On March 15, 2011, Comedy Central aired their next installation of a series of roasts. In the past, roastees have included the likes of Larry the Cable Guy, William Shatner, and the ever-so-lovable David Hasselhoff. This one was different. This time, Comedy Central decided to take on one of the largest businessmen in history, The Don, Donald Trump.
When this news came out, it seemed a bit odd. The question becomes when was the last time Donald Trump was even relevant in popular culture? The last thing that he really publically succeeded in was his television show, “The Apprentice”. But that show has not even been interesting in the past couple of years. It is true that Trump does have business ventures constantly going on. But do people really pay attention to what he’s doing? Not really. But then reality set in. Donald Trump is anticipating running for Republican candidate for the 2012 election. While this may have made a bit of sense, surely the roast was not just for publicity. That statement is truly false.
Every roaster there made some comment about Donald Trump’s adventure into politics. These comments usually came at the end of their roast, leaving it fresh in the minds of the viewer. At the end of the roast, Donald Trump had his moment to speak. It was soon blatantly obvious why Trump was there. He ended his speech with the statement “America is going through tough times and we all need to laugh. True. I know that better days are ahead. If we believe in ourselves, and the way I believe in myself, and I really do believe in myself, then come June, if I decide to run, you’ll have the great pleasure of voting for the man that will easily go down as the greatest president in the history of the United States. Me. Donald John Trump. God bless America, and good night.” For those who are aware of what a typical campaign speech sounds like, this sure seems like the prototype. His full roast speech can be found on YouTube.
The true question here is whether using a roast as a platform to gain publicity for his campaign was a good idea. The answer could be no. Roasting truly puts everything out on the line, and shows a more vulgar side of a person. On the other hand, all publicity is good publicity. Will this roast make a dent in the long run? Probably not. But this is a simple example of how politics is continually infiltrating into pop culture.