- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2006

Movie director David Zucker has made a living off of satirical comedies, including “Airplane” and “The Naked Gun,” but the one-time liberal activist is now focusing his camera to mock Democrats in political ads.

In Mr. Zucker’s opinion, portrayed in Internet ads for the Republican National Committee, Democrats are unable or unwilling to confront threats to America and are fiscally irresponsible.

“I still can’t believe I’m a Republican,” said Mr. Zucker, a former campaign adviser to President Bill Clinton.

“There are just certain things ingrained in our Jewish roots. Our fathers voted for Roosevelt, and we voted for JFK, [Hubert] Humphrey and Clinton. But the Democratic Party has changed.”

Mr. Zucker defected to the Republican Party after the September 11 attacks, supported President Bush in 2004 and has become more vocal in his beliefs — disregarding the possible impact on his career in Hollywood, a liberal haven.

Mr. Zucker, 58, said he’s tired of Democrats calls for “talk, talk, talk” and looking to the United Nations to solve the world’s most tangled problems.

Hollywood happily forgives druggy actors and boozy directors, “but I don’t think a Republican can be rehabbed,” Mr. Zucker said.

Mr. Zucker made an ad attacking Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry in 2004, appeared on a few talk shows to discuss his political conversion and “fell in with the dark side,” quipped his brother Jerry Zucker,co-director of “Airplane” and director of “Ghost.”

The RNC asked Mr. Zucker to make the new spoof ads because of his “stellar reputation and high-quality production,” said Tara Wall, RNC director of outreach communications.

Like his movies, the Internet spots that Mr. Zucker directed and co-wrote employ fast-paced, gag-a-second slapstick humor that has made him a king of spoof.

One of Mr. Zucker’s ads — funded by the RNC and now available on YouTube.com and an RNC parody site called “America Weakly” — spoofs the Democrats’ reputation as the party of tax-and-spend liberals.

It opens with a shot of a couple peacefully sleeping in bed. A narrator’s voice interrupts the calm: “What if you woke up a year from today, the Democrats had taken over, and you were able to see their new taxes?”

Suddenly, a man in a dark suit, the Democratic tax man, appears in the bedroom and holds out his hand for a payoff. He shows up again and again. He hits up a woman who has just given birth, and even demands payment from her newborn. The 90-second spot ends with an army of ominous-looking Democratic tax men, briefcases in hand, marching down the street like some spooky army.

The RNC rejected a second Zucker spot that mocked the Democrats as weak on defense. The controversial ad, which has leaked to YouTube.com, features a Madeleine Albright look-alike handing a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, an event that actually took place in 2000.

“The Democrats’ thoughtful gift had two major results,” an ominous voiceover says. Suddenly, an image of a nuclear missile being fired followed flashes on the screen, followed by Mr. Kim doing a reverse dunk.

Republican political strategist Arnold Steinberg thinks such funny ads “can be very effective.”. Humorous spots, he said could generate lots of press, thereby broadcasting Mr. Zucker’s message to an audience beyond the Internet.

Having spent nearly 30 years spoofing police dramas, disaster flicks and horror films, beginning with the 1977 cult-classic, “The Kentucky Friend Movie,” Mr. Zucker now wants to turn his withering satirical eye to politics.

Without divulging too many details, Mr. Zucker said he plans to make a film lampooning politics, sandwiched between a super-heroes spoof and “Scary Movie 5.”

“You have people like Michael Moore going into foreign countries saying Americans are the stupidest people in the world,” said Mr. Zucker, a father of a 4-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son.

“I want to tell the real America story, that America is a force for good.”

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