Making History Without Knowing It. A Game Show Presaged A Presidency.

 
FREE EXCERPT

Before August, when Donald Trump declared that "Hollywood is terrible" and movies are dangerous, the once and future president of the U.S. was known to be fascinated with Tinseltown. In 1964, Trump even expressed interest in attending film school at the University of Southern California, but ultimately matriculated at the University of Pennsylvania.

He returned to Hollywood some 20 years later, in 1985, for a cameo appearance in The Jeffersons, a CBS comedy. This was followed by small roles in 17 other TV series, up until 2012. His film career began in 1989. "The Donald" (as he's often called by the press) appeared in a total of 13 movies, including playing himself in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Trump also took part in a few music videos, various TV awards shows, and even TV commercials, including one for Pizza Hut in 1995.

In 2003, he went as far as purchasing a mansion in Beverly Hills (which he didn't sell until 2016). In 2006, Trump announced that he was planning to create a production company in Hollywood (which ultimately did not materialize). He even received his very own Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 2007 for his work on his reality show, The Apprentice.

But his relationship with Hollywood never went smoothly, supposedly due to his braggadocious attitude. Some restaurateurs even went so far as to tell The Los Angeles Times that they never offered Trump use of their exclusive tables. And in 2016, his prized Hollywood Walk of Fame star was vandalized.

For the aforementioned reasons, Tinseltown's denizens never truly accepted Trump, but were still happy to exploit his persona, possibly because he never seems to be out of character.

An episode of animated series The Simpsons on the FOX TV network, which aired in 2000, depicted a cartoon version of Donald Trump coming down the escalator of his Trump Tower in New York City to announce his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. When it really happened in a similar fashion 15 years later--in July 2015--the episode was considered surreal.

A lesser known event took place 10 years earlier, in January 1990, at the NATPE TV trade show in New Orleans, when Warner Bros, ran an ad for a newly developed syndicated game show exclusively in VideoAge's The TV Executive Daily with the title: "It's Official ... Donald Trump is Taking Over America!"

The TV Executive Daily was then the U.S. domestic syndication version of VideoAge Daily, which, after 36 years, is still the premier TV trade...

To continue reading

FREE SIGN UP