Hollywood on Donald Trump: 21 Candid Quotes About the GOP Presidential Candidate

3:03 PM 6/30/2016

by Eli Flesch

THR interviewed everyone from Seth Meyers to Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Mike Tyson to get their thoughts on the presumed Republican presidential nominee.

Donald Trump - Getty - H 2016
Getty Images

Donald Trump - Getty - H 2016

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has made a big impression on U.S. voters since his improbable rise to the top of the Republican ticket.

From red carpets to awards shows to other industry events, The Hollywood Reporter has interviewed a slew of industry folks to get their take on the polarizing businessman-turned-reality star-turned presumed GOP nominee. Their reactions range from silly to sobering: Late-night hosts are resigned to the sway he holds over their material, while other bold-faced names, who are quick to point out they don't support him, admit his rhetoric and speeches do have a certain appeal. And his supporters, like champion boxer Mike Tyson, aren’t remiss to sing his praises.

But unpredictable as this election season has proved, Hollywood seems poised to reaffirm the three certainties of life: death, taxes and everyone has an opinion on Donald Trump.

Read on to see what everyone from Ricky Gervais to Roseanne Barr has said about Trump.

  • Conan O'Brien

    "Back in the day, years ago, when I was on the Lampoon, and you would think about what are things to parody, sometimes people would say, 'You know what you should do, is do a parody of the National Enquirer.' You'd say, 'Well, you can't.' How can you top what they already have on their cover? It's so absurd, that how do you parody it? So Donald Trump is now the nominee for the Republican party. It's really happening."

  • Ricky Gervais

    "I’ll admit it, I like Donald Trump’s speeches. I've made my fortune out of playing delusional, middle-aged men who say stupid things, and people love them. So this is like, he's beat me. Trump is better than [my Office character] David Brent.”

    "It's funny, comedians tell a joke and they get in trouble; Donald Trump says a terrible thing and means it, and he gets elected. I get it, though, Trump hit a vein. He hit the peak of political correctness, and he's an antidote to all that. People are tired of being told they can't say things, so he's suddenly this poster boy for saying what's on your mind, however terrible it is. And it's going to go the other way. Trump's going to get in, and suddenly there's going to be 32 Jon Stewarts. It's cyclical; people build their different armies.

    "It was only recently that I realized that Trump actually could become president. I should have realized sooner. Think about it: We live a world where there are warnings on bottles of bleach — we have to tell people not to drink bleach. In that world, Trump can be president. And in a sense, you get what you deserve. That's democracy, baby! It's just a really odd thing to have this man who's meant to be the most powerful man in the world act like a Twitter troll."

  • Barbra Streisand

    "He's funny. He says the same things over and over and over again. I mean, come on. Don't you have to have a background like Hillary or Bernie Sanders has? When I listen to the things he says, I think, 'This thing can't be happening.' But it is happening, so I encourage women — we're 52 percent of the population — we have to get out and vote. We need a woman's sensibility. We do. And we need people who make common sense, people who've had experience, people who are articulate."

  • Kimberly Peirce

    "The amount of homophobia that is out there in the world right now and that is being allowed and that is being encouraged — whether it’s [Donald] Trump, whether it’s these legislators, the time for homophobia is over. It needs to stop. Hate speech needs to stop. Hate speech causes hate crimes."

  • Mike Tyson

    "Donald Trump, man, I'm really happy for him. This is really a big moment in history and the world. He's really made his mark. Last time I saw him, he came to my show on Broadway and we talked."

  • Bill Maher

    "Obviously, he's not a religious guy, and that's the one thing I like about him."

  • Mark Cuban

    "I call what [Donald’s Trump] is doing the Seinfeld campaign, the campaign about nothing because all he does is scream and yell, and no one else is getting anything done of consequence. ... I’ve gotten into battles with Donald on Twitter, and other places, and on TV and all that stuff. He’s just so easy to f— with, right? He’s got no sense of humility or humor, no humor whatsoever. That’s what makes him so easy to mess with."

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    "I think [my Veep character Selina Meyer] could give Donald Trump a run for his money.”

  • Tony Hale

    "There is something about [Trump's] crazy that I think is actually everywhere, but people just don't talk about. Everybody's a work in progress, everybody's got some crazy."

