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Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 08/ 1/2008

Friday List: Casting a Celeb-Centric Presidential Campaign Ad

By Liz Kelly

Thanks, John McCain, for reminding we average Americans that the most important determinants of our vote in the upcoming presidential election are not the same old tired criteria of election years past: the economy, candidate track records, platforms. No, you've rightly moved the election rhetoric into the TMZ-saturated present by comparing Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears:

As a tireless celeb watcher, let me just say "Bravo!" for your choice -- because Paris and Britney are icky and you've potentially saved us from electing a man who might share qualities with these women. For instance, how embarrassing would it be to have a president who goes commando at state dinners or, like, starts dating a Madden brother?

Still, in the interest of fair play, we here at Celebritology must step up and perform our civic duty by leveling the playing field. Since it's unlikely that the Obama campaign will strike back with an ad comparing you to Lindsay Lohan or Joe Francis, well, we're going to do it for them.

First, watch the McCain ad above again for a little inspiration.

Then, use this format to craft your concept:

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of [insert celeb no. 1 here] and [celeb no. 2 here] smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence: [insert your text here].

Here's an example crafted by one Celebritology reader who prefers to remain anonymous:

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Amy Winehouse in one of her finer moments and Carmen Electra pole dancing, both smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence in rich baritone: John McCain has never addressed skanks, drug abuse or erotic dancing. Don't you think it's high time he does?

And, one less salacious example from me:

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of George Burns and Charlie Brown smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence in the voice of Abe Simpson: John McCain is old, like George Burns was before he died. Isn't it about time he stopped playing God? Also, he looks like Charlie Brown. Do we really want "Classic Peanuts" sitting in the Oval office?

Your turn: Share your pitches below. The best three will be highlighted in the blog on Monday, so as to make them easier for the Madison Ave. guys to find...

By Liz Kelly  | August 1, 2008; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Comments

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Dennis Haysbert (as President Palmer in 24) and Morgan Freeman (as President in Deep Impact) smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence: Hollywood knows what a president should look like.

Posted by: deadpan | August 1, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious article. It just goes to show how ridiculous John Mccain is and how desperate his campaign is becoming.

Obama '08

Posted by: Denise | August 1, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Heidi (holding an AK47 drapped in the US flag) and Spencer(holding a grenade in his hand with the pin in his mouth) smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence: These two have us protected on the homefront, we need McCain to handle terror worldwide.

Posted by: petal, now that I think of it I'm even more afraid | August 1, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Help! Check your grammar: ...for reminding 'us' Americans...

Posted by: ann | August 1, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Just rework this MADtv parody of "My Humps" called "My Slump" featuring George W. Bush: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vzxky8TqkU4

With his talent, Frank Calliendo could probably do a serviceable Obama and/or McCain as well. . . .

Posted by: td | August 1, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Edward Norton as The Incredible Hulk, and Spencer Tracy as Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transforming in front of the camera into uncontrollable raging monsters as the voiceover intones, "America knows how dangerous a bad tempered president would be"

Posted by: mrmango | August 1, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I don't have a commercial. But, I would just like to remind everyone to have fun while remembering not everyone on this blog is of the same political persuasions. So, keep the personal political attacks out of it.

Posted by: ep | August 1, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Cry all you want. Obama pretends his popularity with the young crowd and black voters will get him a victory. Last I checked being popular and having no clue about politics didn't win elections. Have you read his policy plans...yea they have no clear cut point. Not to mention he has no idea where he will find the money to fund them. Lets talk about Mccains policies, they actually get to the point and can be backed by where he will get the money to pay for such things. Obama is an ignorant politition just like the rest of them. He needs to just come to the realization he knows NOTHING about what it would take to run a country.

Posted by: steve | August 1, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like what you're reading, then take your ball and go home.

Posted by: For ep | August 1, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What about just borrowing the timeless clip of Abe Simpson saying, "Dear Mr. President, There are two many states. Please eliminate three. I am not a crackpot." Approved by John McCain. Or what about just "Get off my lawn!"

Posted by: Fruitfly | August 1, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Wake up people! John McCain is playing the RACE card by implying that Blacks are merely entertainers and ball players. Only good for shucking and jiving. Read "Being Right Is Not Enough" by Paul Waldman.

Posted by: J Powell | August 1, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Liz, you have just invited all the political nuts to come out of the woodwork...

Posted by: Pebbles | August 1, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Steve? It's "politician".

Posted by: Fruitfly | August 1, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

C'mon folks, keep it nonjudgmental. The point here is to talk about celebrities. Let's act like grown-ups here.

