There was a moment a fortnight ago when the real world of global politics and the parallel world of political satire joined perfectly. President Donald Trump took the stage at the US Boy Scouts Jamboree to deliver a presidential address. By tradition, this is usually centred on a virtue: courage, service. Trump devoted it to a celebration of his own 2016 victory, and then proceeded to regale the Scouts with tales of parties in New York in the 1970s: "I have to tell you the hottest women were there. The hottest." We have long since passed the point where reality resembles a Saturday Night Live sketch. The US presidency was now a Harold Ramis movie -- Caddyshack Three: Eighteen A**holes at the White House. Only Bill Murray, as President Bozonger, the Hollywood pool cleaner elevated to the highest office by a clerical error, could have done justice to that Boy Scouts speech. There’s nowhere to go after that. SNL when it comes back from summer break, will find that, to be actually satirical, it will have to be more serious than the presidency it is mocking.
But that is of course the danger. The temptation to kick back and just enjoy the comic spectacle, and to treat everything real that Trump does as just another plot point. Witness the current North Korea crisis. Of course, if you were doing Caddyshack Three, you’d have President Bozonger at a breakfast about Careers in the North, noodle out a few lines that put the whole world at a new level of nuclear threat. "Well uh you know, Northern Careers that really really is a big problem, we uh we uh, you know, we have to deal with that", he says, staring at his briefing paper which conceals a K-Mart lingerie catalogue. Cut to Kim Jong-un (Peter Sellers, in his finest role, reprising The Mouse That Roared) ordering the missiles armed.