The 1970 famed Monty Python Flying Circus sketch “Election Night Special” featured political parties ranging in silliness that ran against each other for local elections. The bit had two main parties: the sensible and the silly, but there were also other independents such as the slightly-silly and the very-silly. Full of ridiculously long candidate names and ludicrous costumes, the various parties may have parodied the UK elections, but are just as insightful when looking at the U.S. Over the last 35 years there have been many silly parties and candidates who have run for president of the United States and SPIN is taking you back through some of the absolute silliest!
Election of 1988 – Mrs. Foggybottom, Cocktail Party
In 1988, the elegant, sequin-clad, cigarette-puffing Mrs. Foggybottom announced her candidacy for the President of the United States at the Bucks County Democratic Women’s Forum. Running for the Cocktail Party, Mrs. Foggybottom was the alter ego of satirist Joan Cushing, who believed “that what this country needs after eight years of Ronald Reagan is a four-year happy hour.” Mrs. Foggybottom didn’t shy away from risque comments and was known for her roasts of the other candidates. And the main goal of the cocktail party? That every American would know how to spell “hors d’oeuvres” by the end of Mrs. Foggybottom’s presidency.
Election of 2000 – R U Sirius, Revolution Party
“Mock the Vote!” screamed Ken Goffman in his speech to announce his candidacy for President in 2000. Goffman ran under the simple moniker “R U Sirius” hoping to give Americans who were fed up with the current candidates a way to send their government a message; by literally writing in “R U Sirius?” He ran under the Revolution Party which had a 20 point platform (written by “R U Sirius” himself) including opening “autonomous zones” where households can opt out of being under the U.S. government and most importantly advocating for “Victory over Horseshit!”
Election of 2004 (and beyond) – Self, Guns and Dope Party
The Guns and Dope Party was founded in 2004 on the foundation that citizens should write-in themselves for president instead of voting for one of the “Two Lying Bastards of the Democan and Republicrat parties.” They believe in a few main tenants including: guns for those who want them, all drugs for those that want them, not forcing anyone who doesn’t want these things to take part in either, and, of course, most importantly, equal rights for ostriches. If voted into office, their first decree would be replacing 33% of Congress with ostriches; oh and the party also has a spiritual advisor— an ostrich named Olga who occasionally runs for president of the universe, which is the only election where the Guns and Dope Party advocates voting for someone besides yourself.
Election of 2016 – Write-in for Harambe
Harambe was a 17-year-old gorilla who lived in the Cincinnati Zoo until May 28 of 2016. On that day, the world forever changed as a boy fell into the gorilla’s enclosure and the zoo staff shot and killed Harambe as they feared he would hurt the child. The video of the incident went viral, with many people disapproving of the lethal force used against the gorilla. Among the younger demographic, Harambe became a meme and an icon, overnight there were memorials for him, t-shirts made, and multiple Reddit threads bearing his name. “Dicks out for Harambe” was one of the most popular phrases, and this rise in popularity led to quite a few people writing in Harambe as a presidential candidate instead of voting for Donald or Hillary.
Election of 2020 – Big Chungus, I party
Another meme-turned-presidential-candidate is Big Chungus, the name given to a picture of a fat Bugs Bunny from Looney Tunes’ “Wabbit Twouble.” This overweight rabbit became very popular in modern culture, but unlike his predecessor, he is officially filed as a presidential candidate with the Federal Election Commission. Chungus comma Big is registered under the “I Party” and is described as an “absolute unit” who believes in “liberty and chungus for all.” He has multiple facebook pages, twitter accounts, and reddit threads –the latter site eventually banning the meme due redditors using it for hate speech and death threats. In the wake of our current political candidates, maybe it really will be #bigchungus2020 ?
Check out Election Night Special below: