Sarah Cooper on Trump’s ‘fatigue’ and ‘waking up again’ to politics

SSarah Cooper rose to fame by using only her face to lip-sync Donald Trump. Now in her new audio book, All she has to work with is her voice.

On her return to The Last Laugh podcast, Cooper reflects on the “craziest” years of her life, from having “no idea” what she was doing on her own Netflix special to being a guest host Jimmy Kimmel Live! before she even did stand-up on TV, to a role in comedy hero Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming pop-tart movie. Cooper also opens up about the right-wing politician she recently attempted lip-synching and reveals why she will ‘never’ impersonate Donald Trump again.

When I point out the irony that she has an audio book out, Cooper admits with a laugh, “Yeah, nobody knows what I sound like.”

The comedian was first approached by Audible to write her own interpretation of Dale Carnegie’s How to win friends and influence people two years before her pandemic-driven rise to social media fame. Cooper had vaguely heard of the 1936 self-help book but never read it and initially dismissed the idea. She’d left her job at Google to pursue comedy a few years ago, and while she’d published a few humor books, “things weren’t going too well.” So she agreed to at least try.

“I wrote a book called 100 tricks to look smart in meetings and I felt like this was that book,” she says of her inspiration for the new audio book titled To lets Catch up soon: How I made friends and influenced people against my will. “Basically, it was just like, ‘Here are these tricks to make people like you.’ But my book was a joke, and this book is serious!” She wanted to write her version as “satire,” but when she decided to actually put Carnegie’s tips into practice, she realized that perhaps she had discarded them too quickly .

“Instead of this ironic thing, it turned into a maybe too serious, really life-changing experience for me that I ended up writing about 2019, 2020 and 2021,” she adds, “which were three of the craziest years of my life.”

It took just six months for her first Trump video, titled “How to Medical,” to go viral before her star-studded Netflix special was released. All is well. The special, which premiered in October 2020, was produced by Maya Rudolph, directed by Natasha Lyonne, and featured cameos from Ben Stiller, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Hamm and, in a truly inspired casting, Helen Mirren as Billy Bush.

Even Cooper can now admit that the whole thing felt a little rushed to capitalize on her sudden success, openly saying in her audio book that she had “no idea” what she was doing when she made it.

“I think I was trying to do too many things,” Cooper says now. “I was kind of a control freak and didn’t let people who knew better than me guide me and help me make those decisions. But I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.

“The fact that it was made at all is a miracle,” she adds, noting that it was made before the COVID vaccine. “I wouldn’t change a thing about it, I just wish I was a more experienced person at the time it was done. I wish I had 10 years of experience in the entertainment world before becoming number one on the call list with my own special.”

Next came the opportunity to create her own CBS sitcom based on her 2018 book How to be successful without hurting men’s feelings. However, the network ultimately decided not to include it after they created the pilot – another important learning experience for Cooper.

“I want my own show so bad. I’ve always wanted that,” she said Abbott Elementary School As an example of someone she’s “so impressed” with, creator and star Quinta Brunson was able to do a really funny hit show on network television.

I wish I had 10 years of experience in the entertainment world before I became number one on the call list with my own special.

For now, she’ll have to be content with starring in her first major film. Unfrosted: The Pop Tart Story, which happens to be the directorial debut of their comedy hero Jerry Seinfeld. In fact, her first scene was with Seinfeld, Melissa McCarthy and Hugh Grant.

“I can’t describe how excited I am about this project,” says Cooper, who has watched every episode of His field at least 18 times, tell me. “I’ve never really been on a set like this before and it was just a blast but also super intimidating because I’m working with people who have conquered the comedy world for years.”

Below is an edited excerpt of our conversation. You can listen to the whole thing – including behind-the-scenes stories from their Netflix special, Jerry Seinfeld’s new movie, and more—through Subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, stapler, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcasts, and be the first to hear new episodes when they come out every Tuesday.

You’ve been associated with politics and Trump for so long, but that doesn’t seem all that interesting to you these days, does it?

That’s such a good question. Yes, I have been obsessed with politics for most of my life. Roe v. Wade is something I’ve been afraid of being brought down since I was 20. And after Biden got elected and there was this big sigh of relief, I did a little checking and I was kind of happy about that a little bit because it was really overwhelming. I mean, Trump exhausted me.

And you were really there. You were really paying attention, more than most people, because you were making these videos and somehow you had to stay on top of things.

Yes, exactly. And I’ve had people write like, “Do that, do that, do that!”

You’ve probably seen 100 times more Trump clips than you’ve actually made.

Yes, and I listened to him over and over again while making these videos.

I don’t know how you survived.

I do not know it either. I really don’t. But yeah, I think I was just tired of it, and I think I woke up a bit. I just read an article about how Texas Republicans are making fun of Dan Crenshaw now, just like Pete Davidson made fun of Dan Crenshaw years ago. And everyone said, “Fuck you, Pete, for that.”

Even Tucker Carlson did it recently. He was making fun of his eye patch on his showand he was one of the people who went after Pete Davidson.

So now I’m like, “Oh wow, they’re really just making their own reality.” I mean, in a weird way, they just say, “This is the world we Life. And we will manifest whatever we want.” It’s creepy. And I start listening a little more. In my mind, it’s a small segment of society that’s lost. I hope it’s a small segment. I don’t know how big this segment of society is. I don’t know how much they will put out for midterms this year. I know the Republican thought process that only a small fraction of Americans actually agree with this, and so it feels like we’re controlled by a minority. So I gave myself a little mental break and I’m hoping to get back in there because obviously it’s very important.

Does that include creativity in terms of things you would post online? I know when we talked last time, you didn’t really think you’d ever do Trump videos again, but you said you knew there would come a time when you’d see him say something and you’d be tempted to do it. Or people asked you to. Whether it’s Trump or other political content, are you considering doing it again?

I do. I mean, the other day I didn’t know what was going on with Herschel Walker, and you know, Matt, I’m telling you, just for me, I started dubbing him a bit.

Oh? That is interesting.

It was not. I felt like I was literally making fun of someone who isn’t quite there mentally.

Unlike Trump?

[Laughs] I know right? But with Trump he keeps repeating himself, so I have a feeling he’s not going to say anything new, so there’s nothing new to do there. So no, I don’t think I’ll ever lip-sync a politician again. Lip syncing is fun, so I’ll probably do it in some way in the future. But I will never lip-sync Trump again.

And it didn’t feel right to try someone else?

no It didn’t feel right. It felt like this was a 2020 moment. And it’s really cool to meet Melissa McCarthy and let her go, “Oh my god, these videos!” Hugh Grant said the same thing to me. So I’m starting to see the impact they’ve had. What so many people keep saying to me is: “You saved me from the pandemic” or “You made the pandemic bearable” or “You helped me get through the pandemic”. I’m proud of that. I’m proud that it helps people so much. And I think the next thing is going to be this thing – I don’t know if it’s going to come from me.

Listen to the episode now and Subscribe to The Last Laugh on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, stapler, Amazon Musicor wherever you get your podcasts, and be the first to hear new episodes when they come out every Tuesday.

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