LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A professional impressionist from Las Vegas took home first prize in a contest impersonating Donald Trump on Wednesday, earning a role hosting an online fake news comedy show.
“I won, I won. I just keep winning. That’s what I do, I win. That’s all I do,” John Di Domenico said after his impression of the U.S. president was judged the best of ten finalists.
Contestants from as far away as Iran and New Zealand were allowed two minutes each and riffed on topics such as Obamacare, the recent bombing in Syria, the border wall with Mexico and China.
Four comedians, including former Trump impersonator on ‘Saturday Night Live’, Darrell Hammond, judged the competition held at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles.
“He’s not like others. He’s utterly himself,” said Hammond, explaining why Trump is often a target for caricature.
Di Domenico, who started doing impressions to overcome a childhood speech impediment, said the key to mimicking Trump was more than just the voice.
“With him, there’s the throat placement, the nasal placement, the very unusual pronunciation and vocal production that he has, and then so much of it is attitude. ‘I‘m tremendous, I‘m fantastic, I‘m incredible,'” he said.
Di Domenico’s prize includes hosting a weekly show on the Laugh Factory’s website called “Fake News/Real News”, and performing at the comedy club’s outlets.
Reporting by Rollo Ross, Editing by Karishma Singh & Simon Cameron-Moore