Actors Give Voice To Trump's Tweets

Apr 2, 2017
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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

For comedians, skewering presidents is a time-honored tradition. President Trump, with his outsized personality and early morning tweets, is proving to be a rich source of material - and not just for comedians.

Here's NPR's Elizabeth Blair.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Captain Zapp Brannigan was a character on the irreverent animated series "Futurama."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FUTURAMA")

BILLY WEST: (As Zapp Brannigan) We have failed to uphold Brannigan's Law. However, I did make it with a hot alien babe.

BLAIR: He's an egomaniac who's not very bright.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FUTURAMA")

WEST: (As Zapp Brannigan) The honorably sexy Zapp Brannigan residing.

BLAIR: Fans of the series can't help but point out how much the character Zapp Brannigan looks like President Trump, a white guy with well-coiffed, yellow hair. Actor Billy West was the voice of Brannigan.

WEST: Someone brought it up one day on my Twitter saying you should have Zapp Brannigan just saying quotes from Donald Trump.

BLAIR: West loved the idea, launched #MakeAmericaBrannigan and started recording Trump's tweets in the voice of Zapp Brannigan.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

WEST: (As Zapp Brannigan) My fingers are long and beautiful. That's been well-documented, along with other various parts of my body.

BLAIR: As Mr. Trump told The New York Post's "Page Six" in 2011. Candidate Trump sounded a lot like Zapp Brannigan when he told Sean Hannity...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HANNITY")

DONALD TRUMP: You know, I win. I win. In life, I win. I want to win. I have a very winning temperament. OK?

BLAIR: No editing necessary.

WEST: (As Zapp Brannigan) And you know I win. I win. In life, I win.

BLAIR: Another cartoon character is doing President Trump. He's one of Gotham's most evil villains.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

MARK HAMILL: (As The Joker) This story is fake news, and everyone knows it.

BLAIR: Actor Mark Hamill has been recording Trump's tweets as The Joker.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

HAMILL: (As The Joker) Is it true that the DNC would not let the FBI in to look (laughter)?

BLAIR: Hamill, as in Luke Skywalker, wasn't available for an interview. But his voice actor pal Tara Strong was.

TARA STRONG: I'm mostly known for Timmy Turner from "The Fairly Oddparents," Twilight Sparkle from "My Little Pony," Raven from "Teen Titans," Bubbles from "The Powerpuff Girls."

BLAIR: And sexy supervillain Harley Quinn from the "Batman" video game series. Harley Quinn is hopelessly in love with Mark Hamill's Joker.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "MARK HAMILL AND TARA STRONG - THE JOKER AND HARLEY QUINN")

STRONG: (As Harley Quinn) Hi, Sweetie.

HAMILL: (As The Joker) Oh, Harley, you're the sweetest tool in my box (laughter).

STRONG: (As Harley Quinn) Puddin'.

BLAIR: So when Strong saw that Hamill was doing parodies of President Trump, she wanted in on the act.

STRONG: And I thought, well...

...(As Harley Quinn) You know, if my Puddin' is Trump, then Harleyanne Conway (ph) has to come to life.

And I just started reading her tweets or quoting ridiculous things she says.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

STRONG: (As Harley Quinn) You're saying it's a falsehood. And they're giving Sean Spicer, our press secretary, alternative facts to that.

BLAIR: Tara Strong uses Twitter to promote her career, connect with fans and make jokes.

STRONG: Harleyanne Conway is kind of a way for me to say, look how ridiculous this sounds (laughter). It sounds like a ridiculous, diabolical animated character.

WEST: We're not trying to make history or high art. It's just trying to have a laugh, you know?

BLAIR: Voice actor Billy West says, Twitter is the perfect outlet for short bursts of inspiration. And in that sense, he and President Trump are on the same page.

WEST: I mean, if the leader of the free world decides that he's going to - you know, just whatever pops into his head goes on Twitter, I guess, you know, that sets the tone for the rest of the nation.

BLAIR: And one thing that can unite the nation, no matter who's in office, is a good laugh.

Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MAC MILLER'S "DONALD TRUMP (INSTRUMENTAL)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.