When Larry David appeared on Saturday Night Live to impersonate Bernie Sanders, viewers went crazy. But David’s impression of the Democratic presidential candidate pales in comparison to that of LA-based comedian James Adomian. Granted, he’s had more practice—he rolled out his Sanders impression during his multiple sets at Chicago’s Comedy Exposition last summer before #feelthebern fever kicked in, and now Adomian’s reviving it, with fellow comic Anthony Atamanuik playing opposite him as Donald Trump.
The pair are performing their “unsanctioned bipartisan exhibition” Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate! at SPACE in Evanston right in the middle of a political free-for-all, and they’ll address family values, income inequality, and foreign policy in their act. Luckily there’s no lack of inspiration for the duo’s show—all they need to do is turn on the news for material. When Atamanuik’s Trump waxes poetic about his love for turkeys—”I love Thanksgiving, I support turkeys 100 percent, I support bilingual schools for turkeys because turkeys are Americans”—it sounds ridiculous, sure, but not much more absurd than what some of the candidates are actually saying. And it’s not just Trump who takes the heat in the comedians’ portrayal—this is a bipartisan roast. Adomian’s Sanders says the most romantic thing that he and his wife do is read statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out loud to one another.
Adomian and Atamanuik’s spot-on portrayals and skilled improvisation serve as a reminder of just how ridiculous the presidential race and the issues surrounding it can be. We might as well have a laugh while our country descends into madness.
Trump vs. Bernie: The Debate! Thu 2/4, 8 PM, SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston, evanstonspace.com, $20-$32.