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Jimmy Kimmel, Roseanne Barr and Stephen Colbert spread Trump fatigue

PASADENA, Calif. – It is only a few days into the semi-annual Television Critics Association tour and I've already experienced Trump fatigue.

Oprah gets part of the blame.

If her Golden Globes speech hadn't sparked speculation that she may try to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, then critics might not have asked every comedian here their thoughts about her possible run against President Trump.

At a Monday session for his return as the Oscar host in March, ABC' late-night host Jimmy Kimmel not surprisingly said he would vote for Oprah over the man whose health care policies have angered him.

"Given the choice between Oprah and our current president, you know, I’m on the bus with Oprah, traveling the country encouraging people to sign up and vote," said Kimmel before cracking a joke about the woman known by her first name.

"We would have to call her 'President Winfrey,' also. You realize that? We really have to start using the word 'Winfrey,' a lot, which I don’t know if we’re prepared for that as a country."

A few hours later, another woman known by her first name, Roseanne, had her Trump moment. Roseanne actually now uses her last name of Barr. Her old sitcom "Roseanne" is returning in late March on ABC with the original cast.

She wasn't happy with all the Trump questions that were sparked because the pilot of the new version of her show depicts her character as a Trump supporter, as she is in real life.

Roseanne tried to deflect the questions to creator Bruce Helford but that couldn't last.

"I said, and I’ll say it again, my show has always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working class, you know working-class people," said Barr. "And, in fact, it was working-class people who elected Trump. So I felt that, yeah, that was very real, and something that needed to be discussed. And especially about polarization in the family, and people actually hating other people for the way they voted, which I feel is not American. And so I wanted to bring it right down the middle, and we did."

At that point, I wondered, where is a fact-checker when you need one? Multiple news organizations have reported that the idea that working-class people elected Trump is a myth.

It wasn't long before Roseanne asked what she thought about Oprah as president. Roseanne first passed the question off to Helford.

"Well, if I was Roseanne, I’d probably vote for her," said Helford. "How do you feel? Roseanne, you love Oprah."

"I do love Oprah," said Roseanne. "Of course, I love Oprah like everybody else. But you know what? I think it was time for us as a country to shake things up and, you know, try something different."

When a reporter followed up and asked what she thought of actress Susan Sarandon as president, Roseanne threw her hat in the ring.

"Actually, I think I would be a better president than Oprah and Susan Sarandon, possibly even President Trump. And I did run in 2012."

That throwaway line about her being a better president actually made news, even though Roseanne might have been kidding. After all, it often is hard to tell when she is serious.

A few hours before Oprah gave her speech, CBS late-night host Stephen Colbert was on a Showtime panel for a new animated series, "Our Cartoon President," that he is producing with staff from CBS' "The Late Show." It arrives in February.

Colbert, who overtook NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" in the local and national ratings after bashing Trump nightly, didn't see anything original in Michael Wolff's controversial best-seller "Fire and Fury."

"I think Michael Wolff stole all 10 of our episodes to write that damn book of his," cracked Colbert.  "Because there’s nothing in that book that’s not in our show. And we just guessed.

"I’m not joking. The great thing about the Trump administration is whatever you imagine, you’re right. Everything else is a lie. So we treat this like it’s a documentary crew that’s able to go into the White House and they’ve been honored to have the cartoon president say, 'You can come in and film it.' ”

A critic asked Colbert if he had concerns the show would be normalizing or “cute-ifying” the president.

"No, I don’t think we’re complimenting him by making a cartoon out of him. And I don’t think there’s anything normal about his behavior as a cartoon," said Colbert. "And I think that the subjects we’re picking are dark enough that they reflect the stakes of truly cartoonish behavior in the actual 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And that’s one of the reasons why we want to include the topical things, because to keep reminding the audience that, while we’re doing a comedy and it’s always going to be comedy, and it’s a cartoon, so it’s always funny to look at, to remind them that this behavior is really not what you want in the White House."

Unlike me, Colbert also isn't worried about Trump fatigue.

"I don’t want to hang out with him," said Colbert. "But he’s the president of the United States. There’s no escaping him. It’s like having oxygen fatigue. You’re in a democracy, and he’s the president. That’s why I like doing the comedy. It keeps me from being fatigued. People ask me, 'How do you, like, deal with the news every day? Does it wear on you?' I’m, like, 'Yeah, but I have this great thing where I get to go out to the audience and we have this sort of shared catharsis to laugh at it.'  If I didn’t get to do the show, I’d be much more tired of the president, but it keeps it fresh to be able to laugh at the devil."

I love Colbert. But the Trump fatigue has gotten so tiresome that I'd most likely vote for Roseanne as president before I'd watch the animated president more than once.


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