When President Trump appointed wealthy financier Anthony Scaramucci as White House communications director, it’s unlikely anyone in the administration thought about “Futurama,” the cartoon from “The Simpsons” co-creator Matt Groening.
It didn’t take long after Friday’s announcement for fans of the show to notice how similar Scaramucci looks to a secondary character, Steve Castle, who is referred to as “That Guy.” The character is a parody of Gordon Gekko, the wealthy financier with a penchant for sharp suits and business jargon, played by Michael Douglas in 1987’s “Wall Street.”
Thus a meme was born.
Scaramucci is so known for dressing well that the detail popped up in many news stories about his arrival in the White House.
Bloomberg noted on Friday that he was “wearing a well-fitting blue suit.” The Atlantic was quick to point out, “Where Spicer’s suits were often ill-fitting, Scaramucci was sharply tailored.” Scaramucci has been so well-dressed for so long that President George W. Bush once dubbed him “Gucci Scaramucci,” according to a 2011 article in The Washington Post.
Similarly, “That Guy,” true to his Wall Street roots, always wore snappy suits. The character also had a habit of using vague, empty, corporate phrases that some users imagined slipping from the mouth of Scaramucci, who has never before been a spokesman, the Atlantic noted.
Upon receiving a new job in the show, for example, “That Guy” said, “Now, the first order of business is to blame everything on the guy before me.”
The character’s most cited quote on Twitter came from a scene in which he advises the main character Fry on how to use “execuspeak.” When asked about anything controversial, “That Guy” advised, simply say, “Don’t you worry about blank, let me worry about blank,” the idea being that the character will fill in those blanks.
Internet comics quickly jumped on the quote, many inserting references to the ongoing Russia investigation into it.
This isn’t the first time “Futurama” and the Trump administration have overlapped. Billy West, an actor who voices several characters on the show, created videos starring Captain Zapp Brannigan saying famous Trump quotes.
In the show, Brannigan is a bully, an often clueless but unabashedly self-confident captain of a spaceship. He creepily comes onto nearly all of the female characters, who think of him mostly as a joke — if not something more sinister. But his misplaced confidence is so strong, he never seems in danger of losing his job.
He’s known for saying absurd things, such as “In the game of chess you can never let your adversary see your pieces.”
A few examples that received the West treatment:
“It would take an hour-and-a-half to learn everything there is to learn about missiles. . . . I think I know most of it anyway,” which Trump told The Washington Post in 1984.
“My wife, Ivana, is a brilliant manager. I will pay her one dollar a year and all the dresses she can buy,” as he told Vanity Fair in 1990.
“I think the only difference between me and the other candidates is that I’m more honest and my women are more beautiful,” he told the New York Times in 1999.
“Sorry losers and haters, but my IQ is one of the highest and you all know it! Please don’t feel stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault,” which he tweeted in 2013.
The videos were so popular, they were curated as a Twitter moment in August 2016.
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