"The lip syncs caught on for many reasons: their brevity, the aforementioned technical chops, the sounds of the white male id issuing from the mouth of a Black woman," says Alison Herman. "But at their core, the videos solve a problem so much Trump-era comedy, and art in general, is unable to solve: how hard it is to come up with something, anything, funnier or stranger or more shocking than what’s already unfolding on our feeds. Cooper shrewdly didn’t try, altering the context of Trump’s speech just enough to give it new life. One theory of Cooper’s popularity holds that she makes Trump’s humor legible to liberals who can’t stand its source. Everything’s Fine, inevitably, reverses course. There are lip syncs dispersed throughout, both to Trump himself and supporting characters like Melania and Kellyanne. (For the grand finale, Cooper reenacts the Access Hollywood tape, costarring Mirren as Billy Bush.) But the rest of the special cycles through a Rolodex of social media clichés for How We Talk About What’s Happening Right Now, animated in 30-to-120-second clips. The title of Everything’s Fine recalls the widely circulated meme of a dog sitting calmly in a room set on fire, accurately forecasting the familiar, Twitter-fluent material contained within. Karens! Drinking in quarantine! 2020 as a Jordan Peele movie! The very premise of some sketches are transplanted directly from joke templates so widespread they’re attributable only to our collective imagination."
Everything's Fine inadvertently makes the case that Sarah Cooper should ditch her Trump lip-sync impression: The lip-syncing that made her a viral TikTok star is the least compelling part of her new special, says Sonia Rao. "The shtick has become old hat, and Everything’s Fine inadvertently makes the case for Cooper to ditch it," says Rao. "This weariness existed online before Tuesday but swelled after a sketch wound up on Twitter. Cooper plays a morning-show host also named Sarah Cooper in the special and, in the circulated clip, interviews Trump (er, Cooper-as-Trump) while he golfs at Mar-a-Lago. As he continues to spew vague statements about education and immigrant policy, Sarah’s face contorts in mild disgust and disbelief. And that’s the entire bit. The lip-syncing worked because of its simplicity. Cooper sidestepped an overwrought impression, recognizing that Trump’s verbalized ineptitude is funny on its own, in a bitterly depressing way. But the point has hit home again and again, bludgeoned to an unrecognizable state. Even the special’s crown jewel — in which Cooper and Helen Mirren lip-sync to Trump and Billy Bush while mocking the lewdness captured by the infamous Access Hollywood tape — may make one wonder why they ever found this funny at all. It’s possible that Cooper’s critics spend way too much time on the Internet watching everyone ruin things by running them into the ground. But the trick to longevity in topical comedy is to mix it up before that fatigue hits the mainstream."