The election of Donald Trump to the White House has impacted television in a huge way. Not only has “Saturday Night Live” become hugely relevant again, but the likes of “One Mississippi” and “The Simpsons” have regularly poked fun and examined the current Commander In Chief, too.
But don’t expect Louis C.K. to focus too much on Trump. That’s according to the comedian’s long-term producer Blair Breard, who has worked on “Horace and Pete,” “Louie,” “Pootie Tang” and several of C.K’s comedy specials.
“Louis has never been overtly political in his creative work. Whatever politics are there have come through in a very subtle and quiet way,” Breard explained when I talked to the producer on the phone ahead of her appearance at IFP Week in Brooklyn on Tuesday September 19.
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Louis C.K. actually became embroiled in the political discussion back in March 2016, when he called Donald Trump both “dangerous” and an “insane bigot” in his newsletter. Then, during his appearance on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” in April 2017, he also called him a “lying sack of s***.” Even “Horace and Pete” featured a couple of references to Trump.
These were mostly just quick little jokes, though. On the other hand, the second season of “One Mississippi,” which is also produced by Breard, has taken aim at Trump in a much more probing and expansive fashion, as creator Tig Notaro explored themes of sexual harassment.
“My responsibility as a producer is very different from the responsibility of an artist, or writer, or creator,” Breard explained to me. “When we were making season 2 [of “One Mississippi”] there were many different conversations about the political climate, and the world that we were living in. We all knew that was going to be filtered into the show in some way.”
Breard then went on to talk about how two of the other shows that she produces, Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things” and Zach Galifianakis’ “Baskets,” which will approach Trump, admitting that he won’t be discussed in anywhere near the same manner as “One Mississippi.” “'Baskets' and 'Better Things' are different shows and the creators have different points of view on how they will include things in the show. I mean 'Better Things' is so personal, and it is really about relationships, and work, and the world. The only political thing in 'Baskets' is that they visit the Ronald Reagan library, because Mama Baskets is a big fan of Reagan. But it is not a show that will address that kind of stuff.”
As well as its discussion with Blair Breard, the IFP Week, which is taking place in various locations across Brooklyn, also includes extensive talks with Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), Yance Ford (“Strong Island”) and Julie Klausner (“Difficult People”), as well as various other guest speakers.