Posted by: td is with ep | August 1, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

User generated content like this makes me glad we live in a republic and not a direct democracy. God I miss the newspaper...

Posted by: biff | August 1, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Holy cripes, Liz, what have you done?

Posted by: Staying out of this one | August 1, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Petal and MrMango are hilarious! Come on, this can be done. Byoolin, where are you?

Posted by: Fruitfly | August 1, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

this is all pure crap

Posted by: whocares | August 1, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous and fade from black to George Bush as pinky "he actully looks a lot like him" and Dick Chaney as the brain "again notice how much they look alike."Playing in the background the music of Pinky and the Brain, and McCain voice say what are we gonna do now fellas? Cut to Bush(Pinky only stareing with that blink "dog whistle look'" and Chaney( the Brain) saying "the same thing we tried with this dim wit in office,"take over the world." Cut to a close up of McCain say NURRFF.

Posted by: We The People | August 1, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks, John McCain, for reminding we average Americans . . ."

That should be "us average Americans"; objective form of the pronoun needed here.

Come on, Liz. You know better than that!

Posted by: grammaticat | August 1, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

It's baffling to me that some people actually defend McCain after that sleazy ad tactic. Well, you can go down with him AND the sleaze ship. "I'm proud of the commercial." Oh, man.

Posted by: James In Oakland | August 1, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Margaret Hamilton (as Miss Gulch) and Margaret Hamilton (as Wicked Witch of the West) cackling fiendishly at the camera "I'll get you my little pretty! And little dog, too!" as the voiceover intones, "America knows how this story ends."

Posted by: mrmango | August 1, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Let's not forget that McCain has had numerous SNL appearances and has been on the Daily Show more times than any other politician. He's doing his part to gain celebrity and this has been the case before the world had even heard of Obama.

Posted by: Ben in Portland | August 1, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

How rude to drag those girls into this, like its ok to trash the names of other people for personal gain.

Its disgusting, especially for someone his age that should by now have better manners and maturity.

Such mentality is inline with his low academic standing, and certainly will be met with approval by like minded members of the public.

Posted by: theantibush | August 1, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

J Powell you are a racialist

Posted by: Owen | August 1, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Like (I suspect) many of the other island denizens, I intend to back away from this blog for the afternoon, and catch an early happy hour at the tiki bar... This one's gonna be worse than the TTT's or the MM's -

Owe the humanity!

Posted by: LTL | August 1, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, this could get very ugly, another BKD in the making.

You all have a great upcoming week, I'm on vacation in 4.5 hours.

Posted by: WDC 21113 | August 1, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Or apparently already since I can't do math...3.5 hours.

Posted by: WDC 21113 needs a drink on the island. | August 1, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I'm outta here too. I've had enough. This hasn't been the best week for Celebritology; this blog needs to get its groove back. Have a good weekend.

Posted by: td | August 1, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

If Karl Rove were running Obama's campaign:

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence: "Senator McCain, why don't you pass the time with a game of solitaire?"

Posted by: Swifty | August 1, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

We the People, I'm still laughing at your entry! I think this is a great way to be light-hearted about the election.

Posted by: nadabrain | August 1, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Anybody remember after 9/11 when the Onion had the headline, "America Longs to Care About Stupid Sh#t Again," with the pictures of Michael Jackson and Britney in the background?

Well, that's what we (are supposed to) do here; to snark on celebrity in all of its glorious manifestations of stupid.

Hope this blog gets its lighthearted karma back next week. Carm down everybody!

Posted by: NW DC | August 1, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Why has no one said the obvious? Split screen, McCain & Bush while Roger Daltrey bellows "meet the new boss....same as the old boss".

Posted by: paulF | August 1, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to believe Kathy Griffin's theory that Oprah is god. Oprah would have been the most obvious choice for connecting a candidate to a celebrity. She introduced him to audiences, for goodness sakes. There's footage of them arm and arm.

Maybe Kathy Griffin is right. Never underestimate the power of The Oprah! She's even more powerful than Karl Rove.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | August 1, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Fade-up (video and sound) of actuality of John McCain speaking about personal responsibility. Sound of McCain actuality faded under.
Voice of Morgan Freeman: "John McCain says all the right things about personal responsibility. But, as we all know, actions speak louder than words."

Video McCain speaking dissolves into montage of McCain as a Navy aviator, which then dissolves into picture of black woman in burkha.

