From Emma Reynolds at News Ltd:
Australian comedians draw Donald Trump’s attention with cheeky cartoon
TWO Australian comedians have drawn Donald Trump’s attention with a cheeky New Yorker cartoon.
A PAIR of Australian comedians have attracted Donald Trump’s attention with a cheeky political cartoon published in the New Yorker.
A pile of media clippings is delivered to Mr Trump every morning and afternoon, and on this occasion, their cartoon was near the top of the pile, the lobbyist told them after attending a White House meeting.
“He was like, ‘I really like this,’” Jason tells news.com.au. “I guess he just saw himself and he liked it.
“He’s got tiny little hands ... but he obviously just sort of went, ‘Yeah that’s me, I love it.’”
The cartoon is not particularly flattering, showing Mr Trump watching the gun march on television and blaming video games — a parody of Republican remarks on deaths by firearms.
“It sucks because that’s the biggest insult a cartoonist can get,” says Jason, who spent ten years drawing for local and national papers in Australia. “You ask any political cartoonist, if the person you’ve drawn likes it, you’ve failed, dismally.”
The 34-year-old says he was much happier when Mr Trump blocked him on Twitter earlier in the presidency, after Jason asked the former reality star if he was drunk.
Scott, on the other hand, says he was “rapt” that the President liked their cartoon and told his mum.
The stand-up comics have had great success with their satirical New Yorker drawings, and have now started recording a podcast based on the cartoons. Their images have covered almost every Trump scandal, from the Stormy Daniels saga to the Syria missile strike.
While Mr Trump’s presidency has provided a rich stream of material for humour, they have also delved into topics including Kanye West’s outburst, the Met Gala, Mark Zuckerberg and bitcoin.
When the pictures are too edgy for the popular American magazine — one was a cartoon of a death-row inmate taking an Instagram photo of his last meal — they sell them to Australian publications including MAD magazine.
“Every Friday, we hear back from the [New Yorker] editor whether we got in or not,” Jason says. “I go in on a Tuesday morning and sit with the editor and she gives her feedback. There would be roughly 25 people who slip in throughout the morning and it goes on into afternoon.
“It’s the last open-call cartoon meeting in the world.
“It’s so competitive. They get thousands of entries each week. They choose about 16.”
The pair sold their first cartoon to the magazine around the year ago — a surreal joke about “Vlad the Employer”.
They also write and appear on stage and television — although Scott, 38, says one American told him “Aussies don’t talk like that” when he auditioned for an Australian character.
The twosome are now preparing to turn the podcast Is There Something In This? into a live show, sketching out audience suggestions in real time. “I’m just glad two white male comedians have finally made a podcast,” jokes Scott. “For so long it’s been crying out for that — it’s a hole in the market.”
He says he doesn’t have the answers to the political problems of our time. “If I did, I wouldn’t be here writing jokes.”
But he adds: “You don’t want to pick a side necessarily. I think finding the logic for it is more important than trying to have a really right-on moment.
“We’re in danger of just finding ourselves in heated agreement with people we like and then as a result, when you meet people you disagree with, it becomes a very combative exchange.
“I always feel like any political discussion, you’re only ever one move away from being called Hitler or a snowflake. I don’t think that’s a great way to end a conversation.
“It’s also interesting to see what people think is the big news story because on any given day now — I feel like I’m longing for a decade ago — but you’d go, that is today’s story. Whereas now at 9am, you’re going right, it’s one of the following three or four, and that’s if there’s not some terrible shooting.”
Jason begins his stand-up routine by telling the audience: “I’ve wanted to live in America my whole life. I feel like I’ve caught you at a weird time.”
He moved to New York several years ago when Barack Obama was President. “As soon as I started living here, it turned to this,” he says. “And so I’m very angry, I feel like I’ve been short-changed. I feel like finally I’m in this land of opportunity and it’s turned into Russia.
“Some of the crap he says is beyond parody, so it has become very difficult for us to find a gauge, to make something seem silly, because it already is silly.
“We’ll be like, what’s the Trump angle and how do we make this funny without just showing what happened? So what’s our take on it, so we’re trying to develop a unique voice in the process.
“I guess we’re outsiders looking in, in a way. We’re Aussies in America, so we do have a unique take on American politics.”