SNL Finally Has a Truly Great Trump Impersonator

Apologies to Alec, but close your eyes and you’ll think this guy is the real deal.

Will HeathNBC/Getty

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There are few things the United States needs more than another bad Donald Trump impression. The man is beyond parody to the point of making even decent satire fall flat. But lo and behold, SNL, after committing itself to Alec Baldwin in the Trump role, has found the man born to play our 45th president. 

Close your eyes and you’ll think new cast member James Austin Johnson is the real thing. He nails the preening self-regard, the incessant need for attention, and the way Trump wields “excuse me” almost as a verbal saber.  

It feels perverse to laugh at a grotesque, exaggeratory version of Trump, when the one we have is more than enough. Johnson’s skill is in reflecting Trump as he truly is—and, however unnecessary it may seem to have more Trump in our lives—that is almost a more fitting way to go about it. What’s the use of making the guy a literal cartoon when he does that so well himself?

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