Morgan Freeman voiceover: "Around the time he went to Vietnam, John McCain had an affair with a black Muslin woman from South Carolina. That affair spawned a young boy."

Video dissolves into montage of shots showing black make born in 1960s growing up in subsequent decades.

Morgan Freeman voiceover: "The young boy grew up without the guidance that John McCain could have provided."

Video dissolves to montage of McCain after Vietnam, focusing on pictures of McCain with Cindy.


Morgan Freeman voiceover: "When John McCain returned from Vietnam, he disavowed his paternity, as well as his marriage, and began a new life with a glamorous, rich, younger woman. "


Video dissolves back to picture of young black man.

Morgan Freeman voiceover: "John McCain never bothered to know the fate of his illegitimate love child. But the son never forgot the father. And the son, now a man, has returned to question the wisdom of the father."

Video of young black man morphs into image of Obama.

Morgan Freeman voiceover: "John McCain. Dad. It's time to take responsibility."

Video morphs into Obama looking into the camera: "I'm Barack Obama, and I approved this message, Dad."

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Fruitfly asks: "Byoolin, where are you?"

Uhhh, Fruitfly, take a few moments to study the "anonymous" script described by Liz in the intro.

Who do you think wrote it?

Posted by: Sasquatch has his suspicions | August 1, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Wow, deadpan's response was just so good, I thought, there is no way I can top that! Then I read on and realized this blog needs to get back on track. While I can't match deadpan, I'll try my best:

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Ojani Noa and Cris Judd smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentences: Do you recognize these two guys? No? Well, like these two men, Senator McCain would be nowhere without his wife and her wealth.

Hope everyone can enjoy the weekend, regardless of their political sympathies!

Posted by: 44west | August 1, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Liz, who's job depends on "celebrity", shoots back when her "product" gets used as an example of what not to be if you want to be President.

Posted by: mrsurefire | August 1, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Peter Sellers as Group Captain Mandrake and Peter Sellers as President Merkin Muffley, as the voiceover intones, "I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin' on you and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump - we got some flyin' to do."

Posted by: BxNY | August 1, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Cue solemn music and fade from black to stock footage of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood squinting into the camera as Chris Christopherson (per Big and Rich's 8th of November song) intones the following campaign slogan: Heros are ageless...

Posted by: McCain 08 | August 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

That ad put out by the McCain campaign which showed images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was downright stupid and poorly conceived, IMO.

But it was not maliciously evil.

However, Wesley Clark's appearance on Face the Nation the weekend of the 4th of July was maliciously evil.

Clark used that occasion to diss John McCain's time spent in captivity as a result of risking his life in battlefield service to his country.

Wesley Clark was acting as a surrogate for the Obama campaign. It doesn't matter that they disavowed it after the fact. There is no way that Clark would have acted without their instructions guiding him.

So the Obama campaign got to do their damage and then try to play noble after the fact.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch...very funny. An ad I'd love to see but you missed it by THAT MUCH. Barack Obama is actually distantly related to Dick Cheney.

Posted by: MoCoSnarky | August 1, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

No commercial, but my take on the silliness that is politics, where both sides lie as much as possible just to get elected.
After the election - the evening news with Katie Curic.
The first shock came weeks ago when it was discovered John McCain is in actuality 140 years old. He has stayed alive by sleeping in a cryogenic chamber with Bubbles the chimp for the last 80 years.
And now it has been discovered that the newly elected PROTUS Barrack Obama is not Mr. Obama, but is in reality Robert Downey Jr. in black face.

Posted by: dw | August 1, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Cue fife and drum music, McCain's profile hovers above a generic battlefield at dusk.
"John McCain was a soldier (cue image of Ambrose Burnside) and a war hero" (cue Forrest Gump army picture) who returned home in love with America, and ready to serve her in a higher calling (flash picture of John Kerry). He won't distract you with slick websites or stunning oratory (stock footage of man using telegraph as audio of George W. Bush mangling some speech or another plays). Vote for John McCain; because age is just a number. (end with creepiest pic you can find of an old and feeble Hugh Heffner being propped up by a phalanx of bunnies)

Posted by: erm | August 1, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Cue the ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Stewie Griffin and Seth Rogen smiling fiendishly at the camera as the voiceover intones the following, campaign stopping sentence: "John McCain didn't lift a finger to stop the cancellation of Family Guy or Freaks and Geeks. Why does he insist on doing all the things that make us f-ing cry?"

Posted by: musicgeek | August 1, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Change, Change, Change.


Hope, Hope, Hope.

That's all I got.

