TV URBAN LEGEND: A 1997 episode of Suddenly Susan predicted Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy.
One of the things that people are seemingly constantly interested in is the idea of popular culture making predictions about future events. We’ve covered a number of these legends over the years. Even when they are “true,” they’re true only in the sense that a piece of popular culture just happened to be right about a future event. For instance, a silly Matthew Perry sitcom from the 1980s correctly identifying the year that Gaddafi would die or an episode of Quantum Leap correctly predicting the score and the teams involved in a future Super Bowl. They didn’t ACTUALLY predict those future events. It’s just a funny coincidence. At least, though, those instances actually had the prediction occur, unlike legends like Seaquest 2020 predicting the Florida Marlins’ 2003 World Series victory (it did not happen) or that Back to the Future Part II suggested that Ken Griffey Jr’s son would be playing professional baseball in the future (they did not).
So with this in mind, let’s address the question that reader Frank W. wrote in about whether an episode of Suddenly Susan correctly predicted Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy back in 1997.
Suddenly Susan was about a woman named Susan Keane (played by Brooke Shields – the project was a star vehicle for Shields, who had been a very famous model and actress when she was young but had gotten out of acting and modeling to attend college in the mid-80s. In her late 20s in the 1990s, she got back into acting and the networks were falling over themselves to come up with projects to cash in on her star power) who was engaged to a rich jerk and had her whole life planned out for her as being part of his rich family. However, she realized that she didn’t really LOVE him, so she broke off the engagement and now, for the first time in years, she was just “Susan” and not the future Mrs. Kip Richmond. So she was “suddenly Susan.” Get it?
Anyhow, she got a gig at a hip San Francisco magazine called The Gate, which was run by her former fiancee’s brother, played by Judd Nelson. She would mostly write about what it was like to now be single in the city.
The other workers at the magazine were all wacky characters. One of them was played by a young Kathy Griffin. That’s sort of why this story is actually a bit more interesting than most prediction stories.
Okay, so in the season finale of the first season, Judd Nelson’s character is in a high stakes poker game with a bunch of rich people, including famous people making cameos, like John Mcenroe and, of course, Donald Trump. Nelson’s character seemingly loses his magazine in the game.
Anyhow, later in the episode, Trump does double duty when he also serves as a potential investor in a new magazine idea that Kathy Griffin’s character (and some of the others) had that was called Skazzy.
It’s super funny seeing Griffin with Trump, as she obviously got into a whole lot of trouble for her photo earlier this year holding up a severed head made up to look like Trump’s head.
Anyhow, the mock up of the magazine’s cover features Trump and asks, “Our Next President?”
Now, do note that Trump had been making mention of wanting to run for President at LEAST as early as 1988, so this was obviously nothing new (he DID run for President in 2000, after all), but it’s still pretty funny to see not only the prediction but the fact that Griffin’s character is the one making it.
So anyhow, it’s just a funny coincidence, but I guess for the purposes of this legend, the legend is…
STATUS: Basically True
Thanks to Frank W. for the suggestion!
Be sure to check out my archive of TV Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the world of TV.
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