'Idiocracy' Writers Are Planning Anti-Trump Ads Starring Terry Crews
When the truth is as strange as the fiction.
Update: The pitch for Idiocracy anti-Trump ads "was killed," Crews told Business Insider. "Etan Cohen went out and said we were making anti-Trump ads, but we weren't. I'm not anti-Trump. I'm not anti-Hillary [Clinton]. I'm not pro-anybody."
Original story: Ted Cruz failed to take down Donald Trump in the Republican primaries, but maybe Terry Cruz Crews can get the job done.
With elements of the current election cycle often compared to the zany, low-I.Q. future America depicted in the 2006 satire Idiocracy, it's perhaps no surprise that Crews may soon reprise his character from that film — pumped-up, machine gun-toting, R&B-belting President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.
In Idiocracy, Camacho, a former professional wrestler and porn star, presides over a failing, fervently anti-intellectual U.S.A., where commercialism and the cult of personality reign supreme and society teeters one flush away from the sewer.
Now, the film's writers, Etan Cohen and Mike Judge, are prepping a series of anti-Trump spots starring Crews as Camacho. The clips will break once Fox clears the rights for the character's appearance, according to an interview with Cohen in BuzzFeed.
It all began a few months back, when Cohen noted that current political events — mainly Trump's rise to become the presumptive GOP presidential nominee — echoed aspects of the movie, with reality and satire converging faster than he dreamed possible.
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"I never expected #idiocracy to become a documentary," he tweeted in February, setting off a mini media frenzy that culminated in a "Movement to Classify Idiocracy as Documentary" group on Facebook — and possibly a wave of outrageous ads with Crews chewing up (or more likely blowing up) scenery as his unhinged presidential alter ego.
"This is what satire is for … to be able to hold up a mirror and say, 'This is crazy,'" Cohen told BuzzFeed. "Idiocracy was like that, but this all of a sudden felt like a very immediate need for the true meaning of satire and what it can actually do."
Such spots would mark Camacho's third term, so to speak, counting his original Idiocracy appearance and a series of election-cycle spots that ran on Funny or Die in 2012. Here's one of those 2012 ads for posterity:
In that effort, scripted by Judge, the character proclaimed, "I have traveled back in time from the future to address your stinking ass!" — promising Americans "hoap" for a better tomorrow. His proposals ranged from a jobs-creation program, where all citizens would work at the U.S. Mint, printing up enough money to make everyone rich ("Everybody's gonna be million percenters!") to a taxation scheme covering defecation ("When you're squattin' on the stool / You put some fool through school!").
Then there was the notion of building a giant wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants. Oh wait, that was Trump. Never mind.
"They both seem to be intent on destroying the world but maybe Camacho more accidentally [than Trump]," Cohen said.
Hey, we'd cast our ballot for campy Crews/Camacho in an orange comb-over any day!
For his part, Crews seems on board with the 2016 parody ads but hints, in character as Camacho, that they won't be anti-Trump. "I INTERRUPT INSTAGRAM TO BRING YOU THIS VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE," he wrote Sunday on Instagram. "I am NOT Anti-Trump, Pro-Hillary, Anti-Bernie, Pro-Trump, Anti-Hillary, Pro-Bernie, or AntiPro-any write in candidate, regardless of what you read on the Internet. I firmly believe NO government can solve my problems, and I choose no political affiliation because I like THINKING FOR MYSELF. I am PRO-CAMACHO."
Given the current political climate, a Camacho commercial flight seems especially apropos, as a total descent into inane meta-parody may well be the only hoap for the Republic.
This article first appeared on Adweek.com.