Edinburgh TV Fest: Comedy Central's Kent Alterman on Making "Responsible" Donald Trump Shows

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Kent Alterman

'The President Show' was funny because "it's really tapping into not only what's happening but its implications," said the comedy boss, speaking at the industry gathering.

Comedy Central president Kent Alterman was the final "game changer" on the second day of the Edinburgh TV Festival.

Unsurprisingly, the not-insignificant matter of the White House's current resident — and the role of comedy in dealing with him — was a frequent topic of conversation during the talk, hosted by U.K. comedian Jimmy Carr.

Alterman revealed that, over the past year, the network has been inundated with pitches relating to the president. 

"So many shows came to us and we said no to every one, except one," he said.

And that series, The President Show, in which Anthony Atamanuik stars as Trump, Alterman said was "incredibly responsible."

"Anthony's not just doing a caricature of Trump, he's doing a really deep psychological impersonation," he said. "And he's so wicked smart. He spent time working with Glenn Beck and the right wing of politics, not because that was his persuasion, but because it was a job that he had, and he is so conversant with policy and what's happening minute by minute."

The President Show, he claimed, was "really responsive" to the actions of Trump.

"So I think [Atamanuik] and his creative team are doing a great job of really being responsible," he said. "First and foremost it's funny, but the reason it's funny is because it's really tapping into not only what's happening but its implications."

Asked what shows Comedy Central was missing, Alterman said there's a need for quality animation.

"One thing that has been very difficult for us to find is animated shows that could live in the shadow of South Park," he said. "It sets such a high standard. It's like the ultimate expression of a great comedy show."

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