Donald Trump Impersonator Says the Real Donald Trump Steals His Best Material
Over the last seven years, every cut-rate comic has come out with a derivative Donald Trump impression that inspires eye-rolls through sheer unoriginality. John Di Domenico, on the other hand, says his Trump character is so good that the former president is inclined to copy his own copycat.
Di Domenico is arguably one of the most accomplished Trump impersonators in the world — the Philadelphia comic has done his impression on The Howard Stern Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The View and Conan, and he even performed for the big cheese himself at Trump’s 55th birthday party. Unlike the countless comedic trend-followers, Di Domenico has been honing his Trump impression since 2004, and Trump’s presidential campaign and subsequent presidency serendipitously provided Di Domenico with the chance to chase Trump-parody superstardom.
When Di Domenico appeared on Fox and Friends alongside Trump’s close advisor Kelly Anne Conway, she told him that her boss was a huge fan of Di Domenico’s work because he is “the nice Trump impersonator.” However, Trump chose to repay his favorite parodist by stealing some of his material and repeating his gags in earnest — apparently, Di Domenico’s impression is so nice that Trump stole it (at least) twice.
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March, 2020, Di Domenico put out a video on his YouTube channel in which he, in full Trump makeup, said of the federal reaction to the disease, “We're looking at legal remedies, we are going to sue the Kung Flu.” Three months later, Trump took the stage at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he non-ironically racially-stamped the virus that then paralyzed the world, “It's a disease, without question, it has more names than any disease in history. I can name, Kung Flu, I can name 19 different versions.”
Just last month, after Trump was arraigned in connection with alleged hush-money payments that led to an incredibly public legal battle, Di Domenico appeared on The Howard Stern Show in his Trump character and claimed that law enforcement professionals were “crying their eyes out” when they had to process his arrest. Barely a week later, the real Trump went on the recently fired Tucker Carlson’s show and claimed that, when he turned himself in, “People that work there were crying, they were actually crying. They said ‘I'm sorry.’... Tears were pouring down.”
Di Domenico can list at least a half dozen other incidents in which his jokes have accidentally predicted exactly what would come out of Trump’s mouth without a hint of irony. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Di Domenico quipped of his Trumpstradamus status, “I'm so happy that I'm inside this guy's head and that I can write the material to the point where I can predict what he's going to say. I'm kind of like the AI for Trump. I'm the predictive text for Trump.”
Di Domenico light-heartedly accused the former president of taking notes on his material, saying, “We all know that he loves people who talk about him. He loves people who impersonate him.” When asked if he’s troubled that his act could have actual influence on such a powerful figure, Di Domenico said, “Yes, it concerns me. I have to be very careful with what I want, with what I write.”
However, Di Domenico isn’t willing to outright claim that Trump rips off his own impersonator — the comic then slightly walked back his accusations by saying, “In a sense it's flattering that over a number of years I was kind of ahead of (Trump) on a few things, but I think he's pretty much on his own when he's coming up with his ideas.”
That’s gracious of Di Domenico — Trump has to juggle enough charges right now without adding plagiarism to the pile.