On last week’s episode of Real Time, Rep. Adam Schiff discussed the possibility that President Trump is “dimming the beacon of hope for the rest of the world.” Yet the end of this week’s show took a very different (albeit fantastical) tone, until host Bill Maher brought down the Thor hammer. The segment began with Maher recognizing what some feel is a disproportionate number of superhero movies and television shows, and he argues that the raging popularity of these movies explains the ease at which vast swaths of America voted for Trump — because he gave people a false hope:
“Superhero movies imprint the mindset that we are not masters of our own destiny, and the best we can do is sit around and wait for Star-Lord and F*cking Raccoon to sweep in and save our sorry asses. Forget hard work, government institutions, diplomacy, investment, we just need a hero to rise. And so, we put out the bat signal, for one man who could solve all of our problems, very quickly. And that’s how we got our latest superhero, Orange Sphincter.”
Guest Neil deGrasse Tyson’s reaction to this character is priceless, for it’s hard to resist laughing at such a moniker, especially when his sidekicks get shout outs, along with his enemies (Crooked Hillary and Private Server!). Then come the comparisons to other superheroes, and Maher takes an easy dig at Chris Christie because the world has gone off the rails, so why not?
Yet Maher explains that there’s something more sinister going on with this superhero, who feels the rules don’t apply to him — including his statements to Russians in the Oval Office and his expressed attitudes toward women. And here’s how the character manipulates his followers:
“These are all the concerns of small men. As he put it during an address to the people of Earth, ‘I alone can fix it.’ So how does this superhero story end? What is the fate of Orange Sphincter? Well, this one is a little bit trickier, because in this one, the superhero is the villain, and that should make us all remember that in this fight for America, we need to be our own superheroes.”
One may or may not agree with this segment, but it does shine light on the populist rise of Trump, although Orange Sphincter will endure a grueling next nine days on his first foreign trip. Will next week turn out to be his Kryptonite? There may be some Sad Affleck on the way.