D.C. Insiders Call Veep the Most Realistic Show About Politics

PaleyFest Panel Reveals Bizarre Ways Veep Intersects With Real-Life Washington

by | March 29, 2014 | Comments


To anyone who criticized Veep for not taking a realistic enough approach to D.C. politics: you may want to read this.

During Thursday night’s PaleyFest panel at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Veep‘s creator, producer and head writer Armando Iannucci sat down with a panel moderated by senior editor Stacey Wilson of the Hollywood Reporter. Cast members Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Selina Meyer), Tony Hale (Gary Walsh), Reid Scott (Dan Egan), Timothy Simons (Jonah Ryan), Matt Walsh (Mike McLintock), Sufe Bradshaw (Sue Wilson), Kevin Dunn (Ben Caffrey) and Gary Cole (Kent Davison) also attended.

While comedy — especially the role that improvising plays on the show — was one of the recurring topics of the night, the intersection that Veep has with real-life politics was most interesting. And terrifying.

“You’ll do a storyline, and you’ll think it’s the most ridiculous story you’ve ever come up with, and it comes out, and [a D.C. insider] will say, ‘How did you find that out?'” Iannucci told the audience. “It’s been gratifying to hear people who are watching it say it’s accurate — frightening — but gratifying.” Iannucci didn’t say which moments in the show accidentally echo real life, but anyone who watches Veep knows it can’t augur too well for American politics.

Keeping specific names out of the discussion, Iannucci also explained how real-life politicians have requested to appear on Veep. The answer is no — although Iannucci made a comment that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a fine casting choice for POTUS (Kevin Dunn said he’d like to see Gary Busey in the role). Any instance in which a politician appeared on the show would raise too many questions.

“If a living politician — a recognizable politician — turned up, you then say, ‘Well, he’s a Democrat. So, is Obama the president?’ The whole thing starts unraveling.” So, don’t expect any Joe Biden cameos, Parks and Rec-style. “There’s a ban on politics in the show, actually,” Iannucci said.

Still, Beltway insiders quickly identify the characters on the Hill. “I’ve been told by Obama’s press office that they’ve just come out of a meeting and there were two Jonahs and three Dans there,” Iannucci said. Timothy Simons who plays West Wing wanna-be Jonah said that real-life politicians who think Veep satirizes every politician but themselves are exactly the right target for the show. “We’re definitely making fun of them,” Simons said.

Even President Bill Clinton loves the show, according to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Clinton told Dreyfus at an event, “You know what’s great about your part [as VP] is that there are no term limits.”

The cast has met a few D.C. players seduced into the world of politics by the world of television. Timothy Simons, Reid Scott and Matt Walsh recalled going to a Washington Wizards basketball game with D.C. staffers and asking them what drew them to politics. Their answer? The West Wing. Folks on the Hill are also watching Scandal, which according to Scott, they enjoy for the melodrama, House of Cards for the “drama-drama” and Veep because “it’s the most accurate.” Scott concluded with a laugh, “We’re all screwed.”

Kevin Dunn, who plays the President’s chief of staff, later said: “People really want to deny even if they’re aware that D.C. is a lot like that because if they do draw connections, they’d be so depressed they would no longer engage in the political process.”

Veep is back on HBO, Sunday, Apr. 6, if you’d like to check out that political process for yourself. Prepare for season three with our Veep binge guide.

See photos from PaleyFest 2014 for Veep and other shows here.

