The material at the Oscars last night took the most potshots at issues of race, with host Chris Rock thoroughly roasting the blindingly white Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for yet another year of homogeneity and ignorance of black (and Asian, and Latino, and...) excellence. In a year with all news cycles dominated by the balls-out insanity that has heretofore defined the Presidential election, the Oscars were rather light on the political stuff. Luckily, the late-night crew was there to pick up the slack: John Oliver carefully and methodically disassembled Donald Trump’s vaguely defined campaign platform on Last Week Tonight — head on over to donaldjdrumpf.com today! — and in an even more involved showing, Jimmy Kimmel zeroed in on the Donald as well.
Last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live pulled back the curtain on a five-minute rework of Mel Brook’s Broadway tour-de-farce The Producers called Trumped: the Musical. Repurposing the core concept of the showbiz satire — a pair of crooked producers raise a mess of money for a show certain to fail, planning on keeping the cash once the show closes, but cruel irony turns it into a smash — to fit Trump’s incomprehensible rise to power, Kimmel rounded up original cast members Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick to reprise their roles as Max Bialystock and Leopold Bloom, recast as political consultants instead of producers.
The race to the bottom blows up in their face when it turns out that fringe wackjobs in America actually end up taking a shine to this power-mad lunatic, and he metastasizes into a legitimate candidate. For an added bonus, the great Cloris Leachman shows up as one of the sweet old ladies they con campaign contributions out of, and her tight-fisted gripping of the check is a nice bit of physical comedy. Both in terms of production value and critical ambitions, it’s an impressive piece of work for the late-night landscape. Give it a look-see above.