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Thank You, Stephen Colbert, for This Delightfully Depressing “Melania Trump” Christmas Special

Or is it depressingly delightful?

On last night’s Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the traditional White House Christmas message got a full Christmas special makeover.

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The segment features Laura Benanti as Melania Trump, forced to give the holiday greeting alone because her husband is running late (“Which is surprising, because I have never seen him run before”). Eric and Don Jr, too, are absent, as they’re busy hunting endangered reindeer. That leaves Melania “to do what I do best: distract from [Trump’s] failures.”

People’s opinions on Melania vary a lot. Some people still hold out hope that she’s a mollifying voice in the White House. Some see her as almost a prisoner. Others view her as an opportunist, willfully complicit in offering distractions from her husband’s behavior, actively working to benefit from his position of extreme power and fame, even if she so clearly hates being there. That last viewpoint is the one from which this sketch operates, and it works because it commits hard to that premise. It doesn’t cut her any slack for her supporting role in America’s current political horror show.

The other reason why this works is that it stars Benanti, who you may know from Supergirl or Nashville, but as this segment makes clear, she’s also a huge Broadway star. She’s played Melania Trump on Colbert’s show before, but here, when her Melania realizes Donald isn’t coming home and she gets to spend Christmas without him, she unleashes with a full song and dance number.

It’s definitely 1 million times more entertaining and personable than whatever the actual Trumps have planned for the real holiday message.

(image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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