Monday, March 9, 2009

Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America - a Final Night with George W. Bush



Last night Firecracker took me to see Will Ferrell's Broadway show, You're Welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush. I was a little concerned, because Will is hit or miss with me- I love a lot of what he does, like Stranger Than Fiction and Anchorman, but some recent stuff like Blades of Glory and Talladega Nights seemed like he was spinning his wheels. However, my concerns were completely unjustified- because while doing his Bush impression is going back to the well, the show was one of the funniest things I've seen on Broadway and showcases some of Ferrell's best writing in a long, long time.
One man shows are hard to pull off, but Ferrell does it. It's just him and a quiet Secret Service Agent (played by his brother Patrick Ferrell) up there. From the moment he's lowered onto stage by helicopter and starts addressing us like it's a speech engagement, he's got our attention and gets laughs from the obvious to the ridiculous. He embodies the public persona of the former President, the guy we could have a beer with- if he didn't drink O'Doul's- and manages to tread plenty of new ground. When he mimicked W.'s father yelling "How come you're the only one of us who has a Texas accent!?" he got to the core of it- that the Bush we knew was a meticulously crafted figurehead. This is the comedy side of W. (full review)- Ferrell manages to make a Presidency that feels long gone in the wake of "Tiger Woods guy" a refreshing tragicomedy.



They keep things lively- there's a dream sequence with Condi, lots of crowd interaction including "lemme give ya a nickname," a Dick Cheney introduction, and the Secret Service guy has some very entertaining interludes while Ferrell takes a break to change costumes from cowboy, to President, to Mission Accomplished flight suit. The show will be appearing on HBO on Saturday, March 14th if you can't catch it live. It's playing at the Cort Theater for another week, and it's a cozy venue where even the cheap seats afford a decent view. Just try to avoid the highest rows stage center, as the spotlight will halo your head, and make the lighting guy call you a "fucking dick."


2 comments:

PIPER said...

I saw this show as well. I'm with you on Ferrell being hit or miss. His most recent batch of stuff has really left me scratching the old noggin.

But I found this very funny and surprisingly cutting. I remember reading that Adam McKay had said that they were going to be doing all sorts of crazy stuff, like full frontal male nudity. I thought to myself "I wonder if he's serious and if he is, I wonder how they're going to pull it off." And then I saw how they pulled it off.

My favorite part was probably the part about being stuck in the mine shaft and Barbara Bush (that scary woman) saving them. The constant knocks on Barbara as this big hulking scary woman felt very McKay/Ferrell to me.

firecracker said...

my favorite line was:

"i didn't realize Tuesday nights were amateur historian night."

Post a Comment

And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

disclaimers of legal bull shitte

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

All writing © 2011 Thomas Pluck and may only be reprinted with express written permission of the author. You may link to pages at will. If you wish to repost anything on your website you must contact Thomas Pluck using the contact form. Thank you for your cooperation. -Robocop