He has satirised politics on both sides of the pond but there is one thing that is not making Armando Iannucci laugh – Donald Trump.
The Veep and Thick of It showrunner told the Cheltenham Literature Festival today that he is struggling to wring any satirical laughs from the Republican Presidential nominee.
“I find it difficult to be funny about Donald Trump. It’s so serious that to satirise him we underplay the importance of the danger that he represents,” he said.
Iannucci added that British comedian John Oliver has succeeded in skewering Trump by examining “what he is saying or rather what he is not saying” and “pulling apart his logic” rather than “doing a parody of how he sounds and how he looks”.
“All his speeches and campaign ads look like ads from some terrifying futuristic sci-fi movie where the world has just gone through some dystopian nightmare and is now run by an evil robot President.
“My impulse is not to make light of it. I don’t want to make light I want to make heavy of it because I just feel it’s so important.”
He warned that the Trump-like cult of personality was also “creeping” into Britain, citing figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage as examples of this.
However he said he feels confident that Trump won’t make it to the White House.
“I’m prepared to bet £2.50 that he won’t win,” Iannucci quipped. And he added that if Trump did win the Presidency he would appear at Cheltenham next year in his underpants.
“I will appear on stage in my underpants.” But he cautioned: “But I will also be wearing trousers.”