Tag Archives: presidential candidates

Revisiting the Funniest Presidential Candidate Ever (Digitally Remastered Version)

As radical funnyman Vermin Supreme is experiencing an unprecedented surge in political media coverage and popularity, I think it is vital to remind America that I (kind of) discovered him first.

With that in mind, filmmaker Greg Constantine and I have released a new digital remastered version of “King of the Rats: On the Campaign Trail with Vermin Supreme,” which was a finalist in CNN’s iReport Film Festival.

  • SEE Vermin get pushed around by Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s bodyguards! (Vermin calls them “goons.”)
  • LISTEN to Vermin boldly predict the John Edwards sex scandal, daring him to come out of his campaign bus with “his hands up and his pants down.”  Also hear him warn about America’s lack of zombie preparedness and embrace Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) as his vice presidential running mate.
  • WATCH Vermin dance with his plate of prime rib at John McCain headquarters and covertly sneak into a Barack Obama victory party!

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Filed under Election 2008, Election 2012, Political Satire

Republicans in Tights: The Superhero Primary

If you could be any superhero in the universe, who would you be and why?

That’s the question my nine-year-old son, Ari, just asked most of the Republican presidential candidates — in the spirit of the kind of deep pop cultural conversations that we have all the time.

Except that Ari is a much tougher interviewer with me, usually demanding to know my Five Most Favorite and Five Least Favorite characters across various movies, TV shows, comic books and literature.

Sometimes, the discussion veers off into villains, as well. For the record, no one tops any of the three Catwomen (Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether) from the 1966 Batman series.

This might come across as a cute kids video, but if you’re curious what it all means politically, please check out my “Republicans in Tights: Behind the Scenes of the Superhero Primary” column at The Atlantic.

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Filed under 1966 Batman References, Election 2012, The Superhero Primary

Cheerleader Mitt Romney

Substitute your own last name for Romney’s and try to imagine yourself leading a similar song.

Of course, having a large ego is a prerequisite for being President. Would you want someone who believes they are the dumbest or weakest one in the room?

But egos aside, it looks like the candidate is genuinely having fun here — like he’s coming up with the campfire song list for Camp Romney.

Coming to Lake Winnipesaukee  soon?

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Mitt Flintstone: Does the next Commander-in-Chief need to know about cartoons?

With the world watching, Mitt Romney makes eye contact with Dino.

Mitt Romney holds Dino like he's doing a laundry detergent commercial.

Mitt Romney boldly looks off into the distance, giving Dino hope about the future.

Mitt Romney can’t catch a break.

New York Magazine mocks him for never having a hair out of place, recently kicking it up a notch with “The Many Hair Styles of Mitt Romney” slideshow (they all look the same to me, no Hillary Clinton headbands in the mix).

TIME Magazine just came out with its future Mitt Romney Presidential Library contribution: the WHY DON’T THEY LIKE ME? cover.

And “Cheerleader Mitt,” an innocuous YouTube clip I just posted of Mitt leading a cheer about himself, has attracted some hostile commentary only seconds after going live.

I’m not ready to bestow the coveted “Culture Schlock” endorsement on any candidates yet, but I don’t understand the intensity of the “Anyone But Mitt” movement.  He is one of the few Republicans running in the New Hampshire Primary who is NOT a nutcake. And at a recent campaign stop outside a local diner, I found Romney to be extremely likeable.

He was handing out free BLT sandwiches and posing for pictures with voters, basking in the afterglow of U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte‘s endorsement.  I don’t eat BLTs and can’t easily be bribed (it takes at least a lamb skewer to get my vote). On a lark, I stuck a stuffed animal in Romney’s face and asked him to pose. In a deep over-the-top newscaster voice, I said: “Governor, how about a picture of you and Dino Flintstone?”

He paused quizzically and then just rolled with it. “Ah, the Flintstones…” he sighed as if he were reminiscing about an old girlfriend. “I remember watching the very first episode!”  As you can see from the photos above (taken on regular shutter speed, not the sports setting), Romney lingered a bit with Dino and seemed to enjoy the moment.  Surely, it was a heckuva lot more preferable than answering another question on ObamaCare or RomneyCare.

