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SNL's Trump Sneakers Parody Unveils Shane Gillis's Donald Trump Impression

Saturday Night Live took on Trump's $400 sneakers in a movie trailer that finds a loser (Gillis) believing he's a winner once he puts those golden shoes on. 

By Samantha Vincenty

Amid a week of legal woes that included an order to pay over $450 million (plus interest) in a New York civil fraud case, former president and current GOP candidate Donald Trump introduced his own $399 sneaker at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia, hoping to dazzle Americans with his shiny gold shoes. Days after Trump was reportedly booed at the event, Saturday Night Live roasted the loud, American-flag-festooned high tops with the giant "T" in a parody movie trailer starring February 24 Host Shane Gillis

How to Watch

Watch Saturday Night Live Saturdays at 11:30/10:30c on NBC and next day on Peacock.  

"Thirty-year-old Gordon Dwyer just couldn't catch a break," the voice-over said in the sketch's opening, which found Gillis wearing a limp, yet familiar, strawberry blond wig. "Not at work, not in love, and especially not on the court."

Bemoaning his chronic L status, a mysterious box falls out of Dwyer's locker: Trump has gifted him with a pair of his evidently magical sneakers.

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"Trump 'Never Surrender' sneakers? Awesome!" Dwyer exclaims (and yes, that's really what the high tops are really called). 

Once Gillis's character laces those babies up...he still stinks at basketball. But, as the voice-over says, "he's about to find out that 'winning' is a state of mind."

Shane Gillis during the Trump Sneakers sketch on Saturday Night Live Episode 1856

Shane Gillis unveils his Donald Trump impression in SNL's sneaker ad

With a new air of delusional self confidence and a new hairstyle just like Trump's, Dwyer begins to channel the man himself. Gillis's Trump impression captures the twice-impeached politician's gestures, expressions, and voice in a take that overlaps with cast member James Austin Johnson's—without sounding identical.

"So you're saying these Trump shoes made you good at basketball?" a friend of Dwyer's (played by Andrew Dismukes) asks.

"They gave me the power to say I'm good at basketball," Gillis's character corrects him. "Then double down on that, until people actually start to believe it."

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This insistent approach is surprisingly effective, Dwyer learns. As he fools coworkers, women, and even his scale, his tie grows longer and his evolution is complete. That's when the "real" Trump (James Austin Johnson) reveals himself to his protégé. 

Watch Gillis and Johnson's two Trumps face off in the "Trump Sneakers" sketch above.