Tomorrow, no matter who wins the presidential election, there’s one group that will definitely be in a sad state — the intrepid content creators that have been putting out politically themed videos this week. So take a moment to mourn the online video filmmaker who produced a hilarious video while fighting off his Halloween hangover, because no matter how brilliant the concept, there’s an expiration date on America’s attention. Wednesday morning, we’ll wake up with a new America, and all of these videos will feel like old news.
But the fact that these videos are getting in just under the wire doesn’t mean they aren’t funny. Take, for example, Lando Calrissian for President, which is a hilarious mesh of Star Wars and American politics.
I have some major issues with the twists on continuity (how old was Lando Calrissian supposed to be when he opposed the Clone Wars, 11?), but by actually getting Billy Dee Williams (swoon) to speak frankly on the issues facing the Empire today, this is viral video gold. And it’s doing great today — 90,000 views in one day on Funny or Die — but that’ll undoubtedly drop off dramatically tomorrow. A shame. Because I love it so.
Another latecomer, Maverick Me Deadly: A Political Choose Your Own Adventure! isn’t quite as clever in concept, but the film noir style and production value are pretty remarkable, plus the actress playing Sarah Palin does a nice job of capturing the Alaskan governor’s essence while adding a femme fatale twist. (The actor playing John McCain is pretty far off, however.) And it also utilizes YouTube link annotations to leave the ending of the story up to viewers, which is always fun.
The hold-ups to releasing these videos were varied — for example, the writers of the cult Adult Swim comedy Shin Chan wrote a short piece using one of their characters to mock Sarah Palin’s nomination, but because of approval difficulties weren’t able to release it until Oct. 30th. The result, Sarah Palin Endorsed by Georgie Prescott 3, has pacing problems but hilarious dialogue performed by voice actress Brina Palencia.
And last week, sketch comedy geniuses Team Tiger Awesome, Invisible Engine, and Plan C teamed up for a series of political ads for an entirely different contest — the Vigilante ’08 race, in which voters are asked to choose which vigilante gang they want prowling the streets in your name. It’s a hilarious series of videos, but the political ad format will make the content seem out-of-date all too soon.
It’s hard to think of a national event that’s been as good for viral video as the election. So we can’t blame these and other filmmakers for wanting to take one last stab at some of those sweet, sweet SEO-enabled viewcounts. But nothing will alter the fact that after the past two years of non-stop coverage, tomorrow an election hangover is about to begin.