  • Ted Nugent

    "This just in: Nobody believes Trump is a conservative, but he is the only candidate to admit he carries — i.e., keeps and bears — a firearm. He has also been the only one to excoriate the insane policy of denying our U.S. military hero warriors their Second Amendment rights on military bases. Listen closely to someone attempt to explain how the best-trained warriors in the world don't qualify to be armed when they are willing to die for our right to do so. Welcome to Alfred E. Neuman's Planet of the Cuckoo's Nest."

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    "Sometimes, I find myself seeing certain candidates like Trump where I say, 'Oh, it excites the preadolescent in me,' which is prevalent, many times. But I want a leader who is an adult."

  • Rob Reiner

    "Donald Trump doesn’t have any real understanding of how government or policy works; he’s an entertainer and people like him because he’s bombastic and insults people. Essentially, he’s taking his reality show and extending it to a presidential run. That, to me, is disturbing. It’s really scary."

  • Seth Meyers

    "To some degree, you worry that you are like a stand-up who's been hammering the same heckler for two hours. You know he deserves it but at the same time, at what point is too much? Then every time you try to go back to your act, the heckler says something else. So I don't know. It is not quite pure comedy gold, but it is better than trying to write jokes about the debt ceiling."

  • Larry Wilmore

    "I thought Sarah Palin was the ultimate expression of comic outrageousness in a person. In fact, even Tina Fey, all she did was just say exactly what Sarah Palin said, and it was still the funniest thing she's done, right? Trump gives you that kind of challenge, but it's still a challenge that's a fun challenge."

  • Carl Reiner

    "You know what I said to Mel [Brooks] the other day? I said, 'You know, after all these years, how could we have so many people electing stupid people?' The fact that crowds of people come to see a man who makes no sense at all? Trump is a f—ing idiot. In my new book I have a picture of Trump. I said, 'After hearing him speak, I got a new slogan. "Let's put the Trumpster in the Dumpster."' And it has a picture of him in a dumpster with bags of garbage around him, and it's a very cool page in my new book. I'm amazed people are still considering him. He's got more people going to vote for him. I'm hoping he does get nominated, because either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton is gonna beat him."

  • Roseanne Barr

    "I think we would be so lucky if Trump won. Because then it wouldn't be Hillary. ... I like Trump because he financed his own [campaign]. That's the only way he could've gotten that nomination. Because nobody wants a president who isn't from Yale and Harvard and in the club. … Trump is playing the heel for Hillary."

  • Keith Olbermann

    When Trump started going off the rails five or six years ago, I started to protest by denouncing him in commentaries I actually filmed in his own buildings. That was sufficient for awhile. But that was just no longer enough when it became a presidential campaign of demagoguery, so I had to take it to the next step.”

    “Even if he does lose 70-30 — a distinct possibility — electorally, there may be nothing left of him but his bronzer,” he says. “The damage he’s going to do to the national psyche could be irreparable. He’s opening a Pandora’s box of hate, the way George Wallace did.”

    “However all this ends, when it does, he’s not going to be welcome in New York. And on a personal level, from just his public comments, it’s been pretty clear he needs professional help. I hope he seeks it.”

  • 'Duck Dynasty's' Phil Robertson

    "I’ll go with the platform [Republican party] that I discovered when I was 28. I looked at the Democrats and the Republicans, and at least the Republicans aren’t for killing their children or for perversion, so I’m a Republican. So I’ll back old Donald."

  • 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Winner Bob the Drag Queen

    "You get to be racist by liking Donald Trump, without saying things overtly racist."

  • John Green

    "Can I just take a pill and wake up in mid-November, and just hope the president isn’t that guy?!"

  • Natasha Lyonne

    "The crack scene [in season four of Orange Is the new Black] is probably a good metaphor for Donald Trump: The idea that we’re all continuing to go on with our day-to-day lives while living in a reality where this guy is a candidate. Where things continue to be hilarious when they couldn’t be any darker. It’s why I really respond to jokes and Orange Is the New Black in the first place because it's like: What else are you gonna do? It’s another substitute for: 'Get me the f— out of this place.'"