This is a satirical portrayal of Donald Trump’s ascent to power and his unconventional alliance with Vladimir Putin. Trump, depicted as egotistical and emotionally stunted since childhood, transitions from real estate to reality TV before entering politics. He recruits shock jock Alex Clamz for his presidential campaign, facing off against the sensible Mallory Claxton. Despite scandal and controversy, Trump wins the presidency with covert support from Putin. The narrative humorously highlights their contrasting personalities, with Putin portrayed as a former KGB agent with unique coping mechanisms. The story unfolds with absurdity and farce, reflecting on contemporary political dynamics through a comedic lens.

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How do you think your book addresses the concept of media manipulation in politics?

The question should be “How do politicians manipulate the media?” I’m not sure my book addresses that directly, but it makes sense that the media, print or broadcast, want to get good ratings which increases their ad revenue. And stories about Trump drew a lot of eyeballs. I think my book makes the case that Trump’s popularity with his show I call “Paycheck”, gave him a formidable constituency of viewer/voters who loved him on the show, and thought that his persona on the show was accurate. In fact, it was a fiction created by Mark Burnett, creator of many successful “reality” shows. Trump slipped into this fiction easily, and loved the adulation he received from the way he worked the show’s levers, from “I’m the greatest developer in New York” (a lie) to “You’re fired”. Haircut satirizes the journey from TV star to president, but essential truth is mixed in with the fun.

 

Have you received any feedback, positive or negative, from readers who identify as Trump supporters?

Again, based on the title of the book, and the artwork of the tiny crown on the large orange mane, most Trump supporters would not want to read Haircut. However, Amazon has printed some lively negative reviews. “The book was funny, but way too much fifth…could have been great if you left out most of the filth.” I don’t know how one could leave out filth when writing a satire about Trump. This is a guy who positively bragged about his…prowess, grabbing women whenever and where ever he wanted because they “let you.” Another review went, ”This book is garbage, absolutely false with no facts whatsoever. Must have been written by a sorehead.” The reader obviously didn’t understand what the word satire meant. But I’ve found many Trump supporters don’t understand what words mean: facts, truth, evidence, corroboration, and fascism among them.

 

How did you develop the comedic tone of the book while dealing with serious political themes?

Again, I refer back to Dr. Strangelove. What could be more serious than nuclear annihilation? The comic tone comes mostly from Trump’s own verbiage and actions. While campaigning he would often say an approximation of, “Let me be honest with you. If you want to know the truth, I’ll tell you, believe me. I mean honestly, to tell you the truth, you can trust me. In all truthfulness, I’ll be honest with you.” This is only a slight exaggeration of his rhetorical strategy, when setting up the most recent lie he was about spout. And of course, his presence and presentation is quite clownish: the excessive orange bronzer, the hair-weave that during a stiff breeze flips up and shows him to be essentially bald, and his girth, that on the golf course makes him look like Baby Huey.

 

Author info

Robert Trebor is a character actor with more than 40 years experience on stage, film and television. Two of his noteworthy roles are The Son of Sam in the film Out Of The Darkness, and Salmoneus the merchant in the Hercules and Xena TV series. Playing both a psychopath and a salesman was enormously helpful in preparing this book. For more information – https://roberttrebor.net/