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There Is One Universe Where A Trump Presidency Makes Sense: 'Sharknado'

By Tori Preston | Industry | August 2, 2017 |

By Tori Preston | Industry | August 2, 2017 |

The Hollywood Reporter published a fascinating look at the insane casting process for Syfy’s schlockfest Sharknado franchise, which is chock-full of random “celebrities” and other personalities. And also, you know, whole weather systems filled with sharks. In fact, there are over 80 celebrity appearances in the upcoming installment, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (which airs on Syfy on Aug. 6), alone.

There are lots of fun little behind the scenes tidbits in the article, like the fact that star Ian Ziering had to hold up cue cards with Andy Dick’s lines for his Sharknado 2 cameo (because he “was having a rough day that day,” apparently), or the fact that they rejected legendary porn star Ron Jeremy, who wanted a cameo so much that he actively pitched himself, but still managed to squeeze in cameos with both disgraced ex-congressman Anthony Weiner (who plead guilty to sexting a 15-year-old girl) AND Jared Fogle (the disgraced Subway mascot who is serving time for child porn possession and sex with minors).

The whole thing is worth a read — arguably the making of the Sharknado films is more batshit loopy than the films themselves, and that’s saying something — but one story really stands out: the time they tried to cast Donald Trump to play the President of the United States in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No. To be fair, he was only their second choice. Their first choice was, coincidentally, a woman (sadly, that woman was Sarah Palin). Ziering pitched the idea of The Donald for the part, since he had just built up a relationship with Trump after taping a season of Celebrity Apprentice. So they reached out and asked… and Trump said yes.

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A contract was drawn up and sent to attorney Michael D. Cohen (you know, the one currently under FBI investigation in connection with the Russia inquiry). And then it all fell through, because around that same time (January 2015) Trump also began contemplating another role: the actual real-life goddamn presidency. With Trump’s camp stalling, the producers turned to a third choice: Mark Cuban. And when Donald found out, he was pissed. According to the producers, they got a call from Cohen that went something like: “How dare you? Donald wanted to do this. We’re going to sue you! We’re going to shut the entire show down!”

So, to recap: our actual fucking President of the United States was actually fucking upset to lose out on the opportunity to cameo in the third Sharknado movie, and had his lawyer threaten the producers of a cheesy Syfy flick. And you know what? I just realized that there is one version of reality where I’d be a-ok with Donald Trump being the President. It’s the one with flying storm sharks that might eat him. Can we go to there?

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Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.