Tag Cloud

The Witch Amazon Teen Marvel Studios revenge rotten movies we love YouTube 24 frames cancelled TV series spider-man cats television streaming Acorn TV YouTube Premium adventure tv talk Amazon Prime Video anthology PaleyFest composers spain ABC Family Valentine's Day screen actors guild south america 45 The Walking Dead Ovation Tubi Horror American Society of Cinematographers Red Carpet Superheroe Film Holidays TCA 2017 Music Marvel Sundance Now First Look facebook LGBTQ renewed TV shows CBS sequel 20th Century Fox Sony Pictures spy thriller Kids & Family crime drama TV crime Hulu Mary Poppins Returns strong female leads Shondaland TV renewals science fiction Biopics APB independent DC Universe HBO reboot Sundance TV richard e. Grant San Diego Comic-Con thriller Photos Walt Disney Pictures Trivia Winter TV versus DC streaming service TLC doctor who vampires The Purge period drama TNT name the review animated mockumentary cars See It Skip It serial killer 007 kids FX National Geographic unscripted Pet Sematary crime thriller psycho Amazon Prime Apple TV Plus adaptation Arrowverse Schedule OWN DirecTV Sundance WarnerMedia Ellie Kemper YA Sci-Fi sports Women's History Month Disney streaming service Drama Tarantino Cannes Apple disaster christmas movies 2015 ratings sitcom ITV Captain marvel boxoffice Western Hallmark RT History ABC Fantasy SDCC Ghostbusters 21st Century Fox talk show Tumblr witnail Superheroes Logo IFC transformers Countdown Comic Book elevated horror BET quibi cancelled social media Summer Awards Tour based on movie Tomatazos Disney Channel Writers Guild of America CMT CBS All Access Shudder Thanksgiving ESPN book politics joker free movies Star Wars Polls and Games Paramount Network comiccon TCM Spike 71st Emmy Awards MTV Song of Ice and Fire casting cops Freeform Disney+ Disney Plus CNN Disney toy story spinoff Chernobyl natural history Comedy Musicals Rom-Com GoT romantic comedy Cosplay Mindy Kaling Mystery Marathons Musical AMC Cartoon Network VH1 Binge Guide LGBT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Starz Epix Turner Reality Competition comics Martial Arts canceled TV shows finale zombies Opinion Star Trek technology Dark Horse Comics NBC 2016 nature Classic Film Nickelodeon Netflix Christmas movies Brie Larson Family Lucasfilm sag awards TIFF Sneak Peek spanish language zombie TCA Winter 2020 latino WGN Lionsgate Endgame Grammys X-Men werewolf Country 2017 Christmas directors E3 cancelled television teaser series Fall TV dc supernatural Anna Paquin children's TV BBC TCA Television Academy HBO Max A24 Stephen King Elton John golden globes Rocketman Peacock Hallmark Christmas movies Certified Fresh discovery Rocky 2020 cinemax Action political drama DC Comics blaxploitation Trophy Talk Winners Calendar Animation Syfy police drama space SXSW medical drama dragons YouTube Red CW Seed TBS RT21 Nominations Heroines psychological thriller Apple TV+ Character Guide Pirates screenings indie SundanceTV Interview Podcast hispanic Paramount ghosts jamie lee curtis Britbox VICE Watching Series IFC Films MSNBC Set visit Academy Awards The CW video Election Warner Bros. NYCC breaking bad Lifetime Fox News DGA travel dramedy crossover Marvel Television Film Festival Comics on TV OneApp Crunchyroll FOX stand-up comedy Toys historical drama Comedy Central Trailer slashers Netflix Emmy Nominations Columbia Pictures what to watch Infographic cults Rock TV Land FXX canceled A&E Pride Month Bravo Turner Classic Movies hist Lifetime Christmas movies 2019 binge Video Games TruTV romance diversity festivals war Creative Arts Emmys Vudu Pixar Food Network Disney Plus zero dark thirty game of thrones Spectrum Originals Crackle Universal The Arrangement MCU Emmys Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Premiere Dates Adult Swim dceu Discovery Channel Oscars Extras biography Baby Yoda cartoon USA Network justice league PBS Reality movies singing competition blockbuster BBC America Best and Worst award winner E! Year in Review Black Mirror Quiz USA game show Showtime 2018 President foreign Holiday New York Comic Con First Reviews comic cancelled TV shows History anime true crime halloween miniseries Esquire Awards Mary Tyler Moore Super Bowl theme song cooking Masterpiece Box Office docudrama Pop mutant robots Mary poppins GIFs Avengers green book Mudbound El Rey batman Nat Geo Spring TV GLAAD aliens harry potter