Andrew Santino Snuck A Trump Assassination ‘Joke’ Into His Netflix Preview
There are hundreds upon hundreds of comedy specials available for streaming on Netflix, but, by our count, only one of them has a joke that could instigate a surprise visit from the Secret Service in the in-site teaser.
Last month, comedian and podcaster Andrew Santino released a new Netflix special, Andrew Santino: Cheeseburger, and the Red Rocket played with fire in a bit that has astoundingly made the cut for the bite-sized preview that autoplays when users hover over the tile for the special in the selection screen. The “joke” is barely even a joke — it’s simply a statement by Santino cloaked in suggestion and implication that gives him plausible deniability. In the tile teaser, Santino says, “I was shocked Trump lasted four years. Four years was wild to me. And nobody, you know, nobody…,” before stopping himself to pantomime a gun firing and make explosion noises. “Not once? I’m not advocating for killing a president, but we used to try.”
Somehow, the Donald Trump joke that any vaguely curious Netflix scroller will hear when they hover over Santino’s face isn’t even the only presidential assassination bit that has been used in promotional materials by the streaming service — Joe Biden isn’t free from Santino’s theoretical hit jobs either.
The bizarre decision by Netflix to feature a joke implying that one of their comedians might, maybe, secretly but not explicitly be fantasizing about a former president getting murdered was first called out by conservative journalist and media commentator Christian Toto, who has previously claimed that Sebastian Maniscalco will be the Right’s general in the War on Wokeness.
In an article on Toto’s website, Hollywood in Toto, he called Santino a “Left-leaning comic” (a term both Santino and his followers would likely dispute), and he compared Santino’s remarks to similar assassination suggestions made by celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen and Joss Whedon. Toto criticized the decision by Netflix to feature the joke in the preview, though he defended Santino’s right to express such sentiments as part of his freedom of speech.
Toto’s article is somehow the only place where any significant degree of criticism has been levied against the assassination bit or its use as promotional material for the special. When Kathy Griffin made a decidedly less subtle attack on Trump by releasing the now-infamous photo of her holding a bloody, decapitated prosthetic head in the former president’s likeness, it was the fuel for alt-right media mouthpieces for months. Griffin received mass criticism, death threats and was allegedly the subject of investigations by both the Office of the Attorney General and the Secret Service.
Perhaps the relative silence on Santino’s “suggestion” of presidential assassination in the promo is due to the more tactful nature of the bit, as he left any damning implications to interpretation and pantomime. Maybe the alt-right has moved on from defending the former president in favor of more electable figureheads — or to scream and cry about feminist M&Ms and gas stoves. Whatever the case may be, Cheeto Santino pulled off one of the most sly “murder the president” jokes to ever avoid the ire of the Secret Service and the former Commander-in-Chief’s 4chan fanboys.
We’re sorry in advance if this article leads to a Ben Shapiro tirade or some surprise houseguests with earpieces, Andrew.