In an all-too-poignant instance of life imitating art, a clip from a 1958 episode of old western series Trackdown sees a con man named Trump convincing an entire town that the world will end unless they let him build a border wall. Seriously.
In the episode, titled “The End of the World,” Walter Trump tries to sell the town of Talpa a “wall,” though on the show this wall is meant to protect the world against meteor showers rather than migrants.
If this hasn’t been on-the-nose enough for you already, just watch the clip in its entirety:
What the fresh hell. This is REAL. Filmed in 1958- about a conman who grifts a small town of suckers into building a wall. History not subtle enough for you? GUESS THE GRIFTER'S NAME
(And watch until the end) pic.twitter.com/6FA3p6KC00
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) January 9, 2019
The fictitious Trump, portrayed by actor Lawrence Dobkin, draws eerie parallels to the real one. The dialogue in the clip, for instance, is nearly identical in intent to the rhetoric we read and hear from the president daily— although far more loquacious.
“There’s got to be some way to stop him,” says ranger Hoby Gilman.
“Well if there is, I don’t know it,” replies the Sheriff.
Hirsch followed up with a second tweet for the haters and doubters: Snopes fact-checked the clip, verifying its validity.
— Alex Hirsch (@_AlexHirsch) January 10, 2019
At one point, Trump, “the high priest of fraud,” delivers a soapbox sermon to the gathered citizens of the town. “I am the only one! Just me! I can build a wall around your homes that nothing will penetrate,” he says.
In the episode, Walter Trump gets arrested, his attempt to con the townspeople foiled by the ranger. This has yet to happen in real life, though we have some thoughts on who’d play the real-life version of Ranger Gilman…
As the clip began to circulate, more and more people voiced their utter shock at the parallels.
WAIT WHAT?! https://t.co/Bz4zywLsOE
— Felicia Day (@feliciaday) January 9, 2019
Holy moly. I mean HOLY MOLY. https://t.co/Nn9l8p8wGa
— Christopher Moore (@TheAuthorGuy) January 10, 2019
Holy fuckballs…watch this ASAP https://t.co/t40khAQbyh
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 10, 2019
Good God. https://t.co/yx3gfgbXSt
— Jodi Picoult (@jodipicoult) January 10, 2019
HOLY MOLY! https://t.co/QEwelt0LCQ
— DAN iLIC (@danilic) January 9, 2019
Holy…. ok I'm definitely living in a weird dream. It's settled. https://t.co/qqmKpXqRXt
— Matt Braunger (@Braunger) January 10, 2019
Lordy! This is real, not dubbed, verified in responses by Snopes.
— Holland Taylor (@HollandTaylor) January 10, 2019
Many a Black Mirror/’Bandersnatch’/simulation were made. Understandably.
We've chose the wrong option in Bandersnatch again https://t.co/JsYOMjj3WG
— KWD 🏴 (@LthargicSuprhro) January 10, 2019
Well, good to know the matrix is working!! 😀 https://t.co/cjecUEaeDY
— Colm McWeeney (@ColmMcW) January 10, 2019
To whomever is about to travel back in time 60 years to make this film
To everyone else, you best take a seat https://t.co/BudeVXt9FH
— Solomon (@GoodKingSolomon) January 10, 2019
Can we just stop with the Black Mirror shit now please? https://t.co/txGsSQDS52
— Jeanna Louise Skinner (@JeannaLStars) January 10, 2019
We ARE in the Twilight Zone! https://t.co/tMqMEoB2ZM
— Jordan Bosch (@Jordan_D_Bosch) January 10, 2019