If you left your television on after the Oscars — like I did — you might have been pleasantly surprised by Jimmy Kimmel's live aftershow, which delivered a pitch-perfect spoof of The Producers courtesy of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
Lane and Broderick — who played The Producers' Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom on Broadway and in the 2005 film remake of Mel Brooks's 1967 film — remained in character throughout their appearance in a skit titled "Trumped." Where the movies followed Max and Leo as they tried to sink a musical to pocket their investors' money, the Kimmel bit put them in the same producer roles, but in a decidedly more impactful "show": the 2016 presidential campaign.
Brooks's version had Max and Leo staging a musical called Springtime for Hitler with the intent of driving audiences away, only to lure them in with its absurdity. Kimmel's version sees Max and Leo putting up Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee, aiming to solicit money from investors in exchange for ambassadorships to Italy, Sweden, or Armenia. "Then, when the public realizes what a nutcase our guy is," Broderick's Leo says in excitement, "he drops out of the race—"
"—and we keep all the dough," replies Lane's Max, thrilled.
But of course, this plan backfires spectacularly as Trump goes on to sweep the primaries — even though he is what Max calls "the worst candidate in history."
"Trumped" is a savvy take on The Producers, but even more than that, it's a sobering look at just how far Trump has made it in the race for the Republican nod, relying on seemingly nonsensical speeches and racism as his driving forces. The bombastic hilarity that once seemed so ridiculous in The Producers is, apparently, more real today than ever.