“The Daily Show” had a little fun at Jussie Smollett’s expense on Friday.
Trevor Noah and his team of writers on the Comedy Central show were so taken with the “crazy story” of the “Empire” star being accused of staging his own attack that they decided it would make a great Lifetime TV movie — and they made a trailer to prove it.
“It seems like a fake story, and we’re, ‘It seems like the perfect Lifetime movie,'” Noah said. “So why not make a little movie?”
And as a birthday present for Noah, his creative team pulled together a trailer for “Jussie’s Lie,” a fake behind-the-scenes movie of how they think Smollett’s story came to pass.
“Coming this fall, the story of a lie that rocked a nation,” the announcer says, fading into Jaboukie Young-White playing Smollett, who is sitting in his dressing room when he is handed a wad of cash by what is supposedly an “Empire” exec.
“What? $60,000? I’ve worked three days this week,” Young-White’s Smollett whines.
The “suit” replies, “Maybe you’re not as important as you think.” Young-White’s Smollett throws the cash down and cries, “It’s not enough. It’s just not enough.”
And then he has a light-bulb moment. He cuts letters from a magazine and pastes them on a threatening note… which erroneously reads, “I’m going to kill me.”
Not taken seriously by the studio brass, the trailer says, “So he came up with a plan that would change his life forever.”
And the mock trailer continues with the hiring of his “attackers,” an explanation as to why bleach was the toxic liquid of choice, and the final outcome of the suspected orchestration.
Smollett “fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence,” a representative for the actor said in a statement on Thursday.
Watch Noah’s set up and the trailer itself in the clip below.