If you’re still trying to wrap your head around the inexplicable rise of Donald Trump, then Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane might have just given us the most plausible explanation yet.
The actors appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Sunday night in a sketch called "Trumped," a 2016-themed spoof of their Broadway hit "The Producers." Instead of theater producers, Lane’s Max Bialystock and Broderick’s Leo Bloom are scheming, cynical political consultants. And rather than trying to to orchestrate a Broadway flop for financial gain, their plot involves backing a sure-to-lose presidential candidate to pocket campaign contributions from little old ladies like Cloris Leachman.
For their plans to work, the duo need “the worst candidate in history ... a real trainwreck. A schmuck, a putz, a grade-A, world-class, gold-plated nincompoop.”
Their chosen candidate is none other than Donald Trump.
“He won’t last the week!” Lane declares after seeing him on television. They're soon eating their words.
Just like in "The Producers," the two are blindsided when their guaranteed flop becomes a runaway hit and they suddenly have to deal with the consequences. Except instead of a hilariously offensive musical about Adolf Hitler, this time they may have given the country President Trump.
For fans of the original musical — and the 1967 Mel Brooks film that inspired it — the crossover makes complete sense. But for non-theater geeks, Bialystock and Bloom's evolution from confusion to horror to reluctant acceptance mirrors the emotional journey that the media has been through in this campaign cycle.
Trump continues to lead the Republican field despite backlash for remarks he’s made since kicking off his campaign last year. He’s going into Super Tuesday stronger than ever, and as The Fix’s Chris Cillizza noted, he’s well on his way to getting enough delegates to win the Republican nomination.
As Bialystock and Bloom discovered, you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried.