Johnny Depp Made a Hilarious Donald Trump Biopic for Funny or Die
Update: For those who couldn't figure out how to watch The Art of the Deal on Funny or Die, there's hope. Netflix just added the Donald Trump spoof movie to Watch Instantly. Make your queue great again! And while your at it, here's every new title coming to Netflix in August.
The Art of the Deal, a 1988 TV movie adaptation of Donald Trump's autobiography written, directed, and starring Donald Trump, was pre-empted by Monday Night Football and never aired. All copies of the biopic were destroyed in the Cybill Shepherd blouse fire of 1989. It was thought to be a lost memory... until now. But thanks to Ron Howard, who beat up an unsuspecting woman at a yard sale to retrieve the only remaining copy, people can enjoy this cinematic relic for the first time.
OK, that's not entirely true. The Art of the Deal is a sharp-witted, feature-length gag from Funny or Die cohort Jeremy Konner (Drunk History), who wrangled Patton Oswalt, Michaela Watkins, Andy Richter, Jack McBrayer, Stephen Merchant, Rob Huebel, Jason Mantzoukas, acclaimed thespian Alfred Molina, and Room's child star Jacob Tremblay to mount his VHS-quality parody.
Playing the Donald is none other than Johnny Depp, caked in latex and fitted with the signature, askew hair helmet. Though Depp has taken flack for playing dress up over the years, he fits right in with Funny or Die's brand of absurdity. He pouts, he barks, he rambles incoherently, he builds the foundation that will carry him to today's presidential race. Depp's Trump is basically macho Brick Tamland.
The Art of the Deal spears Trump with his own brassy, ball-busting business rhetoric, but it's the '80s culture glues it together. There are movie tropes galore (including the "body switch" -- a genre to itself), historical recreations (like the infamous legal battle between NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle and Trump, who owned a United States Football League team in the '80s), hip-hop interludes starring a parody version of the Fat Boys, and a bevy of cameos. The only surprise when ALF shows up is that they don't call him Gordon Shumway. All this, plus Kenny Loggins sings The Art of the Deal theme song. Oh, and Christopher Lloyd pops in and out as Back to the Future's Doc Brown to... well, you'll get there.
There's no way to sum up everything Konner pours into The Art of the Deal, and how accurately it nails the '80s TV movie vibe. Just watch it.
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Matt Patches is Thrillist’s Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He would love to try a Trump Steak. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.