The Tim Robbins mockumentary Bob Roberts started as a skit on Saturday Night Live. (Watch his conservative folk-singer character sing some racist ditties about burning books here.) In the feature-length examination of the character, Roberts challenges incumbent Brickley Paiste (Gore Vidal) for a Senate seat, performs songs like “Drugs Stink”—advocating the extralegal execution of “dope-smoking morons”—and is nearly assassinated. The movie ends up taking a sinister, if still satirical, turn away from the SNL-friendly skit format. And, as part of that more realistic political satire, we get a debate scene, complete with ad hominem attacks, promises to fix health care and a classic straight-to-the-camera rhetorical question about the end of the American dream.
Fighting Words: “Let’s cut taxes!”
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