In the September 13th episode of the Hulu Original Series I Love You, America, comedian Sarah Silverman used Disney’s The Hall of Presidents to put the history of the oval office in perspective. Disney is often satirized in the media, but this is the first time Silverman has done so on her Hulu talk show. This is especially notable as Silverman is the voice of a Disney character, Vanellope von Schweets from Wreck-It Ralph and the upcoming sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet.
The premise finds Sarah Silverman being given a private tour of The Hall of Presidents after the attraction closes for the day. Her plaid tour guide hints that the place really comes alive after hours and leaves Sarah alone. Within moments, Abe Lincoln stands out of his chair and addresses her directly. All of the Animatronic presidents come to life and as they speak, she comes to the realization that almost all of them had characteristics that are appalling.
How many guest stars can you cram into one sketch? Silverman brings you John Ham as Lincoln, Ike Barinholtz as Kennedy, Jason Sudekis as Nixon, Adam Scott as Washington, and Dan Stevens (Beast from 2017’s Beauty and the Beast) as Garfield. It’s a great assembly of actors doing their best presidential impressions.
Before I get too far into the sketch, I should explain more about I Love You, America. This streaming talk show is all about the current state of affairs, with Silverman trying to have an open mind and approach each topic from a logical standpoint, putting party aside. Her views tend to skew more Democrat than Republican, but the main message of the show is that we have to put country over party and find things that unite us rather than divide. Within this same episode, she has a heart-to-heart with Bernie Sanders and talks about what’s wrong with the DNC.
It should come as no surprise that both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump are parodied in this sketch. Clinton is used to start the confessions of other presidential AA’s about disgraceful acts that are left out of most history books. Trump’s AA is almost like Big Al at the end of The Country Bear Jamboree, bragging to the void as the rest of the presidents talk on and try to ignore him. The sketch also recycles a classic Muppet-Vision joke about characters being bolted to the floor.
The brilliance of the sketch is that depending on your personal views of Donald Trump, you will perceive it differently. To a Trump supporter, it makes a statement that all presidents have had their share of bad qualities and failures. And for anyone who isn’t a Trump fan, moments like unplugging his AA or the other presidents groaning as he talks will speak to your personal feelings about 45.
I’ve been watching I Love You, America since the first episode. Due to its weekly topical nature, any episode is a great place to start. For Disney fans, this most recent episode makes a perfect introduction to the series. In the same show, Silverman also discusses why it’s inappropriate to take jokes out of context to tear people down, using James Gunn as an example and showcasing an old joke of hers that is often taken out of context and used against her.
New episodes of I Love You, America premiere Thursdays on Hulu.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.