The Trump Jokes In ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ Season 4 Part 1 Are Rare But Appropriately Biting
Spoilers ahead for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4 Part 1. It's pretty impossible in this day and age to avoid mentioning President Trump in any comedy that regularly hits its viewers with pop culture references, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is no exception. The show has mentioned him before, but the Trump jokes in Season 4 of Kimmy Schmidt are even more biting. It makes sense — when Season 3 of the show premiered in May 2017, Trump had hardly been in office for any time at all, and there was still some solid material on him within that batch of episodes. And, now that Kimmy Schmidt is able to draw upon way more material than it initially had at its disposal, it's appropriate that the jokes hold more weight.
Star Jane Krakowski told Vanity Fair after Season 3 debuted that that she thinks the political jokes in Kimmy Schmidt function so well because they're anchored by characters — and she's right. The quips don't read like a Weekend Update line on Saturday Night Live — they read like something these goofy characters might actually say. "I think what works about it, and what will work over time if people go back and stream these shows over the years, is that the political jokes are all character-driven, and not the writers' assessment of what was the talk of that year, or that day, or that month," Krakowski said.
Below, check out the best Trump jokes scattered throughout the first half of Kimmy Schmidt's Season 4.
1Episode 1 — Kimmy Is Accused Of Harassment
In Season 4's premiere, Kimmy references Trump right off the bat, and it's definitely not in a good way. Kimmy is hit with complaints in her workplace that she's behaving inappropriately toward some of her coworkers, and she brings up the president's name when listing accused perpetrators of sexual harassment. "It's not like I'm a Weinstein or a Spacey or a 'The President,'" she tells Titus indignantly, shocked that she's been accused of misbehaving.
This could refer to several things (unfortunately), but in particular evokes the memory of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump bragged about groping women without their consent, according to the Washington Post. “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump told Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. “You can do anything.”
2Episode 1 — Trump Steaks
In the first few minutes of the season, Lillian argues in the car with her boyfriend during a flashback as she explains how he died. The disagreement, it would seem, references Trump without ever saying his name. The scene cuts into the middle of the argument, when Lilian says, "Of course I don't support his politics. I'm just telling you those were the best steaks I ever ate." Trump Tower has a "Trump Grill" that was heralded by Vanity Fair in 2016 as potentially "the worst restaurant in America." But Lilian is an odd bird, so it makes sense that she'd enjoy it.
3Episode 3 — The Reverend's Teaching Career
In Episode 3, the Reverend (Jon Hamm) who kept Kimmy and the rest of the women locked up in the bunker for years on end is described by a news anchor as "an adjunct professor at Trump University." He's obviously not the smartest or most stable of people, so that's definitely a jab. Earlier this year, Trump University was forced into a $25 million settlement after a group of former students organized a class action lawsuit, claiming that the real estate seminar program had defrauded them out of their money, according to CNN.
4Episode 3 — Real Trump Footage Surfaces
There's a particularly horrifying arc in the season's third episode when the Reverend insists as his defense that the women in the bunker weren't up to the standards of women he'd be interested in kidnapping, and Trump's name is brought in again.
"To quote my personal hero, and oh, I don't know, the president," he says before the actual image of Trump takes his place. "Take a look. Look at her. You tell me what you think. I don't think so," the president says in what appears to be a compilation of two separate videos. In one of them, he's mocking Jessica Leeds, who claimed Trump put his hand up her skirt on an airplane, according to the Washington Post.
The other video that appears to be edited in shows Trump referring to People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, who also alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her, according to CNN.
5Episode 3 — Bobby Moynihan's Men's Rights Character
Bobby Moynihan of Saturday Night Live fame surfaces in Episode 3 as Fran, a men's rights activist, and it definitely isn't the most flattering of characters. His interests, it appear, make it even worse. "Look at your profile, dude," Fran tells Episode 3's DJ. "You're a dream girl. MAGA, karate, DJ Slizzard, girls in bikinis getting really hurt." "MAGA," of course, references Trump's enduring campaign slogan.
Kimmy Schmidt doesn't shy away from the obvious influence Trump was going to have in its fourth season, but it also doesn't lean into it too much. The show's passing criticisms of him are telling, but it doesn't allow for depressing politics to weigh down the naturally cheerful, upbeat tone it's cultivated over the past few years. As evidenced by these Trump jokes, Kimmy Schmidt really succeeds when it offers clever social and political commentary while still keeping the lightning-fast pace that allows it to seamlessly hop from upsetting topics right back into more optimistic ones.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.