If you come to Sarah Cooper’s new Netflix special looking for an extended version of her viral Trump-impersonation TikToks, you’re in for a surprise. Oh, you’ll get some Trump, for sure. But you’ll also get cupcake-making Karens, flaming snowmen, a QAnon shopping network, a sneak peek inside the notorious Access Hollywood bus, and Marisa Tomei as Satan running a control room that plots global disasters from Covid-19 to murder-hornet infestations.
Everything’s Fine is a hilariously weird, star-studded sketch show, but it’s also a deep and winding tour through the American psyche — 49 minutes of comedic catharsis that mirror our collective descent into the surreal, precedent-smashing, bar-lowering hellscape of the last four years.
Produced by Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne, who also directed, the special features appearances by Jon Hamm, Jane Lynch, Megan Thee Stallion, Winona Ryder, Helen freaking Mirren, and more. Behind the scenes was a top-tier writer’s room filled with comedians and SNL veterans like Paula Pell. But Cooper steered the ship. For a woman who was doing stand-up to an empty pizzeria in Jersey City just seven or so months ago, it’s been a breakneck ride.
“I was making TikToks in my living room in March, and then I’m on a Zoom call with Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne in June,” Cooper says. “My body was just like, ‘Let’s do it!’ and my mind was like, ‘Is this happening?’ And I kind of put one foot in front of the other and made it happen.”
From the co-producers’ perspective, there wasn’t a second of hesitation to work with a Hollywood newcomer. “We were such huge fans,” Lyonne says. “Seeing [her] first video was a real explosion moment for everybody. It just felt like, Who is this single human being who seems to be the only one who’s able to shed light on this situation in a way that’s actually bringing some joy or sense of how we’re all feeling but we’re incapable of articulating? Maya and I have this company, [and] there was this email of ‘Do you wanna meet,’ and we were like, ‘Yes! This is the only person we wanna meet with!’ We were very excited.”
Days before the special’s release, Cooper, Rudolph, and Lyonne sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about how it all came together in just two and a half months (“We had like five dollars and five days,” Lyonne jokes), explain some of the wackiest ideas (like that asteroid), and reminisce about what was left on the cutting-room floor (R.I.P., Mitch McConnell as a turtle). But mostly, they marvel at the head-spinning events of the last 12 months — and look ahead to November 3rd.
“I think a lot of people have a fire lit under their asses now who might not have,” says Rudolph. “There has been a sense of comfort in apathy that is no longer a choice anymore. So, I think that’s the good news. [But] I’m never confident until — show me the receipts! I want those receipts!
“One day, that guy’s gonna have to leave the White House, and he’s gonna be kicking and screaming. … I think it’s important to be cautious and just get the job done. And then once that hopefully happens, we can fuckin’ party. I vowed to run naked in the streets, so, get ready, America.”