The Petty, Punny DC Politics Of Armando Iannucci's 'Veep'

The HBO series “Veep” is back for a third season. We talk to Armando Iannucci, the show’s creator about politicians real and satirical.

*With Guest Host Jessica Yellin.

Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) receives bad news from her personal aide Gary (Tony Walsh). (HBO)

Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) receives bad news from her personal aide Gary (Tony Walsh) on the HBO comedy series, “Veep.”. (HBO)

Imagine a world where ambitious politicians are clueless, careless and focused only on getting ahead.  That’s the world of “Veep,” the HBO comedy that has Washingtonians cheering and nodding in recognition. Julia Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy for her role as the frustrated Vice President surrounded by a team of hyper-ambitious, not-terribly-competent overworked aides. “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci is with us to tell us how he sees the people we vote into office.  This hour, On Point:  Powerless politicians, stymied staffers and the indignities of public service in HBO’s “Veep.”


Armando Iannucci, filmmaker and showrunner. Writer and director of the HBO series “Veep.” Also creator of “The Thick of It,” “The Trumpet,” “I’m Alan Partidge” and the 2009 comedy film “In the Loop.” (@Aiannucci)

Ron Klain, President of Case Holdings. Former chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore. Campaign staffer for President Bill Clinton. (@RonaldKlain)

From The Reading List

Rolling Stone: ”Veep’s’ Armando Iannucci: Hail to the Chief – “You can credit the show’s cast of comedy commandos, ranging from Dreyfus and ‘Arrested Development’s’ Tony Hale to ‘Office Space’s’ mug-toting boss Gary Cole, for the unusually high hilarity rate. But a large part of the show’s success can be attributed to the voice that Iannucci and his writing team have given this exploration on how our nation’s capital puts the D.C. in dysfunctional: sharp, screwball-paced, hyperintelligent and mind-bogglingly profane.”

New Yorker: Expletives Not Deleted — “Iannucci studied English at Oxford, then stayed on as a graduate student. For three years, he worked on a Ph.D. thesis about Milton, until he saw that it had become ‘a treatise on all of language and all of theology,’ and gave it up. He joined the staff of the BBC, where, in 1991, he devised and co-wrote ‘On the Hour,’ an absurdist radio news program in which ‘absolute stupid bollocks was talked about very straight—no raised eyebrows.’ The cast included Steve Coogan in the role of Alan Partridge, a sports reporter defined by a wounded, hectoring naïveté.”

The New Republic: America’s Least-Favorite City Has Become Television’s Favorite Subject – “The best portrayal of Washington currently on the air—and one of the best ever—comes from ‘Veep,’ the much-praised HBO comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a sidelined vice president of the United States. Comedy tends to focus on absurdity, minutiae, and indignities—and, since absurdity, minutiae, and indignities make up 90 percent of life, the resulting picture is often the clearest of all.”

Watch A Trailer For The New Season Of “Veep”

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