It is a difficult task to be the President, no decision is ever going to be good enough, even for your most ardent defenders. As the favorability polls drop with time, the legacy of your actions will be the subject of spoofing/ridicule for some time. In 2007, just when his final term was sunsetting, a cartoon looked at the complex political landscape of the 43rd president, with childlike eyes and outlandishly crude humour. In the flash animated satire Lil’ Bush.
Following the adventures of the pint-sized
president, resident of the United States, Lil’ Bush mixes real-world events with a warped sense of childlike whimsy to produce a potent satire of the Bush administration. Hot issues such as Homosexuality, Nuclear warheads, and the ongoing Afghanistan Conflict serve as the backdrop to the day-to-day exploits of Lil’ George and his gang, and their rivals, the Lil’ Democrats.
Those looking in might be reminded of South Park, with its childlike look on hot button issues irreverent humour and rough language, and the comparisons are fair, with Trey Parker and Matt Stone even doing their own Bush parody, albeit live-action. The Flash animation of Lil’ Bush does have its charm, as does the show’s wider look at life in the latter half of the 2000s, a variety of guest stars from the music scene, from Dave Grohl, and Flea, to even Fred Schneider and Michael Moore willing to get in on the gag, as opposed to exclusively relying on the voice actors. The show engaging in musical interludes helps build upon that potential while embracing the strengths of the animated medium.
The conceit of Bush Snr. being the one who is in charge, is interesting, with the shows focus on contemporary issues, but it’s best not to think about it, even the show lampshades the confusing predicament that this causes. Mainly because it allows the show to focus on Lil’ George’s exploits and keep the action in D.C. Lil’ Bush’s cabinet being a gang childhood chums of Bush is a welcome touch, that comfortably inherits from the concept. Using recognisable traits of the satiree to inform their child versions behaviour. With the likes of Lil’ George’s constant put-downs of bookish Lil’ Laura, and Lil’ Condi having a crush on Lil’ George. Lil’ Cheney is distinctive with his Boomhauer-esque ramblings, while Lil’ Rummy is voiced by Iggy Pop. The other side of the aisle is also spoofed, John Edwards and his penchant for his haircuts, and even parodies for the then frontrunners of the Democratic Party itself, Lil’ Barack Obama, and Lil’ Hillary.
Humour is always going to be a touchy subject, and comical depictions of ‘controversial’ figures exemplify this tricky relationship. While offering a more of a retroactive look on a polarising Presidency, than a currently unfolding societal mockery with the likes of South Park. The recent success of films like Vice, showing that the recent administration’s actions can make for retrospective compelling comedy. Despite its short run, Lil’ Bush offers a crude, but effective satirical shock and awe.
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