Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, the Trump sons of ‘SNL,’ co-headline Wheeler Opera House in Aspen
IF YOU GO …
Who: Mikey Day & Alex Moffat
Where: Wheeler Opera House
When: Friday, Dec. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Sold out
More info: wheeleroperahouse.com
Mikey Day and Alex Moffat both joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live” in 2016, at the dawn of the show’s era of Trump spoofs and satire.
Celebrity guest impersonations have dominated in this stretch of “SNL,” from Alec Baldwin’s burlesque Donald Trump to Melissa McCarthy’s aggro Sean Spicer and Matt Damon’s unhinged Brett Kavanaugh.
A breakout impression from the regular cast, however, has been Day and Moffet’s comedy duo as Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump. The pair, who headline Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House on Friday in what’s billed as a “Best of SNL” presentation, have shown up as Don and Eric consistently in bits at the “Weekend Update” desk since early 2017.
Their routine is classic old-school “SNL” political comedy, in the tradition of Chevy Chase’s clumsy Gerald Ford and Dana Carvey’s whining George H.W. Bush, cartoonishly over-exaggerating a character trait leaping from kernel of reality. Day and Moffet have solidified in the public imagination that Don Jr. is a slick and soulless Wall Street bro and that Eric is an empty-headed fool.
Day’s Junior is a talking-points-regurgitating “American Psycho” send-up, a trust fund kid who didn’t earn his swagger. While Moffat plays Eric like a hyperactive four-year-old trapped in a grown-up rich kid’s body, riding a tricycle and eating Play-Doh and given to blurting out the Trump family truth when he’s not supposed to. Moffat’s Eric mimics his big brother’s grown-up facial expressions and hand gestures, trying to earn his place at the adult table. Day and Moffat often play off one another like George and Lennie in “Of Mice and Men,” the knowing big brother Don frustrated but trying to protect the ignorant and childlike Eric as he struggles with potty-training and how to high-five.
Their lampooning of the Trump man-children has been a highlight of the show’s Trump bits.
Back in summer 2017, when Don Jr.’s Trump Tower campaign meeting with Russians was in the headlines, Day’s Don stuck to the script that his dad told him “Son, go out there and tell the truth,” to which Moffat’s Eric interjected “And then he winked!”
In October 2018, as Day’s Don talked up his big business moves and midterm election campaigning, Moffat’s Eric chimed in proudly: “And I had swim lessons!”
And this fall, Day’s Don showed up to critique the Democrats vying for the presidential nomination such as Kamala Harris, beginning “My dad can’t stand her because Harris is…” At which point Moffat’s Eric jumped in to complete the sentence with “a woman” and “black.”
In this bitter and joyless political moment, unfortunately, the First Family isn’t willing to take the ribbing. The Trump kids certainly won’t be showing up on “SNL” to meet their satirical counterparts, the way George H.W. Bush once did.
“They got it wrong,” Eric told the Washington Post of Day and Moffat’s impression last year. “They detest us and they will do anything to try and undermine our credibility.”
So if the actual Trump kids jet to Aspen again this holiday week, don’t expect to see them at the Wheeler.
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The literary nonprofit Aspen Words is restarting its writers-in-residence program that had been on pause during the pandemic. Residents include “Call Me By Your Name” author André Aciman. Public events begin June 15.