15 July 2011

President Obama Keeps Watching ‘Americathon’ for Some Reason, White House Sources Say

“I wish he’d get off his fanny and stop watching that thing,”
First Lady Michelle Obama told reporters.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been repeatedly viewing Americathon, a satirical comedy from 1979, according to White House sources. “He must have watched that movie 15 or 16 times, just in the past two weeks,” said one presidential aide, speaking off the record. “None of us can figure out why.”

Unsuccessful upon its initial release, Americathon has been available on DVD only since January 2011. The film stars John Ritter as the President of the United States, who consults a media specialist (Peter Riegert) when the federal government goes bankrupt; ultimately, the United States holds a telethon to raise urgently needed funds. Harvey Korman, Fred Willard, and Zane Busby also star, under the direction of Neal Israel.

“The President even plays Americathon during high-level budget meetings,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters. “I know it’s not an especially funny movie or anything, but he watches it as if it were The Sorrow and the Pity, for Pete’s sake, and then he looks you right in the eye, really intense, and says, ‘What do you think?’ I think it’s a terrible movie, that’s what I think, but he seems to love it so much, I just don’t have the heart to say anything.”

A poster for the 1979 satirical comedy

“POTUS never even cracks a smile,” Vice-President Joe Biden confirmed via Twitter. “It’s getting to the point, I don’t want to eat dinner at his house anymore. He just sits there, staring at the damned DVD. Hashtag starting to creep me out.”

Other close associates may have run out of patience already. “If I have to watch Americathon one more time, I’m taking a hike,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) vowed, during an interview with CBS’ Face the Nation last week.

Obama, a recent high-school graduate in Hawaii when Americathon first played in theaters, obtained the DVD in March. Since then, observers say, he has shown little interest in his usual favorite movies, which include Bruce Almighty, Invictus, and Deep Impact, all of which have enjoyed multiple screenings at the White House.

“Daddy just keeps watching that dumb old Americathon, over and over and over,” said one highly placed presidential family member who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “I keep asking if I can see the new Harry Potter movie, but he says no. Now everybody at school has seen it already, but I still haven’t. It’s just not fair.”

Americathon is unrated by Rottentomatoes.com. The screenplay, by Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman, based on their stage play, accurately predicts the demise of the Soviet Union and China’s emergence as a global economic power. The movie also features a musical performance by Elvis Costello, and appearances by Howard Hesseman, Jay Leno, Tommy Lasorda, and Chief Dan George.

“‘Renegade’ was watching Americathon again last night,” a member of the President’s Secret Service detail said, using Obama’s code name. “He stuck his head out for a minute and asked for a pencil and some note paper, the sheet music for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ and could we get him a private number for Jerry Lewis. Beats me why he’d want that stuff.”

“At least when ‘Eagle’ was watching Girls Gone Wild, you knew what he was after,” a Secret Service colleague concurred.

In other Washington news, budget talks between the White House and Congressional leaders stalled again yesterday, and no agreement was reached on an increase in the federal debt ceiling. Moody’s, the rating agency, warned of a possible “credit downgrade” if the government’s borrowing authority hits its limit on August 2.

Obama has screened the movie for his Cabinet several times.
Hillary Clinton finds Meat Loaf’s performance “disconcerting,” according to State Dept. sources; Vice-President Biden has reportedly inquired what ever happened to “that Zane Busby person.”

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