Mike Strobel, Toronto Sun
Wrote a great article about Tim and our TrumpComedy project:
TORONTO - The guy with orange hair, fiery brows, flushed face, blue suit and red tie looks familiar.
But, hang on.
The press conference was at Trump Tower in New York. What’s he doing at a Sandman hotel in Etobicoke? Then I look closer.
“Hey,” I say, “didn’t you used to be Bill Clinton?”
Sure enough, he did. It’s Tim Watters, of Tampa, Fla. You longtime readers may remember Tim.
We put him on the front page in 1994, when he was a Clinton lookalike — and the Clinton White House was telling him (and us) to cease and desist. Like hell, Mr. President.
For Tim, that was the beginning of a beautiful showmanship. He quit the real estate business and rode his Slick Willy act on the corporate comedy circuit for years.
He even changed his legal name to Bill Clinton and planned to enter the latest Democratic primary — against Hillary.
Imagine. She’d have needed a rubber room.
But U.S. election laws frown on doppelgangers under assumed names, apparently, so Tim had a rethink. He also does a funny George Washington, but there hasn’t been much call for that since, oh, about 1790.
“Friends kept saying I was looking less and less like Clinton and more and more like Trump,” Tim, 59, tells me.
One $1,000 wig later, plus a blue suit and red tie made in Bangladesh, a spray-on Mar-a-Lago tan and, voila!
As if the world couldn’t use another Donald Trump.
This one is in town for a quickie Facebook job. Business booms. He’s already triple-booked for Inauguration Day parties Jan. 20. After that, God knows, which, come to think of it, pretty much sums up the Trump presidency.
Meanwhile, Tim Watters is a new man.
“You put that wig on and everything changes,” he says. “It’s phenomenal. You automatically squint your eyes and start talking like this” — you’ll swear it’s Trump — “and telling people they really don’t matter much.”
Had Hillary won, Watters was ready to keep playing Bill “as the First Dude with too much time on his hands to keep out of trouble.”
But Tim cheered when Trump won. It’s comedy cake.
“I just say the things he says — and it’s funny.”
But what does he think of the real deal?
“Trump’s a P.T. Barnum shyster-type guy. He’s a character ... but they’re all characters. And narcissists. All of ’em: Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump.
“I don’t trust any politician anymore, not on the left, not on the right. I’m a libertarian.”
Amen, bro. But there’s not much call for impersonating the Unabomber.
Adds Tim: “At least Trump is cutting through the political correctness and tapping into people who feel they’ve been unheard and unrepresented for a long time.”
The Melania in this Trump’s life is named Patti. They’ve been married an un-Donald-like 29 years and have three kids, “all in college, which explains why I’m on the road a lot in this wig.”
Watters gets $7,500 a gig for playing Trump. Not bad, but comedy is a tough road. He could have heeded his doppelgänger — and stayed in real estate.
But what comedian can resist mining Trump?
“He’s gold,” says Watters. “What great theatre.”
I’m hoping for another cease-and-desist letter from the new dude in the White House.