Political Paper Dolls & Parodies Galore: Youth Humor 2008

Move over Stardoll, kids can now play Presidential Paper Dolls and you really CAN “cut through all the clutter” this election eve and keep your sense of humor to boot. Print ’em out. Cut ’em up or dress ’em down.

Full disclosure, these witty entrepreneurs are friends of mine from ad agency days gone by, now they’re both moms that have put their sardonic wit to use, at The Imagineering Store, an online offshoot of their own creative services business Imagineering SF. Susan Carp and Julie Marcus consistently put me in ‘ROFL’ mode, with their erudite pop culture twists served up in hilarious childlike whimsy.

Their timeless bipartisan jabs in their ‘political pull and poke parody book’ called Pat the Politician, give you a flavor for their style: “Pull Hillary’s purse strings. Scratch John McCain’s war rhetoric. And don’t forget to wave bye bye to G.W. Bush.”

Much like The Capitol Steps have become musical stocking stuffers to lend holiday cheer in my household, I’ve found a few MORE political finds from these two talented wordsmiths this season that are priceless. Like?

Jargon: A dictionary of political buzzwords:

“Do you ever find yourself listening to politicians, but not understanding anything they say?” Um, yes. Frankly, I do.

And unless you hangout with the millennials on The Hill at Bullfeathers or on social networks like MyPoliticalWorld.com, chances are, you may be in this camp too, wondering the difference between a “velcroid and a Volvoid? A theocon and a neocon? Or over 200 other politically-charged terms, so you know what people are hurling at you when they accuse someone of “being a member of the pajahadeen” or “a blue dog Democrat.”

They’ve got scads of quirky and amusing items making fun of the media circus and political suckers, and marketing spins in our rather warped society (including ‘dysfunctional family paper dolls, etc.) and I love the way they’re an ‘equal opportunity offender,’ with no cause unchallenged.

I happen to KNOW how eco-centric they are, for example, yet they’ve got an ‘off-color’ coloring book called EnvironMENTAL that asks, “How green are you? Dark green or lime? Activist or antagonist? From Olympic dumpster diving to carbon dating to sustainable sudoku and connect the organic dots, find out how…”etc. etc.

They spoof lifestyles. Trends. Industry, anti-industry. Movements. And themselves, constantly. And believe me, this is the way they really ARE. They’re like the classic ‘sketch it out on a cocktail napkin’ creative team that ends up bringing the product to market the next week. They’re just a hoot. Smart. Hilarious. Love ’em.

Oh, and by the way, if you think it’s disrespectful to make fun of politicians and dress ’em up from their skivvies, I’d say, um…they do plenty of that for themselves.

Which reminds me, did anyone see John and Cindy McCain spoof themselves on Saturday Night Live this week with Tina Fey as Sarah Palin? I must admit, it caught me a bit offguard, in one of those, “is it live or is it Memorex?” moments. Here’s the CBS news story and blogosphere comments, and here’s the video clip itself. (via NBC/SNL)

On a more serious note this election day, there are all kinds of news stories popping up about ‘confusion’ on voting day, and I heard on NPR that there were some deliberate attempts to trick people into thinking there were time extensions and such…which disturbs me. First of all, I agree with the Washington Post article Voting Shouldn’t Be A Game of Chance.

Second, there’s a bit of a litmus test in play there that makes me ponder, “hmn, those who are so naive to be easily misinformed and swayed (thinking a national election will let people vote the next day?) are probably not the folks who should be deciding the fate of our country.

But that sounds elitist, I suppose. I already talked about John Stossel’s 20-20 show about the civic duty for some NOT to vote. And though perhaps ‘politically incorrect,’ I agree.

I’d much rather see well-informed, eager, fresh faces contributing thoughts on blogs like the Youth Vote Series produced by young journalists brought to the Washington Post and CBSNews.com by UWIRE, “the leading provider of student-generated content…

The fact that the Chronicle for Higher Education reported this also happened with hackers at George Mason University makes me wonder about motivation and/or security of ‘the systems’ overall. I know hackers find this type of hoax a ‘prize’ but it’s sad to route that brainpower into such unproductive pursuits…Anyway… back to positives:

UWIRE aims to “identify and promote the brightest young content creators and deliver their work to a larger audience via professional media partners.”

Their blog offers solid insights representative of various points of view, and UWire itself (“powered by the content generation”) has video feeds and round-ups from university papers and campus clips freshened regularly.

Oh, crum, this started out a humor piece and I’m getting all newsy again…

Let’s end with College Humor.com, including poor ol’ Sarah Palin falling prey to their prank phone call. Yowza. Wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t hear it for myself.

Then there’s the Jib-Jab foray into movie making trailers, with my favorite being the Disney spoof of the hockey mom (below) with the voiceover guy sounding like a deadringer for that trademark Disneyesque promo/preview tonality…(hat tip to Sandra Foyt, On Living By Learning for this one, thanks!)

In fact, Sandra Foyt’s taken a philosophic spin on political humor, “I’ve heard it said that the best comedy is rooted in the deepest pain. Perhaps, it is true…” I have to agree with her that these are a few of my top picks on the bipartisan humor front for the Top 2008 Presidential Campaign Video Satires:

JibJab’s Time For Campaignin’; The Daily Show’s Barack Obama: He Completes Us; and SNL’s Tina Fey in Gov. Palin and Katie Couric get real and adorable.

And nostalgia-wise, the Fonz and Richie Cunningham, of course.

Fun stuff. Be sure to vote, no matter who you’re pulling for…and always, ALWAYS, keep a sense of humor.

Disney Trailer Spoof: Sarah Palin via College Humor.com

Okay, can’t resist…one more…This one from Mini-Movie titled:
The Obama-McCain Dance-Off:
Amazing what digital wizardry can do!! Can’t believe what you see anymore!



  1. Oh, no. Now, you’ve got me thinking evil thoughts. We have a bunch of 9-year-old boys meeting tonight for Cub Scouts, and I am so very tempted to pull out the paper dolls.

  2. You are TOO funny! I forgot to add another video using PhotoShop of the Obama-McCain dance-off that was a fave of mine…in case you need a morning election day chuckle!


    Mini-Movie is pretty amazing…the scouts might be better served getting their ya-yas out in a dance-off! πŸ˜‰

    Am going to comment soon on your blog vs. Microblog twitter post, as it’s VERY top of mind…some of my favorites have yielded to the Twittersphere almost exclusively, which just doesn’t ‘cut it’ in terms of in-depth analysis of stuff…

    Great for link-dropping action items and buzz of core issues, but I agree with you, the learning and depth of a participatory exchange needs to be accessible on a much deeper level. (otherwise, we’ll end up in ‘life as converstional sound bite’)

    It’s such an important post you wrote…would you consider guest-posting it again with your photo/attribution for the next ‘Age of Conversation’ posting? It really is all about NEW ways of conversing, without losing the OLD ones! Fabulous job, Sandra! πŸ™‚

  3. I’d love to have the chance to extend this conversation!

  4. Does that mean you’ll cross post it? Pinging you offline now! πŸ™‚

  5. great site!! definitely worth bookmarking

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