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Vegas’ Donald Trump impressionist predicts re-election

Updated October 1, 2020 - 9:26 am

There he goes again. John Di Domenico is once more trying extracting comedy from chaos during the presidential campaign.

This is the norm for the country’s pre-eminent Donald Trump impressionist. The Las Vegas comic actor is the voice of the president, if not reason, in “Let’s Be Real” airing at 9 p.m. Thursday on Fox.

This is a skit special, starring puppet adaptations of Trump, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, and a few puppet celeb drop-ins (Kanye West and James Corden reportedly among them). A real-life Stormy Daniels, never shy of the camera, is also making a cameo.

Robert Smigel, the creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and “The Ambiguously Gay Duo” on “Saturday Night Live,” is the show’s writer and executive producer.

“Robert is super-edgy and very specific about what he wants, even down to the speed I say a line,” Di Domenico says via phone chat Wednesday afternoon. “He saw me do Trump on ‘Conan,’ but he says, ‘I don’t want the “Conan” Trump. I want the darker, slower, the more interior Trump.”

Di Domenico thus has another opportunity to parody Trump, which is never easy. Often, Di Domenico will say something outrageous as the president (such as, children might be stealing boxes of ballots being mailed by the United States Postal Service), only to have Trump say something remarkably similar just days later.

Tuesday’s debate just two days before the skit show’s air date presented yet another artistic challenge.

“That was crazy, even by Trump standards. It was like he was hopped up on Skittles and Mountain Dew,” Di Domenico said. “He was talking and talking, like Biden was the incumbent and he was running for president for the first time and he was just shouting at everything he said. So there is a lot of material there.”

Di Domenico has long said Trump’s divisive presidency has made playing both sides of the aisle nearly impossible.

“It’s just that there is so much Trump going on, you have to find a soft spot for comedy and something everybody can relate to,” he said. “It is so difficult with him, developing material that everyone finds funny.”

Di Domenico follows the news closely, of course. The long-term future of his Trump portrayal hinges on this election. But even as he’s critical of Trump’s candidacy, the faux Trump is predicting the incumbent will win re-election.

“I would be surprised if Trump didn’t win, actually,” Di Domenico says. “I am in tune with what is happening across the country, as I’ve appeared as Trump. There are so many people whispering in my ear, people you think would vote Democratic, saying, ‘We’re voting for you.’”

Walk of Stars president dies

Bob Alexander, founder and president of the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, died Monday night of pneumonia at age 77 in Palm Springs, California.

Alexander headed up the Walk of Stars since 2004, with nearly 100 stars being awarded along the Strip. Alexander had arranged for dozens of stars to be replaced after they were pulled up when safety bollards were installed along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Alexander also headed up the Palm Springs and Anaheim Walk of Stars, and also the Motion Picture Hall of Fame.

Mac’s Opportunity

Opportunity Village mourned the death of recording star Mac Davis, a Las Vegas favorite who died Tuesday at age 78 from complications from heart surgery. Davis was a supporter of O.V., as was Elvis Presley, for whom Davis wrote the hit “In The Ghetto.”

Davis performed at the annual O.V. Camelot gala in 2012 and had toured the organization’s Engelstad campus.

“We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mac Davis, a terrific friend of ours and one of the strongest supporters of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry,” said Bob Brown, president and CEO of Opportunity Village. “Not only will his music live on forever, but so too will his kindness to those who had the pleasure of making his acquaintance.”

Piero’s returns

Piero’s Italian Restaurant reopens Friday night. Looking forward to writing owner Freddie Glusman into the column again. We’ll see you Saturday. No word yet on when Pia Zadora and Sonny Charles return to their Pia’s Place ambient performances on Fridays and Saturdays. When that happens, we’ll be there then, too. Meantime, we recommend the osso buco and a chilled FizzyWater.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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