The Joke Veep Had To Cut Thanks To Donald Trump

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Donald Trump's presidential campaign has given many TV shows a dependable wealth of material to draw from, with late night talk shows reaping the most benefits. But for a show like Veep, a comedy that half-nihilistically satirizes the inhabitants and goings-on within the White House, it's a lot harder to enjoy the unprecedented ribaldry and frankness of Trump, since it's that much harder to push the envelope within a fictional narrative. Current Veep showrunner David Mandel offered up an example of a joke that had to get tossed because of real-life parallels.

I've never said this before. We had a scene where a minor character gets picked up on a DUI and he's being a little mouthy to a female police officer and we sort of had a run using [the P-word]. It was pretty funny and they basically threw it in the garbage. [Trump] is ruining comedy.

Nothing about that situation is directly related to Donald Trump, since none of his recent headlines have been about getting a DUI or talking smack to a woman cop. But as far as using the word "pussy" - I admit I'm just assuming that's the P-word in question, given the context - Trump is definitely the reason why that particular slang term has been used all over news and social media in the past week. Sure, current news is always forgotten after enough time has gone by, but the expletive-filled Veep is at a disadvantage here.

And every day that goes by threatens to turn Veep into a merely spot-on reflection of today's society rather than a hyperbolic one. Mandel did say that he's grateful the show is taking Selina Meyer away from the Oval Office for Season 6. Not that all of Donald Trump news has been focused on his presidential run, but at least none of the Veep writers had to worry about this latest set of debates accidentally ruining an upcoming bit on the show.

Dave Mandel spoke with the Los Angeles Times, alongside Designated Survivor's Jon Harmon Feldman and Madam Secretary's Barbara Hall, specifically about how hard it is to maintain a fictional world that the real world is constantly threaten to upend. And while they all talk about the challenges, Mandel did bring up something that the show did before Trump.

In some ways, we're ahead of the election. We had a story line last season where there were running jokes about the pronunciation of Nevada. And just [recently], Trump went on stage and pronounced it wrong like six times. We did that.

Will Veep be able to keep winning those Emmys with Selina leaving the White House in a year where either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton become President of the United States? Will it still manage to keep those rising ratings going strong? Almost definitely, because these brilliant writers could squeeze diamonds out of gold (toupees).

Veep is set to return to HBO for Season 6 at some point in 2017, although it's unclear at this point if it will stick with its usual spring premiere or if HBO will continue pairing the political satire with its usual Sunday night partner Game of Thrones when the fantasy epic debuts in the summer. In any case, there are more shows coming in the meantime, and you can find them in our fall TV schedule, and our 2017 Netflix schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.