11 Points

11 Absolutely Surreal Political Ads
written by Sam Greenspan

It seems like there are nothing but political commercials running on TV right now. I know this because I have been keeping the TV on for background noise and once every nine or so minutes I hear California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman use the word "bologna."

Anyway, I was digging around and found some better -- and by that, I mean, more ridiculous -- political ads. They're all absurd for different reasons. There were countless options to choose from -- local politicians + low budgets + amateur production teams = gold -- but these 11 were my particular favorites.
  1. Rudy Moise, candidate for House of Representatives, Florida.


    I'm not really against the song -- clearly he's not trying to win the Florida yenta demo with it -- but I am against the fact that the rappers (or, more likely, the editors) seem to be just a tiny bit off the beat. It's like when you're watching a movie and all of a sudden you notice the lips aren't perfectly synced with the audio. And then you can't focus on anything but that. It was hard for me to rap along for Rudy Moise. (Also, the demonic audio editing at the end didn't help.)

  2. Jerry Labriola, candidate for House of Representatives, Connecticut.


    I know the Old Spice ads are popular, but you just don't expect to see commercials -- no matter how popular -- being parodied by politicians. Although I have it on good authority that Dukakis almost did a "Where's the Beef?" ad. And it took an injunction by his advisers to keep Clinton from making a "Wazzzzup?" spot.

  3. Dwight McKenna, candidate for Orleans Parish, Louisiana, county coroner.


    I suppose one way to put a county coroner's race on the map is to show someone wearing those fake hillbilly teeth removing someone's organs. I'm sure Puffy's Vote Or Die campaign also approved of this message.

  4. Adriane Reesey, candidate for Broward County Supervisor of Elections.


    The poorly green screened, shot and edited ad that starts this video probably would've made my radar. But the tacked-on blooper reel is what pushes this onto the list. While it does look like these old broads are having the time of their lives making this commercial, that fun really doesn't translate to the viewer. It's the political commercial equivalent of a story someone tells you that ends with "I guess you had to be there."

  5. Basil Marceaux, candidate for Governor of Tennessee.


    I was almost hesitant to include this because I hate when people make fun of the mentally handicapped, but I saw an interview with him on Jimmy Kimmel and I think he's just odd, not slow. And I still wouldn't be shocked if it turns out one day that this was really just a brilliant viral marketing campaign for the Chattanooga tourism board or something.

  6. Proposition 4, Florida.


    I want to compare this to the Woodland Critter Christmas from South Park... and seriously suggest that these might be demon spawn animals looking to impregnate someone with the Antichrist... but goddamn that song is catchy. (I've been walking around all day singing "I'm for four! I'm for four!" and I can guarantee no one has had any idea what the hell I'm singing.)

  7. Christopher Knight, candidate for Rockingham County, North Carolina, school board.


    My first thought: OK, so that isn't Peter Brady... or Val Kilmer in "Real Genius". My second thought: Wow.

    This one's been around for a while. True story: VH1 caught wind of it several years back and featured it on their show "Web Junk 2.0" without ever telling Christopher or getting his permission. A few months later, Christopher got a letter telling him to take the video down because he was showing material copyrighted by Viacom.

  8. Carly Fiorina, candidate for Senate, California.


    You only need to watch the first 35 seconds for the amazingly crappy special effects... and then, more importantly, 2:21 through 2:55. Demon sheep! The fact that she used to be the CEO of HP and was only able to muster this level of special effects is, well, symbolic.

  9. Ron Paul, candidate for President of the United States.


    I just don't understand why they decided to go all Uncanny Valley on us and use an animated version of Ron Paul. This commercial clearly cost a fortune, but mostly seems like a cut screen in an Xbox game where you'd be jamming on the A button to try to skip it and just get back to playing.

  10. Dale Peterson, candidate for Alabama's agricultural commissioner.


    This is the equivalent of a Vermont politician making a commercial where he smokes weed and makes out with a dude.

  11. Dan Fanelli, candidate for House of Representatives, Florida.


    Yes, this was real. (No, he didn't make it out of the primaries.)


This post was originally published on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 11:00:00 AM under the category News & Politics.

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