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Puscifer’s Maynard James Keenan on Trump Spoof Video: ‘Humor Is Going to Start the Healing Process’

Jon Wiederhorn
Writer

In the new animated video by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s side-project Puscifer, an animated, Godzilla-like Donald Trump tramples the White House, topples the Empire State Building with his hairy, tail and reduces Mount Rushmore to rubble before being beaten down by Puscifer’s vocalist and a team of fierce female wrestlers.

The clip is for “The Arsonist” from Puscifer’s 2015 album Money Shot, and it’s filled with jabs at the Republican presidential nominee. At one point, Trumpzilla sees a Mariachi band playing in front of South of the Border Tacos and separates them from society by spewing a wall of bricks in front of them.

Keenan is the latest in a wave of celebrities and musicians to take shots at Trump — only he isn’t lashing out in an effort to keep Trump out of the Oval Office. He’s doing it for kicks.

“When it comes to this election, I don’t give two s—s about politics,” Keenan says. “I vote locally. We build things locally. We support local candidates. But this national election isn’t even about politics, it’s reality TV and it’s a comedy – a sad, sick, depressing comedy. And comedy is at my core. I think that it’s what really drives me.”

Towards the end of the clip, the bushy-browed Trumpzilla captures and constricts a trio of wrestlers with his self-motivated strands of hair before being knocked unconscious by a wave of female wrestlers. Keenan hopes viewers will be amused enough by “The Arsonist” video to momentarily forget the growing anger, frustration, and polarization between supporters of Trump and Hillary Clinton, and just laugh.

“I can’t leave a joke on the table,” Keenan says. “If I see it, it’s gotta be told. And it doesn’t matter if it’s offending anybody because I know, at a core level, eventually humor is gonna start the healing process.”

Keenan knows that creating a video targeting Trump less than a month away from the election will delight Clinton supports and upset Trump followers. He also acknowledges that many will see the move as political – and that some people, like Gene Simmons, will argue that Keenan should keep his nose out of politics.

“That’s what you always say to musicians and actors, because they don’t vote and don’t have a stake in politics,” Keenan says. “I agree. We need to shut up when it comes to politics, and I’m very happy to. But I will not shut up when it comes to a good joke.”

The video for “The Arsonist” features a guest spot by comedian and sports commentator Joe Rogan and a secondary plot about how Keenan agrees to undergo “gender reassignment surgery” if he loses a fight with female championship wrestler Rowdy Ronda Rousey. When questioned about the battle, Keenan replies, “I will emerge from this ring not only vertical, but victorious and with junk intact.” The closing moments of the video depict a shot of a newspaper with the headline “Ronda Still Standing, Maynard Gets Chopped.”

Keenan’s authorized biography A Perfect Union of Contrary Things will be released on Nov. 8, the same day as the presidential election.