Gaze upon the disturbing Zuckerberg and Trump puppets from the new incarnation of 80's series Spitting Image

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This does seem a slightly odd time to be relaunching this show. Back in the 1980s, the targets were exaggerated versions of some very straight-laced unpleasant individuals. This time round, the show will be competing in a media arena where everything is already turned up to 11++. Making a caricature of Trump or Johnson seems almost pointless; as the originals are already self-caricatured.

Also, Zuckerberg’s eyes aren’t weird enough on the puppet; they need to be [the m-word].


Yes, Basically the problem with “The Onion” these days – how do you parody something that is already nearly indistinguishable from its own parody?


I don’t think people should be expecting anything like the Dark Crystal series.

I always thought these took puppeteering closer to Punch and Judy levels, with most of the work done on the puppet faces, rather than the writing and performing.

Madame Tussaud’s as a middlebrow political cartoon.


I remember when Spitting Image very suddenly nailed the middlebrow sweet spot of British TV comedy with the John and Norma Major “peas” sketch. Then a couple of years later, all gone.


Spitting Image needs extremely weird, horrible or hostile political personalities that act, at least superficially, in a normal or formal way. Its humor was always about taking these people and imagining what they might do when drunk, acting on instinct, or “away from the cameras”, etc.

Spitting Image died not from the banality of mid-1990s UK politicans like Tony Blair, but the general belief that they were genuinely well-meaning and boring people. So all they had on Blair was his smarmy smile. If they’d have portrayed the “bad” Blair of middle-east death tolls and consulting for dictators and so on, no-one would have believed it. Such was the fog of the era.

While Trump is unhinged, everyone around him is still keeping up appearances and that could make for a successful show. It just has to make Trump the device used to expose everyone else – just like in reality! – rather than cheap out and make his antics the entire point of the show. No-one wants that, that’s just MSNBC.

Likewise Boris. Everyone knows he can’t be exaggerated. But people like Rees-Mogg are prime meat for Spitting Image. Zuckerberg is great Spitting Image material too, that whole Silicon Valley “privately alt right” trope.


Portcullis House, the block of MP’s offices opposite the Houses of Parliament, has a small portrait gallery of prominent members (mainly party leaders) from the past 40 years or so. Some are excellent (the paintings, not necessarily the politicians).
There are also a few statues - including the a Spitting Image puppet of Margaret Thatcher.


Is it just me or does anyone else think the Zuck puppet looks like Gargamel?

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No one has posted this yet?


I remember watching this as a kid: too young to understand the political satire, but absolutely transfixed by the horror of the Reagan and Thatcher puppets.


I was just about to post this.

I’ll note the sources for you

Sources: Youtube posting of music video for Land Of Confusion, 1986, Genesis Album: Invisible Touch feachering the puppets of Spitting Image, (Peter Fluck , Roger Law (verified, does ceramics too), Martin Lambie-Nairn - who knew, advertising and image consultant/agency

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I’d say that all Onion could do is identify moments of fairness, logic and lucidity (exhibited by unlikely sources) and parody those.


Possibly some subtle (or not so subtle) antisemitism there.

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Honestly, you didn’t need puppets to be transfixed by the horrors of Reagan and Thatcher.


That did cross my mind after the initial “haha he looks like gargamel” reaction.

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I saw this full interview and the zuck puppet seems spot on when you see it in motion with that snake-like neck and the trump puppet is appropriately repulsive, apparently that one has an extendable colon which comes out late at night to do the tweeting. I too think it has potential i just hope it’s not too focused on the US given it’s being made for the US market because good lord are there plenty of british MPs perfect for this.

What, MOlST?


We can say mоist if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
'Cause your friends don’t say mоist and if they don’t say mоist
Well, they’re no friends of mine


@Melizmatic and @FGD135 I don’t know how you do that, and maybe I don’t want to know how you do that :thinking:

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No. No, you don’t want to know.