Will Forte Explains ‘Last Man on Earth’ Trump 2019 Impeachment Gag
The Last Man on Earth isn’t a show defined by its end-of-the-world mythology, but last week’s Kristen Wiig-centric “Got Milk?” filled in a few blanks with regard to the virus’ 2019 debut, including the successive deaths of President Mike Pence, Paul Ryan and so on. Trump’s name was deliberately excluded, though creator and star Will Forte now weighs in on the gag’s origin, and what became of the 45th President.
You’re warned of full spoilers for this past Sunday’s Last Man on Earth, but an early gag saw Wiig’s character Pamela Brinton watching news reports of the worldwide virus claiming President Michael Pence, followed by replacements Paul Ryan, Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin, Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos. Pence in particular creates an interesting wrinkle, as the 2019 setting dictates Trump was either impeached, killed in office, or elected to resign on his own, though the episode never specifies.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Will Forte declined to address Trump’s fate outright, but at least clarified that the joke was conceived prior to the election:
[Trump’s fate] is kind of a Choose Your Own Adventure. We had a little fun with that. We just kind of dropped that in there. You know, it’s funny because we actually had come up with that joke before the election. It basically just happened that that was the way the election went, so I think all these people are like, “Oh! They’re getting [political]!” Really, that section was mainly to show how serious the virus was, and how seriously there was no vaccine. Because if there’s anybody who’s going to have a vaccine, it is the [highest] echelon of the government, so we thought that that was an interesting way to tell the story. How scary would that be if that started occurring around you to the people in charge? How scary that would be going through life — and how hopeless you would feel. […]
This whole show is about a virus that killed off the entire planet, so this is just logically what happens to every single person on the planet, and we thought, ‘What a way to tell the gravity of the situation by seeing all of the line of succession.’ And I will say for a certain segment of the population, there is an added horror of thinking of Betsy DeVos as the President of the United States.
That said, when it was pointed out that death by the virus would have theoretically placed Trump in the montage (as opposed to an earlier impeachment), Forte offered “That’s a reasonable take.”
It could be time yet before Last Man on Earth ever returns to life before the virus decimated the planet, but we’ll nonetheless spend more time with Wiig’s character in the coming weeks. Watch the latest trailer below, and stay tuned.