Few performers have mined the lip-sync-as-art economy the way Trump “impersonator” (interpolator?) Sarah Cooper has, with her TikToks joining the ranks of lip-sync greats like Bowen Yang and every drag queen. Cooper’s Trump lip syncs have skyrocketed her to political comedy fame over the past few months. As she explained in her late-night monologue as guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night, Cooper is “the reason your grandpa downloaded TikTok.” Cooper’s monologue was a chance for her to display some of her non-Trump material and reveal different sides of herself, like how people call her the “least Jamaican” member of her family but she blames it on her parents naming her Sarah Cooper, which “sounds like a character on The O.C. who was written out on season two and who moved into my body and gentrified my whole personality.” There was also some insight into her old job at Google, where she got her whole “TED Talk vibe,” and she gave some tips on how to seem professional in a Zoom meeting, such as constantly asking the ever-applicable, always-nonsensical “Will this scale?” And, of course, Cooper broke out some of her famous Trump lip-syncing, which led to a startling realization for me, personally, about the appeal of Sarah Cooper:
Trump’s voice and bravado and New York accent + Sarah Cooper’s diva vibes and facial expressions = Barbra Streisand.
And that’s math.