wassup, barack?

8 years ago, Budweiser launched a wildly popular series of television ads featuring a bunch of guys in the habit of calling one another up and saying, “Wassup?” in funny voices. This team of beer-drinking slacker icons rode the cultural zeitgeist for several years, but, like Spuds MacKenzie before them, at some point popular culture shifted and they fell by the wayside, looking on helplessly as taco-selling chiuauas and cavemen touting auto insurance began demanding the attention of the dumbed down American consumer. Well, it’s been over 6 years since we’ve heard from the Wassup friends, but now they’re back.

The good news is, they’re all still alive. Other than that, though, things aren’t so good. According to new video that surfaced today, they’ve all suffered incredibly under the Bush administration. One of the four friends, we’re shown, has lost his home to foreclosure. Another is serving in Iraq and wants to return home. The third is suicidal over his losses in the stock market. The fourth, who we’re led to believe is uninsured, has had to deal with serious health problems. When they say “Wassup?” now, they do so without the optimistic exuberance they once did. Looking into their eyes, we see that the American dream has died. These once proud men are beaten down and demoralized. They’re as good as dead…

Apparently, however, there’s hope.

This is just an aside, but are there any folks left in the annals of American popular culture who haven’t yet been pulled into this race? Is the “Where’s the Beef” woman still around? How about Willie Tyler and Lester? Has Baby Jessica weighed in? And how about that fat guy who ate all the Subway sandwiches? Surely there’s someone we haven’t heard from yet.

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  1. Posted October 26, 2008 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I loved this :) I had seen it posted all over the web – but hadn’t hit play until I saw it on your blog. What a great video… I love the end.

    Oh! Have you seen this video yet? http://finalbossform.com/post/56503891

    It made me so happy – it gives me so much hope to see Obama running, and then to see kids like this interviewing such important people at a young age. *sigh* I hope change is what’s up… I don’t know if I can take any more of this.

  2. Chelsea
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    I had just seen it on Campaignfreak.com (or possibly Adfreak.com). Laughed and cried at the same time.

    I’m afraid Clara “WTB?” Peller is no longer with us. But Derek is, as far as I know. And Baby Jessica (“McLure,” was it?) would be old enough to vote.

  3. Posted October 27, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    You haven’t mentioned Ron Howard’s “Call to Action”! That’s been my favorite so far (Andy Griffith says vote for Obama, even):


  4. Paw
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Has it gotten so bad that Andy Griffith is supporting Obama, or did they just pay him to appear. Griffith’s reputation for being conservative is only surpassed by his reputation for loving money.

  5. Brackache
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    All the California Raisins and the aliens from “V” are split between Barr and Baldwin.

  6. Posted October 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    even betty white (“rose”) has gotten into the act: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2P76NbY0_c

  7. dp in exile
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    The link was funny until the Obama reference was made.

    I am no political novice, and I still don’t understand what is really going to change other than the skin pigment color of our President should Mr. Obama win. Maybe that is enough…

    Maybe change means that the meat won’t be partially frozen next time I go to Applebee’s, or could it mean that the corporate give-aways will be done above the boards instead of in plush closets?

    Who knows, Obama’s version of change is whatever you want it to be. That is the beauty of his candidacy, long on dreamy rhetoric, short on specifics. As long as he is not George Bush and doesn’t do anything too stupid, like spend $150k on Biden’s tooth whitening treatments, he should win at this point.

    Robert Rubin is his chief econ adviser, the guy who helped Clinton put NAFTA on the books and who helped lead the way for deregulation of Wall Street.

    The war will cost just as much when it shifts to Afghanistan full time and folks staffing permanent bases will not be pulling out of Iraq anytime soon.

    Israel will still have its boot on the neck of Palestine. Look in your wallet to see who paid for said boot.

    Our infrastructure won’t get rebuilt because we let Bush bankrupt us (impeachment was too hard for Conyers/Pelosi et.al.). Maybe one of us will be on the next bridge to collapse, like the one in MN not too long ago.

    Health care will still be administered by for profit corporations under Obama and one of us will most likely be declined coverage for one admin reason or another in the not too distant future.

    Military spending will still increase to the detriment of our treasury and tax payers… I could go on and on and on.

    I would love to know what will “change” other than our president will be able to give good speeches again, like Clinton could, when Obama wins.

    Well, maybe he will fight more honorable wars by endorsing the Powell Doctrine, rather than the Rummy “out-source it” mid-night madness sale approach to military endeavors. But we will still be fighting wars for the profit of GE, Haliburton, and Lockheed Martin rather than in the interest of the American tax-payer.

    Will Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi finally locate their spines when they have a near super-majority in the Congress, or will they capitulate to circular Washington influence as their history and general disposition would lead me to believe?

  8. mark
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m not as cynical as you are, DP. I’m confident that once we get in Obama in that good things will happen. Maybe I’m naive, but I think that he’s got the potential to be a transformative figure in American life. I didn’t think it earlier on. I didn’t support him in the primaries, but, over the last several months, I’ve really come to like and respect him. Will he fix everything over night? No. But, if he gets into office, and if we give him the support he needs, I think he can accomplish quite a bit.

    And yes, Mike, I did see that video of Biden explaining to the kid what a Vice President does. I wanted to post a link to it in the thread about Palin not understanding the duties of the office. It’s a great counterpoint to that piece of video.

  9. dp in exile
    Posted October 27, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    ahhh… marginalized as “cynical”. sorry for raising questions =-)

    i’ll look forward to good things spilling out of the Wonka factory in a few months!

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