INTERVIEWER: We use a lot of metaphors for presidential elections, like “race” or “wrestling match,” et cetera. If you had to construct a metaphor for the 2016 election thus far, what would it be?
INTERVIEWEE: Well for me Mark, this election cycle has been like a —
INTERVIEWER/MARK: Don’t say my name, because the audience won’t hear me in the final piece. So also if you could kind of repeat the questions back in your answer, like —
INTERVIEWEE: Oh right, right, sorry, I know. Got it. So for me, this election… Ask me the question again.
MARK: We use a lot of metaphors for presidential elections, like “race” or “wrestling match” or things of that nature. To you, what has this 2016 election cycle been, metaphorically?
INTERVIEWEE: Well… To me, this 2016 election has been like a —
MARK: Stop. Sorry. Helicopter.
INTERVIEWEE: [LAUGHS] I thought I did something wrong again.
MARK: Nope, just the noise, can you hear that?
INTERVIEWEE: Yeah, yeah. Okay, ready now? This election has been —
MAN: Hey, John?
INTERVIEWEE/JOHN: We’re filming.
MAN: We tried to turn off the air conditioning to make your thing quieter but I think the thing we turned off was the sprinkler system. So don’t start any fires while you’re in there.
JOHN: [LAUGHS] Okay, no problem. So no progress on the A/C?
MAN: No, guess you’ll just have to deal with the noise.
JOHN: Alright. Okay, we still rolling?
JOHN: If I had to compare this 2016 election to anything, I would definitely say it’s been a circus.
MARK: Go on, expand on that.
JOHN: This 2016 election cycle is a circus. It’s crazy and action-packed. It’s got spectacular performances. There are a lot of animals involved.
JOHN: Donkeys, elephants. The party symbols.
MARK: I guess.
JOHN: Also… “Political animals” is a phrase, I think.
MARK: Maybe, but not sure that’s good enough.
JOHN: Okay, scratch that. This election is like a circus. Everybody just picks a side and roots for their guy until the very end.
MARK: In a circus?
JOHN: And it’s in Orlando more than anywhere else.
JOHN: But that brings me to my next point: Who is the Black Knight of this year’s election?
MARK: Oh my God, you’re thinking of Medieval Times. Not a circus.
JOHN: Is Medieval Times not a circus? Have I ever been to a circus then?
MARK: The show isn’t called The Medieval Times: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth presented by Showtime, it’s called The Circus, colon, all that other stuff.
JOHN: Crap, what should we do?
MARK: Look, I know what a circus is. Let’s just switch places.
MARK: Yeah, you’re the interviewer now, sit over here.
MARK: It’s only the one question, so just ask it again.
JOHN: [CLEARS THROAT] If this election were not an election but a totally different thing, what would it be?
MARK: The 2016 election is a circus. That’s just the perfect comparison, it’s an absolute circus. When I go to a circus, the main thing I’m thinking is “All of this is silly and unnecessary, and it won’t solve the big problems our country is facing today.”
JOHN: Uh huh.
MARK: It’s unnecessarily combative, like a circus. Why do there have to be three rings? I want to watch the ponies and the acrobats and the jugglers, but they make me choose just one!
MARK: Circuses are full of clowns!
MARK: The way that these candidates act… They’re clowns, aren’t they? For one, Trump’s hair is funny, much like clowns. Sometimes the candidates scare children on accident, I bet. And… Shit, I need a third one.
JOHN: Those are strong, but we do need a third comparison point there. Oh, do you hear that? I think they finally turned the A/C off.
MARK: Yeah. Do we need to redo everything, then?
JOHN: Uh… Nah, just keep going. Is there a third way the election is like a circus?
MARK: Do presidential candidates ride around in tiny cars? I can’t remember, but I feel like they do.
JOHN: It’s usually like really big buses I think. Kind of the opposite. I can also imagine a big Escalade or something, maybe.
MARK: Huh… Oh! They wear makeup! For TV! Like clowns!
JOHN: There we go, excellent. We’ll edit that together. What else is circus-like about this election?
MARK: Well, I know you were talking about a different thing earlier, but the point is still valid: This election does have animals, much like a circus.
JOHN: Yeah, redo that one since now you’re the guy on camera.
MARK: Okay. We called our big serious documentary show about how the election works The Circus because elections are a lot like a circus, mostly in that they involve animals. Like donkeys and elephants.
JOHN: Oh, crap.
JOHN: No more elephants in the real circus anymore.
JOHN: Yeah, cruelty or something.
MARK: Well there are still animals.
JOHN: Right, yes. Anything else?
MARK: Uh… Oh, one of us has to say the promo line for Showtime with the juggler behind us.
JOHN: Oh, right. Somebody call the juggler to come in here.
JUGGLER: Hey, guys. Where’s my mark?
MARK: Hi, I’m Mark. [LAUGHS]
MARK: But seriously, right stand right behind me. Just start your thing and I’m going to say The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, only on Showtime, then keep juggling for two seconds, and we’re done. Okay?
JUGGLER: No problem at all.
MARK: Okay, still rolling?
JOHN: Yup, just look straight into the camera and say your thing. Juggler, go.
MARK: The Circus: Inside the — Holy Lord, that’s hot. What are you — Oh shit, you’re a fire juggler?!
JUGGLER: Ah! Don’t yell at me, I’m a little skittish.
JOHN: Don’t drop the torches! Pick that up! Pick that up!
JUGGLER: Don’t yell at me!
MARK: Jesus Christ, my chair’s on fire! And the rug!
JOHN: Fuck, the sprinklers are off!
MARK: Run! Crew, grab all the cameras and run!
JUGGLER: I can’t believe this is happening to me again!
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth can be seen every Sunday on Showtime, or on demand on Showtime.com or the Showtime Anytime app.