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If Trump Can Be President, Sarah Cooper Can Be a Hollywood Superstar

By
Photography Emily Soto
Stylist Alexa Lanza

Published September 9, 2020

Blazer by Michael Kors Collection.

“In a weird way, Donald Trump has inspired me. If he can be president, why can’t I be a giant Hollywood superstar? Literally anything became possible the day he became president.” Unsettling though it may be, Sarah Cooper, a Brooklyn-based writer and comedian does kind of have 45 to thank for her sudden success. In the first of her now-viral series of videos, titled “How to Medical,” Cooper lip-syncs over an audio recording from April in which Trump wonders if we could fight COVID-19 by injecting ourselves with household disinfectant. In the months that have since passed, Cooper, through Trump (but not as Trump—these are not impersonations), has recorded send-ups that would be truly horrifying if they weren’t so hilarious. In the spirit of her particular brand of satire, we asked Cooper to respond, without practice or preparedness, to a bunch of topics chosen for her at semi-random. She liked them all probably… equal. It’s just an incredible. Very much so. — NICK HARAMIS

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CHER

“I always do ‘I Got You Babe’ at karaoke. She’s kind of like the world’s best multi-hyphenate. She’s even good at Twitter. The fact that she knows my name and tweeted about me? Blown-mind emoji.” 

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MILLI VANILLI

“One of the first episodes of VH1’s Behind the Music that I ever watched was about Milli Vanilli, and it’s actually a really sad story. I’ve always felt bad for what happened to them. Years later, I married my husband who’s always making fun of me. I think one time I told him that I was going to be a comedian. And he said, ‘Yeah, like Milli Vanilli were singers.’ That joke has always stuck with me.”

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GOOGLE

“I pretty much owe my life to Google. I worked there. I met my husband there. I came up with the idea for my first book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings, from watching people in meetings there. Google is the first place I go for anything. I honestly don’t know how Google invented Google without Google.” 

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JAZZ HANDS

“I was on the Pom-Poms, which was the dance team in high school. And that was one of my best moves.” 

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THE BIG LEBOWSKI

“It makes me think of this guy I briefly dated who was just so in shock over the fact that I hadn’t seen this movie. Every dude has, like, a movie. Sometimes it’s The Goonies, sometimes it’s Hoosiers, and sometimes it’s The Big Lebowski. They’re always like, ‘You got to see it!’ And then you watch it and you’re like, ‘This is fine!’”

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TROLLS, I

“This is my big fear in life, so I’m going to knock on wood every time I answer a question about hate mail or trolls. I haven’t received as much of it as I thought I would. I’ve only gotten called a bitch maybe four times in the past two months. I’ve actually gotten comments from Trump supporters who enjoy the videos and find them funny, but who are still going to be voting for him, which I don’t understand at all. It makes me think that if Trump saw the videos, he might not realize I was making fun of him.”

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IMPERSONATIONS

“I don’t really do impersonations. The thing with Trump is that I’m not trying to be him. I’m wondering what it would be like if Trump were me.”

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TROLLS, II

“I have much more experience with heckling than I do with being heckled. I just love talking back to comedians onstage at open mics, which is a big no-no. The worst heckling I ever got was when I was performing in San Francisco, and I was talking about how much I hate when people tell me I have to go to the farmers’ market. And someone yelled out, ‘But you have to go.’ And I was like, ‘No, I don’t. That’s exactly what this joke is.’ And he was like, ‘You got to try the honey.’ And I was like, ‘I am not in the market for honey.’”

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ALEC BALDWIN

“I have a copy of his book about his Trump impression [2017’s You Can’t Spell America Without Me]. I think that my relationship, as a Black woman, to being Trump is that I’m kind of jealous that this white guy can get away with all this stuff. Alec is already a white guy who can get away with all this stuff. Maybe that’s why it’s not fun for him to play Trump, which he has said multiple times, and why it might be a little more fun for me—it’s just something I could never get away with in real life.”

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TIK TOK

“I’m a little bummed that the word ‘TikTok’ is probably going to be in my obituary. It’s bad enough that Twitter is probably going to be in my obituary. All of these social media apps have pretty stupid names. The idea that someone is famous on TikTok, or a ‘TikTok star,’ is just an insane notion to me that I hope I can, if not completely leave, then move beyond one day. But I will say that browsing TikTok is the most addictive experience. The videos on there are the most creative I’ve ever seen.”

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GASLIGHTING

“To gaslight someone is to make them feel like they’re crazy when, really, you’re the one who’s lying or keeping something from them. We’re seeing it all the time at these press briefings. [White House Press Secretary] Kayleigh McEnany is making reporters feel stupid and incompetent for asking incredibly valid questions. There’s gaslighting going on everywhere you look right now, at every level.”

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KANYE 2020

“Fuck, no”

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A BLUE CHECKMARK

“Everything online is completely meaningless. And yet, when I got my blue checkmark on Twitter, people were immediately like, ‘Oh, my god, you’re someone important.’ But it’s literally just pixels on a screen.” 

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BEN STILLER

Thropic Thunder

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SARAH COOPER

“She has a great name. Tremendous.”

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Hair and Makeup: Miguel Lledo using Dior Beauty at Artlist NY. 

Photography Assistant: Sebastiano Arpaia.