John Mulaney has a way of making sense of Donald Trump, or at least coming up with a wacky metaphor that’s somehow perfectly apt and allows us to laugh through the pain for a few seconds. In the past he’s referred to Trump as “what a hobo imagines a rich man to be” and, devastatingly, “good at Family Feud” in an effort to somehow explain the man’s ongoing capacity to keep failing upward. Last night, Mulaney summed up the Trump presidency with a single strange image.
As a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Mulaney was asked about his recent trip to Japan. As an American traveling abroad, he was of course asked how he felt about President Agent Orange (thanks for that term, Busta Rhymes), which made him consider Trump’s rise anew. That’s when it hit him:
“It’s like there’s a horse loose in a hospital,” Mulaney said, to Colbert’s delight. “Like, I think everything gonna be OK but I have no idea what’s gonna happen next. And, like, none of you know either.”
This is, of course, ridiculous. You know what, though? Donald Trump is President, so a horse loose in a hospital might as well be the ludicrous mental exercise we use to parse that shit out. Mulaney then expanded on this idea for a solid minute while Colbert was left almost speechless. It’s hilarious and it would be shocking if it didn’t show up on his next stand-up special.
Sure, it’s not a perfect metaphor. The horse would also have to be a sexist Islamophobe and you’d have to dumb down the horse’s command of the English language. Still, somehow it works, if only as a coping mechanism.
Watch as Mulaney works his way through his Trump thoughts (that portion of the chat kicks in at about 7:20) and see if it brings you any relief after another wild week of news. Mulaney’s always had a rather brilliant sense of language, taking words that shouldn’t work well together and somehow working magic. This, though, might be his masterpiece.