"Veep" is now in the same boat as "South Park" -- political reality has become even more absurd than their political satire. When Trump's administration is "out-Veeping 'Veep,'" how can the real "Veep" stay relevant?

New showrunner David Mandel wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, explaining how he adjusted "Veep" Season 6 (which starts this Sunday on HBO) for the Trump era. He explained that they did take out a "golden showers" joke at Jonah Ryan's expense, after dossier allegations came out about Trump allegedly urinating on prostitutes in a Russian hotel.

Here's part of Mandel's guest column:

"If we're doing Mike McLintock [Matt Walsh] press conferences, and Sean Spicer is doing his, what are we really bringing to the table? In some ways, they're funnier; in some ways, they're stupider. So much of Veep is often just sitting around thinking: 'What's the dumbest thing that could happen?' They're doing stuff that we couldn't invent if we tried. The only thing we did have to change — it sounds like a bad joke, but it's true — was a 'golden shower' joke in one of the episodes where someone is yelling at Jonah [Timothy Simons] about a golden shower. We hadn't filmed it yet, and we realized, 'Oh, we need to change that' [because of the Trump-Russia dossier]. Who knew we would literally have to change a Veep golden showers joke because of the real president of the United States of America? It doesn't get any weirder than that."

Mandel shared a similar story to the podcast Pod Save America (via Quartz):

Host Jon Favreau: The big question that sort of hangs over Season 6 is, "What do you do with a show about the absurdities of Washington when Trump is president?" The Trump White House has sort of out-Veep'd Veep, right?

David Mandel: Absolutely, in a lot of ways. And I'll give you a perfect example, which is—it sounds silly, you can't even imagine you're talking about something real—but at some point in the season, I had to turn to our writers and go, "We have to take the golden showers joke out because of what's going on in the news today."

So we hadn't shot it yet, but there was a joke in the script. I think it was Jonah that we were making fun of—because, eventually, in the quest to embarrass Jonah, you will get to a golden showers joke—and it had to come out. Because if we'd done it, first of all it's eight months later by the time it airs, and it starts to feel like a stale, old, hacky reference.

But also, it doesn't exist anymore. The purity of golden showers has been lost. Never again can you think of just an honest, good-old-fashioned golden shower without thinking of Trump. It's ruined. He's ruined the golden shower.

Golden showers. Ruined. Mandel explained in his THR column that 97 percent of Season 6 had actually been figured out the previous June, when they still assumed Hillary Clinton would win the presidency. As he wrote:

"I know it's hard for people to digest this, but Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) losing and then doing a season about her being an ex-president has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. It never did and it never will. Obviously, we'll take advantage of it. But none of these things were put in place because of that.

We'd talked a bit about Jonah being the Trump-like character last year; Jonah was only running for Congress, but there was the hair-trigger temper, a certain incompetence, an anger at the world and yet a cockiness. But as I've thought so much more about Trump in the last year, there's nobody more Trumpy than Selina. In some ways, she has been Trumpy for six seasons. So much of the show is her barging into things headfirst, saying the wrong thing, screwing up, getting caught, lying about it. If that's not Trump, I don't know what is. Everyone keeps asking, 'Well, how has Trump changed things?' Trump, in a weird way, is sort of doing us. We're not doing him."

Read his full guest column. "Veep" Season 6 premieres Sunday, April 16 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

[via Quartz, THR]

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Veep TV Show Poster
Veep
HBOTVMAApril 22, 2012
Based on 10 critics

A senator tries to make her mark as Vice President of the United States. Read More

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