My friend Ilya asked him a tough question about Guns N’ Roses.  And to Romney’s credit, he didn’t pull a Hillary Clinton “Number One Yankees Fan” moment. He admitted he wasn’t that familiar with the music and offered Ilya a BLT sandwich as a consolation prize.  Had he picked a random song like “Welcome to the Jungle,” just to have an answer, it would have been pandering and just plain embarrassing.

I learned this the hard way.

In Sixth Grade, I used to doodle the AC/DC and Led Zeppelin logos on my notebooks and grocery bag book covers because I thought it would look cool. If I could go back into time and change one thing in my life, it would be that. My friends would have still respected me if I had scribbled Steely Dan and Foreigner. And if they didn’t, that would have been an invaluable life lesson.

But back to Romney.  Do I think people should vote for him because he’s now trying extra hard to be fun and bantery on the campaign trail?

Of course not. But if I were putting in grueling 14-18 hour days shaking hands with sweaty strangers, I think having a sense of humor about it would keep me sane.

Besides, I kinda want a Commander-in-Chief who has seen every Flintstones episode.

AND IN OTHER FLINTSTONES NEWS…

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Filed under Election 2012, Flintstones, Political Satire

EXCLUSIVE: Mitt Romney does NOT have a favorite Guns N’ Roses song

What do Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who was recently serving sandwiches to NH voters, and former Guns 'N Roses lead guitarist Slash have in common? Apparently, nothing much. (Photos courtesy of Ilya Mirman).

Yesterday, the mainstream media focused on action figure model Kelly Ayotte‘s endorsement of Mitt Romney.

What reporters sadly missed was a candid exchange between photographer Ilya Mirman and Romney about musical tastes.

Romney was serving a tray of BLT sandwiches from Jackie’s Diner in downtown Nashua, NH, mere steps away from City Hall, where John F. Kennedy launched his 1960 campaign for president. Here’s how the conversation went down:

Ilya: “Governor – What’s your favorite Guns N’ Roses song?”

Mitt: “Let me think…[thinks for a couple seconds] You know, I couldn’t give you one…But what I can give you is a great sandwich here!  They’re raw and unleashed!”

Ilya: [takes a small piece of bacon] “Thank you!”

The “Raw and Unleashed” reference is to a Saturday Night Live skit that makes fun of Romney for being too boring.

Romney was smart enough and honest enough not to say “Welcome to the Jungle” just to impress Ilya.

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Filed under Election 2012

Party Crasher

Longshot presidential candidate Fred Karger eagerly recounts his days sneaking into the Oscars in the early 1970s. Pictured at left is actress-model Candice Bergen, with Raquel Welch on the right.

Fred Karger is getting a lot of notoriety as the first openly gay Republican presidential candidate or the first openly gay Republican Jewish presidential candidate. I like to call him the first “Welcome Back Kotter” candidate.

In my profile on Karger in The Hill, DC’s paper of record for Congressional news, I explore how the retired Republican strategist (director of opposition research for Reagan’s re-election campaign) got his career start as an actor on a failed sitcom pilot.

“If there were ever an “It’s a Wonderful Life”-type movie made about underdog GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger, it would start on the cutting-room floor of “Horshack,” a promising 1976 sitcom pilot for ABC.

Based on nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack from “Welcome Back, Kotter,” the family comedy was a career breakthrough for Karger, an aspiring actor who was cast as Horshack’s street-tough cousin Howard. After a week of rehearsals, his character was cut out of the final script. The moment was a cruel blast of Hollywood disappointment: not being good enough to appear on a show that’s not good enough to air.”

If there were a public appetite for “Welcome Back Kotter” political allegories, I would have written a three-part series on the obscure “Horshack” pilot, which clearly flopped because Horshack is the definitive supporting character role and not a leading man (frantically raise your hand and insert your best “Ooooh!  Ooooh!” here). Continue reading

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HELP WANTED: Employees with Rapunzel hair and Mike Dukakis eyebrows

The 1988 Democratic presidential nominee still has the best eyebrows ever.

Does the American Apparel clothing retail chain have the right to demand their employees grow out their eyebrows like former presidential candidate Mike Dukakis?

You bet.

Does the store have the right to tell workers to grow their hair long and avoid hair dryers?

You bet.

Explore the controversial dress code in this week’s Working Stiff column. Only in the Boston Herald.

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Filed under Mike Dukakis Eyebrows