A presidential debate free-for-all can serve a purpose, as long as the purpose is intentional comedy.
John Di Domenico let it fly as Donald Trump on “The Howard Stern Show” on Tuesday morning. Di Domenico squared off against comic and show producer and writer Steve Nowicki as Joe Biden. The debate was arranged to win a single vote, from Stern bodyguard and limo driver Ronnie Mund.
Di Domenico as Trump shouted through the debate, fending off attacks from his Biden rival about having contracted the coronavirus.
Nowicki led with “The man continues to go out, spew droplets, like he’s spewing his irreparable rhetoric on the American people.”
“Wrooong! I don’t have the virus!” Di Domenico shot back. “The doctors say I’m cured! I’m so cured in fact, they said I’m too cured! So they’re giving me some more COVID just to balance it out. I’m doing that well!”
Di Domenico spent about 25 minutes in his third appearance with Stern, performing improv almost entirely. As moderator, Stern mentioned that Ronnie does not like books.
“Books are bad!” Di Domenico said. “A lot of books don’t have pictures, just words! So time-consuming, all these words! I don’t have time to read a book! Nobody reads books!”
As Biden, Nowicki appeared in front of shelves full of books.
“They’re fake books!” Di Domenico charged.
Stern originally discovered Di Domenico through a social media clip in March in which Di Domenico’s Trump character boasted of his “perfectly negative” COVID-19 test (just two days later, the president himself recited almost the exact same claim). Di Domenico also joined Stern after the first Trump-Biden debate on Sept. 30.
But Tuesday was the first time he’d interacted with the famed broadcast personality on video.
“I’m so honored that they trust me comedically to be not only on the show, but improvise along with the scripted material,” Di Domenico says. He also says he might return in the two weeks leading to the election, and his Trump will live on, regardless of the Nov. 3 results. Di Domenico plans to join Pauly Shore on election night for a livestream of the results (those details are still being assembled).
“No matter what, win or lose, Trump will be part of American pop culture, social media, news and punditry for many years,” says Di Domenico, whose celeb arsenal includes Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno and Sean Connery. “Fred Trump (Donald’s father) was 93 when he passed away. We probably have at least 20 years of Trump ahead of us.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.