Speed Reads

beat to the punchline

Veep couldn't use a planned joke because it was too close to an actual quote from Donald Trump

Donald Trump is stepping on Veep's toes. The satirical TV show was forced to pull a joke planned for an upcoming episode after Trump's comments about grabbing women "by the pussy" came out in a tape from 2005. "We had a scene where a minor character gets picked up on a DUI and he's being a little mouthy to a female police officer and we sort of had a run using [the P-word]," Veep showrunner David Mandel told the Los Angeles Times. "It was pretty funny and they basically threw it in the garbage. [Trump] is ruining comedy."

While in this instance life got ahead of art, Mandel said there have been other moments that played out on Veep and then were later repeated on the real-life campaign trail. "In some ways, we're ahead of the election," Mandel said. "We had a story line last season where there were running jokes about the pronunciation of Nevada. And just [recently], Trump went on stage and pronounced it wrong like six times."

But overall, Mandel said there was no way he could've come up with the scenarios that have played out this election season. "While I know a lot of people say Veep is occasionally crude, I certainly like to think that we are artfully crude. Most likely we'd all be fired if we wrote a 10th of what has happened thus far," he said. "In some ways, this year's election has become some sort of insane single-camera comedy. It comes complete with guest roles, like Ken Bone."

Read more from Mandel — and two other showrunners of political TV — at the Los Angeles Times.