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

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