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Armando Iannucci, the acclaimed satirist and creator of the HBO comedy Veep, is a self-described longtime politics geek. When he was growing up in a Scottish-Italian household in Glasgow, he stayed up late to watch American election results—the first US presidential election he watched with a budding fascination was in 1976, when Carter trumped Ford. His childhood attraction to observing UK and US politics evidently carried over into adulthood. The 49-year-old writer/director has a number of well-regarded political satires under his belt, and he’s influenced such comic darlings as Sacha Baron Cohen, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Ricky Gervais.
Since the mid-1990s, Iannucci has been noted for a patented mold of rollicking commentary—a brand of comedy that takes mischievous deromanticization of political elites, and filters it through his rapid-fire sardonicism. (Prime examples are his work in British television including The Day Today and The Thick of It, and the latter’s brilliant 2009 spin-off film In the Loop.) Many of his scripts are famous for their blitzes of carefully constructed, linguistically acrobatic profanity that’s acidic enough to qualify as minor human rights abuses.