Posted by: Obama | August 1, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Snark sez: "An ad I'd love to see but you missed it by THAT MUCH. Barack Obama is actually distantly related to Dick Cheney."

Sorry about that, Chief.

Posted by: Sasquatch wonders if he changed the battery in his shoe phone | August 1, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Johnny Cash has something to say to all the politicos who are clogging up the Celebritology Blog:


http://www.punksinscience.org/jeffrey/pics/johnny%20cash%20finger.jpg

Posted by: Sasquatch says Johnny Cash has the right idea | August 1, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Somehow the only celebrity I see in a commercial with John McCain is Willard Scott....

Posted by: Groovis | August 1, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

J Powell, nice job pulling THAT one out of your ass.

Posted by: Ern | August 1, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Groovis. To which backcountry did your journey on your vacation?

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

I didn't travel too far - just to the George Washington National Forest. It was beautiful and I had a great time backpacking - but I was also happy to get home and eat something I didn't have to re-hydrate.

Posted by: Groovis | August 1, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Groovis,

I'm jealous. Ms. Snatchquatch and I need a vacation. We're planning a paddling trip in the Adirondack backcountry. But we have to hold out till mid-September.

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch -

Hey, September in the Adirondacks should be unbelievably beautiful - it's better than going now with a million other people. If you hit places like the Appalachian Trail in the summertime it feels like you're hiking in a Metro station.

Posted by: Groovis | August 1, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm w/ td, ep, and LTL on this one. I don't want to get into political discussions of any kind on the Celebritology blog. I'll let everyone else duke this one out and come back another day.

Posted by: alex | August 1, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

steve, you misrepresent. McCain promises a lot without any explanation on how it will happen. How will he balance the budget, "win" the war, find bin Laden, or save the economy? His claims are as grandiose as Obama's, and NEITHER explain how they will achieve their goals. To me, McCain's recent flip flop on SS tax best demonstrates his approach. He said that no potential solution was off the table, including raising FICA. Then, when his backers complained he flipped to the promise them anything "no new taxes". He will say anything to get elected.

Posted by: Javalation | August 1, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Javalation, STFU.

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

29 days until i'm in montana!

cue Randy Newman's "Political Science" by Randy Newman being performed by Darrell Hammond as Dick Cheney.

Voice over of Will Ferrell doing George Bush --

"John McCain, He's a decider, just like me. Well I'm the decider right now, but come November, he could be the decider. That's up to you to decide. Who. The decider. Is. Right now, I'm the decider. But come November, you the decider. Sort of. You get to decide that McCain's the decider. "


Posted by: b | August 1, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

b, any commercial starring Darrell Hammond with music by randy Newman is okay by me.

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sasquatch, you lucky crytid, you're headed for my old stomping grounds! September in the 'Dacks is as close to perfection as you'll get on this earth. Temperate during the day, very few bugs, can get cool at night though, and the leaves should be turning. If you're headed off the beaten track, you won't notice the hordes of leaf-peepers. I have fond memories of paddling the Saranac Lakes, but we never did any really hardcore backcountry trips. Where are you putting in?

Posted by: BxNY | August 1, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

By golly, Sasquatch, I think you might be right....

Sorry about all the naysayers, Liz. I thought this was pretty entertaining.

Posted by: Fruitfly | August 1, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Howdy, BxNY. This will be the second year in a row for an Adirondack paddling trip. We're planning on doing Little Tupper Lake this year. Last year it was Lows Lake and the Bog River Flow. We had P-E-R-F-E-C-T weather last year. To balance the scales this year, I imagine the weather gods will send a tropical storm. :-/>

Main considerations for lake selection are restrictions on motors (Keeps it quiet and doesn't disturb the loons), and few, small portages. Kayaks don't portage very well. Being in the back country gets us away from the leaf peepers.

You're right it doesn't get much better than the North Country in September...after the majority of tourists are back home.

Posted by: Sasquatch | August 1, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

It is OBVIOUS that John McCain needs a NEW set of advisers! OsiSpeaks.com

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | August 1, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Cue ominous music and fade from black to stock footage of Florence Henderson and Wayne Newton. Voiceover says: McCain believes in old-fashioned values like apple pie and closeted gays. Vote for the America of old . . . McCain!

Posted by: chantooz | August 2, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks, John McCain, for reminding we average Americans . . ."

That should be "us average Americans"; objective form of the pronoun needed here.

Come on, Liz. You know better than that!

Posted by: grammaticat | August 1, 2008 12:45 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: sally | August 5, 2008 3:49 AM | Report abuse

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