After what seems like an eternity, the process of selecting the next American president is almost over. As in all good elections, it had cheap shots and low blows coming from all sides, tears shed, harsh words said and regretted later, brother turning against brother, and so on and on. But, thankfully, the campaign season generated, as well, some very funny satire and witty commentary, and much of it came in the form of viral video.
Some good stuff was created by regular Joes(TM) like you and me, but the best stuff this year came from organizations like the Onion, The Daily Show, and Saturday Night Live. We've put together a list of what we think are the very best viral videos from and about the primaries and the general election.
A special note: The videos that made this list don't necessarily reflect the political views of either me or PC World--they are simply the ones that were the funniest or cleverest or that offered meaningful commentary on the race. Some candidates, obviously, were bigger targets than others. In 2004 it was JibJab's This Land is Your Land, and the Swift Boat video. What video will we remember from 2008? Pretty likely it's on this list.
1. SNL: Katie Couric Interviews Sarah Palin
The McCain campaign would probably never admit it, but Tina Fey's spoof of Sarah Palin was so spot-on that you'd have to figure it into much of America's increasingly negative opinion of the vice presidential nominee from Alaska. Palin, with her sexy-librarian looks and folksy come-on makes a big target for parody, so SNL brought in a big gun to do the job. Fey had graduated from the cast of SNL and gone onto other things (30 Rock), but was called back to play Palin. What puts this video over the top: At one point Fey uses Palin's exact words from the latter's ill-fated interview with Couric, and the nearly nonsensical answer is one of the funniest lines of the bit. The only way things could get weirder is if "Caribou Barbie" begins borrowing Fey's SNL lines in her own press appearances . . .
2. SNL: George W. Bush Endorses McCain/Palin
I was so happy to see Will Ferrell return to Saturday Night Live (along with Tina Fey) to reprise his brilliant portrayal of George W. Bush. I will never forget the 2004 bit where Ferrell's Bush is seen (while two other characters carry the dialog) in the background completely engrossed in batting around a ball of yarn on the couch. This time Ferrell's Bush is playing host to Fey's Palin and Darrell Hammond's McCain in the Oval Office, offering his blessing/endorsement, while a very reluctant McCain keeps trying to escape stage left. The video masterfully apes McCain's real-life approach to his association with W. (and the latter's sub-30 percent approval) this campaign season: Smile, and avoid like the plague.
3. John Edwards: "I Feel Pretty," or the Big Primp