“Most of the animation was pretty simple,” said Silverman, noting that the short was storyboarded quickly — in part by visually referencing the show’s “3 a.m.” ad spoof from July. “That saved us a lot of time.”
The director said that “Simpsons” executive producer James L. Brooks wanted a new short and that showrunner Al Jean came up with the concept — with the aim that the clip be completed before Saturday, when Trump actually marks his 100th day in office.
In the short, White House press secretary Sean Spicer takes his own life rather than face another day sparring with the media; daughter Ivanka Trump replaces Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and seeks to unethically shill from her high-court perch; her hubby, Jared, is strangling Stephen K. Bannon (and vice versa); and the tweet-happy pajama’ed president is surrounded by such books as Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing A Good Thing.”
“With the Spicer gag, we needed to grab people’s attention,” says Jean, noting that after Melissa McCarthy’s iconic impression of the spokesman on “Saturday Night Live,” satirists have been forced to push their spoofs of him to an even greater extreme (even if it means giving a cartoon press secretary enough rhetorical rope to hang himself).
Silverman especially relished the Supreme Court scene. Visually, “I liked the idea of Ruth Bader being dragged offstage,” he said. “I wanted to make it pan to the end of the set.”
Silverman said they aimed to make the book titles as of-the-moment as possible, noting that the O’Reilly sexual-harassment/Fox ouster story “was happening as we were doing it.”
The deft political caricatures are courtesy of “Simpsons” character designer Eric Keyes, and the short was co-directed by Tim Bailey.
The show has memorably lampooned Trump numerous times, including the 2015 short directed by Silverman, “Trumptastic Voyage,” which spoofed the tycoon’s escalator entry into the race.
The ultimate result now, Jean says, would be if Trump himself tweets about the “Simpsons” short. “Even if only,” the showrunner says, “it’s to call it ‘sad!’ ”