Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

Donkeys and Elephants

With just four days to go until either the first female president of the US or Trump-induced Armageddon, Hannah Dunleavy looks back at the scariest/funniest race to the top/bottom she’s ever seen.

Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon do Trump and Clinton on Saturday Night Live.

Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon do Trump and Clinton on Saturday Night Live.

When I decided to ‘watch’ the 2016 US Presidential Election, it was largely because it looked like America might be getting its first woman president and we’re all about the empowered broads at Standard Issue.

What made it more appealing was, having covered a Republican Primary before, I knew it was a complete shitshow, so while Hillary Clinton was making steady progress, I could laugh at all the guys on the other side falling over themselves to restrict the rights of women while failing to point to Germany on a map. Little did I know.

My main regret is that I didn’t bet a fiver with every smug fool who rushed forward to mock me for suggesting Donald Trump would even enter the race. Nothing would have materially changed between then and now in terms of the outcome but I could’ve at least spent the intervening 18 months out-of-my-face drunk.

Have I enjoyed the horror parade? It’s hard to say. If nothing else it’s given me something else to look at as the persistent haemorrhoid that has been UK politics in 2016 continues in all its Brexit-voting, party infighting and Jungle-clearing glory.

But, horrified as I have been and scared as I still am for the future, it’s impossible to deny I’ve spent an awful lot of the last 18 months laughing. Some of it nervous laughter, granted.

So, without wanting to appear to be one of those people who fail to see the magnitude of an oncoming apocalypse, here are some of the people that have made me laugh. Maybe watch it if you feel like chewing an arm off between now and Tuesday.

Billy West

If you’re not a fan of Futurama you might want to sit this one out, although you could maybe spend the time having a strong word with yourself. The actor recorded a series of things Trump has actually said in the voice of witless but arrogant space captain Zapp Brannigan, and it will never stop being funny. Never.

Alec Baldwin & Kate McKinnon

There’s probably a whole article in what a cracking year McKinnon has had (adds to list of things to write) but the real star of the show is Baldwin. Because he’s playing Trump. Which is sort of the story of the election too. Still, it’s funny as fuck and Trump hates it. Win/win. Here’s the first one, but watch them all. That’s an order. Bigly.

The candidates

When Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson revealed he didn’t know what Aleppo was, everyone wondered how anyone could be so dumb as to not know where such a significant city was. Perhaps they all forgot the time Ben Carson didn’t know where the fucking stage was.

John Oliver

It seems almost karmic that at the same time an orange despot tried to wrestle power from politicians in the US, an Englishman would be at the helm of that country’s best satirical news show. It’s impossible to pick a best one, so here’s two: Oliver on the Republican National Convention and his request for Trump to drop out of the race. But really, watch them all. Immediately. You won’t regret it.

Samantha Bee

And the other most timely news show anchor was Samantha Bee, a goddamn woman no less, having the best/worst time of her life at the helm of Full Frontal. Here she is talking veeps. But again, you’d be a fool not to watch it all.

Trump supporters

I know, I know, they are actually deeply scary individuals, chanting and failing to fact check like the world’s most naive racist robots. HOWEVER, there’s something strangely enjoyable about seeing them poked with the fact stick and there are two great efforts here. Left-wing magazine Mother Jones set out to ask them when exactly America stopped being great. Not so much funny, as giving someone enough rope. *claps*

And then there’s this, which is really funny, from Full Frontal‘s Allana Harkin and Amy Hoggart, who went to ask why exactly Trump’s fans feared the election might be rigged. Like something from The Day Today. But real. Terrifyingly real.

Patton Oswalt

Just funny. Really, really funny.

And let’s not forget this…

Yep, it’s nothing to do with the 2016 election, it’s from the Democratic National Convention back in 2004, when the end-of-show balloon drop failed, a guy gets hysterical and sweary and CNN accidentally broadcasts it live on TV. And then tries to distract from it by talking about a balloon drop that went worse. For Carter. Seriously silly and seriously funny. “We need more fucking balloons!” Indeed.

I’ll be watching the results come in on Tuesday night, so look out for a What the fuck just happened? on Wednesday morning. If the internet, or indeed the world, hasn’t exploded by then. Good luck.

That was our last Donkeys and Elephants *sobs*. It’s been one hell of a ride. Read them all here.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.