver and Conan O’Brien to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Along with traditional comedy, this Presidential roast has also broadened the medium’s horizons by incorporating new art forms into the format. Words can’t convey the same emotions that a photo of Kathy Griffin holding Trump’s severed head, or a statue highlighting his (probably real) micropenis would. This proves that roasting Donald Trump is an evolving form of expression, which will only become more inclusive over time.

In America, Trump represented the emergence of a darker, more rabid national consciousness, and upon identifying the cockroach in their midst, the citizens began reaching for bug spray.

Even people who have as much to do with Trump as he has to do with common sense, are joining the fray. For example, take the case of modern superheroine Juli Briskman. Already accomplishing her mission of saving the planet by cycling instead of using a car, Briskman chose to take her role as champion of the Earth one step further by giving Donald Trump and his motorcade a big, shiny middle finger as he passed her by on the road. Though she did get fired from her job for joining in on the roast, she can rest easily knowing that millions of people worldwide wish they could have been her.

Say what you will about American culture (actually don’t, this article isn’t the place for a gun control debate), the world has to learn from them the art of pointing at a dog turd on the pavement and making sure everyone knows it’s utter crap. They’ve learnt from the best. From Aristophanes mocking Socrates in his comedy plays to Voltaire challenging the Catholic Church through his humorous essays, wit and mockery have been the first responses to unchecked influence and power since the beginning of time.

In America, Trump represented the emergence of a darker, more rabid national consciousness, and upon identifying the cockroach in their midst, the citizens began reaching for bug spray. While they may currently be suffering under the least-qualified man to ever hold the post of president, at least the Americans have realised that when you’ve been diagnosed with a case of Trumpitis, laughter is the best medicine.

Donald Trump Roast

Alec Baldwin playing Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live

Maybe the worst of America’s political leadership could teach us something.

Back home, dissent is paired with sedition as if the two were wine and cheese. Having an unpopular (or, anti-government) opinion in India today is an easier way to go to jail than slapping a cop. Even national icons aren’t safe from the Anti-Roaster Squad, as Kamal Haasan learned this week. Now, in addition to feeling like his country is second-best to Madhya Pradesh, Trump also has to deal with the fact that his Indian peers are better protected from their roasters than he is.

Left exposed to the insults of anyone bothering to make them, it’s frankly amazing that a man with an ego as fragile as Trump’s has lasted in the hot seat for 365 days. The president’s post is public AF, which comes with exposure to a lot of ridicule, and Donald Trump’s preferred response to criticism has always been “You’re fired!” over “LOL”.

So how does the president cope? Personally, I like to picture Trump turning off his TV and staring at his reflection in the blank screen, saying “You’re the bigliest President ever. The bigliest,” before jacking off to a photo of himself and going to sleep.

Keep calm, Mr Drumpf, there’s just three more years to go.