Alex Salmond’s attempts to ridicule Donald Trump in a special edition of his Edinburgh festival fringe show last night saw the former First Minister upstaged by a pitch perfect impersonation of the US president.
The former MP announced his ambition to “bring doon” The Donald with a show of such satirical verve and wit that its repercussions would be felt in the White House. Unfortunately for him, however, most of the jokes were at his expense – courtesy of the Scottish comedian Des Clarke and his impression of the leader of the Western World.
In front of a packed house in the Assembly Rooms, Mr Salmond began his show with a power-point presentation of correspondence with Mr Trump detailing their rows over the billionaire’s golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.
This was accompanied by a couthy account of their letters about a wind farm off the coast of the links, including a Trump epistle that referred to Mr Salmond as “Mad Alex the man, who destroyed Scotland”.
“The Unionist press dinnae think I need wind farms to destroy Scotland,” joked Mr Salmond. But it was the entry of his special guests – the pride of Liverpool John Bishop and Mr Clarke – which livened things up. Wearing a Trump wig, Mr Clarke sat between Mr Salmond and his fellow comedian and stole the show. Mr Bishop was unable to get a word in, remarking that the only difference between him and the audience was that he had a seat on the stage.
Mr Clarke/Donald Trump said Mr Salmond was glad of a seat, full stop – “because I know you don’t have one at the moment”.
When Mr Salmond said he wanted to “roast Trump”, Mr Clarke expressed a preference for “smoking Salmond”.
In character as Trump, Mr Clarke said he had offered Mr Salmond a seat in his Cabinet “soooo many times”.
“I’ve offered you a Cabinet job, because I don’t think anyone else will have you. It’s gonna be fantastic when you get over to America everyone’s gonna think I’ve got Susan Boyle in the Cabinet.”
By now, Mr Bishop was suggesting the one-sided Clarke and Salmond double act would give the Krankies a run for their money. Mr Salmond braved the barrage in good grace as he moved on to the Question and Answer segment of the show.
The audience had filled in request forms for a question. One enterprising audience member had filled in two and her name was drawn out twice. Admiring her perseverance, Mr Salmond let her ask her second question.
“Alex thinks everyone should have two goes,” said Mr Clarke. “Just ask him about the referendum.”
At one point, Mr Salmond was asked what scent he would go for if he, like Mr Trump, had a perfume manufactured in his honour. “Whisky Galore,” was Mr Salmond’s pre-prepared answer to the pre-prepared question.
“Men who sleep on park benches smell of whisky galore,” quipped Mr Bishop finally getting a word in.
As the tone lowered to jokes about what lewd activities were picked up by spy cameras in Russian hotels, one realised why Mr Salmond had billed this extra show adults only.