Trump is almost gone but we've found maybe the best, and most unusual, impression of him
via James Austin Johnson / Instagram

In two months, Donald Trump will be out of the White House but, at the last minute, it looks like we may have found the best, if not the most unusual, impression of him out there.

Stand-up comedian James Austin Johnson has been impersonating the president since he was elected, but it wasn't until recently he figured out the right approach. Trump is such an over-the-top character in real life that he's tough to spoof.


"When he first got elected and I was playing with the voice in 2016, 2017, it would show my sort of left-wing anger a lot. I would be like, 'We're going to kill everybody. We're blowing up everybody's houses I don't like,'" Johnson told Vanity Fair. "I'd be more openly racist and homophobic as Trump."

However, that didn't seem to connect with audiences.


Johnson was raised as a conservative Christian in Tennessee, so he took his intimate knowledge of Trump supporters and used that to help shape his impersonation.

"Trump manages to uncomplicate the world for a lot of people. They don't give a shit about, he fucks porn stars and he fucks around on his wife. They don't care about any of his earthly sins," he told Discourse Blog.

"He repeats their own values back to them. And all they want to see is their values reflected in the world," Johnson continued. "The fact that we don't all see Trump in the same light could be a reason for why a lot of the Trump comedy doesn't hit."

So instead, he focused on Trump the "bullshitter."

"Whenever I ramble in that Trump voice, I'm hoping to just sort of subtly illustrate, like, this guy just has no idea what he's talking about," Johnson said. "He just talks out of his ass and he's pure Americana. He is confidence without substance. He gives voice to that angry confidence and he doesn't have to be right."

Johnson went viral for a lo-fi video he did of Trump discussing the music and career of "Weird Al" Yankovic. The impression is great because he masterfully recreates Trump's rambling style while speaking passionately about something pretty pointless.

Which is a lot of what Trump does at his rallies.



Another popular video is Trump discussing Scooby-Doo.

"Scooby-Doo, they call him Scooby-Doo. They call the show Scooby-Doo. But Scooby doesn't do anything. Scooby is not involved," Johnson, as Trump, said in an August video. "Half the time Scooby is not involved. He's just a bystander. It's one of the worst deals we've ever had.

"Scooby, frankly, gets much too much attention, money," Johnson said later in the video. "We're giving way too much attention to Mr. Scooby."



While a lot of comedians focus on the '80s womanizing version of Trump, Johnson sees him as an old many with terrible sinuses.

"I tend to hover around Rally Trump, and there's absolutely no rehearsal there. I pick a pop-culture topic, usually something that is an actual opinion I actually hold," he said.

Johnson, an avid gamer, also did a hilarious video as Trump conflating his election day performance with Pokemon.



Johnson believes the key to doing Trump is to be as unrehearsed as the president. "I think I might have written out a couple of things a couple of times, and I just noticed that those wouldn't take off online and it was missing some mojo of what makes Trump Trump," he said.

"Trump is not written out, and he's not rehearsed," he said.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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