6 Actors Who Tried To Teach Lessons (And Madness Ensued)
A celebrity public service announcement seems like a fine idea in theory. People love having a popular, attractive person tell them what to do -- that's how God-Emperors are made. So how can you screw that up? Well, let us count the ways ...
Mario Tells Kids That They'll Suffer Hell On Earth
"Captain" Lou Albano had the honor of being both a professional wrestler and Mario on The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, which to children is about as impressive as being a crimefighting dog who can magically summon ice cream. So it's not surprising that Albano was seen as a great choice for an anti-drug PSA aimed at kids. It is surprising that they filmed the whole shebang in a closet while Albano looked like he was wasted on a whatever he was telling kids to stay away from.
Albano crams a lot of words into 19 seconds, and while it's mostly standard PSA stuff ("Don't be afraid to say no," "People who want you to take drugs aren't really your friends," "You'll probably stop giving a crap about what Mario says when you go to college and some cutie invites you to smoke weed with them," etc.), there's a last-second twist. Albano warns that if you do drugs, "you'll go to hell before you die," while fading into a corner of a screen and whispering the word "please" in a way that would really mess with your head if you were tripping.
Always remember, kids: According to a professional athlete who played a hero whose power comes from magical mushrooms, drugs have no benefit whatsoever and will send you to a nightmarish plane of brimstone and fire.
The Cast Of The Wire Wants You To Wear A Condom
Teenagers, generally speaking, are the demographic that most need education on sexual safety, both because they're lacking in life experience and because they're getting laid way more often than we are. So if you had to make a hip safe sex PSA in the mid-2000s, what celebrities would you work with? The stars of a teen drama? Maybe the cast of a reality show? How about the heroes of their dad's favorite gritty police drama, The Wire?
Luckily, a whole chunk of The Wire's cast is here to prestige people into practicing safe sex. Unfortunately, this PSA is less of a coherent call to action than a laudanum-induced fever dream. There are no statistics or stern lectures -- merely the dying hallucinations of a '80s music video director made surreality.
The whole thing comes across like aliens have kidnapped humans and are trying to make a soothing simulated reality for them based only on the trivia that we like sex, award-winning television, and outdated music. Clarke Peters looks like he's about to teach us either Tae Bo or how to use your orgasm to ascend to a higher plane of existence.
Here's Jackie Chan Hanging Out With A Giant Condom
"You all know me as an action hero," is how Jackie Chan walks into this PSA. But he wants to introduce us to another action hero: Mr. Condom, who sounds like the stuffed bear of a Victorian British child -- something to keep in mind the next time you use one.
Mr. Condom and Jackie clearly have a strong and respectful master-student relationship, and Chan explains how this strong warrior prevents STDs. Meanwhile, an energetic Mr. Condom shows off his fighting moves. Because if there's one thing you want a good condom to be, it's flexible enough to move around wildly on its own.
Mr. Condom then launches himself into the air, spins around, and stretches himself out, in case you've ever wondered what it looks like when a condom has its own orgasm, before reminding us to use him when you have sex. Chan then wraps up the PSA by telling us that while he can fight visible enemies, even he needs Mr. Condom's help in keeping HIV at bay, which can definitely be a risk when you cheat on your wife. Then Jackie and Mr. Condom embrace, and Jackie definitely doesn't die a little inside before they punch the camera.
Don't Drive Angry, Or Evander Holyfield Will Beat You To Death
If you make the wrong decision while driving, you can end a person's life. Someone's loved one could be snuffed out in an instant due to your carelessness. But apparently some people require a more "What's in it for me?" incentive than that, so Evander Holyfield made a PSA about how he'll beat the shit out of aggressive drivers.
Scene: A car pulls into traffic and cuts off another driver, who then angrily honks and forces the car over. The man gets out of his truck and reveals himself to be a redneck stereotype whose string of profanity makes it clear that he intends to beat the fuck stuffing out of his new nemesis. But then, surprise twist! The man he wants to murder is Evander Holyfield! Now who's about to die?
The moral clearly ought to be "Avoid road rage. You never know who you might run into. But counterpoint: If you can clearly see it's some soccer mom or a grandpa, feel free to go full King Immortan Joe on their asses." If the only way you can think of to appeal to violent maniacs is to remind them they'll sometimes cross paths with a professional fighter, you haven't made a PSA against road rage, but one in favor of keeping a gun in the glove compartment.
Mel Gibson Doesn't Want The Feds To Take Away Our Vitamins
Holy shit, check out this thrilling Mel Gibson movie set in the grim future of 1993!
Whose fancy house is being raided? A corrupt politician? An unscrupulous CEO?
No, they're arresting Mel Gibson. And while it was prescient for Gibson to portray himself as being in trouble with the law, here he's being hauled in for the simple dystopian crime of owning vitamins. "Guys, guys! It's only vitamins!" he protests. But what he doesn't know is that the government wants to make vitamins illegal. This video is here to warn good American citizens that their supplements are under attack. Now, you probably don't know anyone who has been dogpiled by a SWAT team for cracking open a bottle of Flintstone's, but in the chilling, stupid reality of Mel Gibson's world, the answer is "It's already happening."
As shown in this obviously based-on-real-events footage, the fascist pig cops are unimpressed when Gibson explains to them he was only taking Vitamin C, "like in oranges." He'll have plenty of time to adjust his mindset during his four-month stay at a Dietary Supplement Reeducation Camp. But that future doesn't have to be ours, the cards say, if we just call our senators.
If you're wondering what the hell is going on, this "PSA" was funded by the Nutritional Health Alliance, a lobby group formed by the supplement industry to prevent the government from looking into what a huge scam supplements are.
Specifically, in early '90s, the FDA wanted to crack down on supplements that made completely unsubstantiated health claims on their packaging and in ads, because if there's one thing the Man loves to do, it's pushing around honest, hard-working Americans by forcing them to stop buying dangerous products that hospitalize tens of thousands and might accidentally kill people. It's unclear if Gibson actually believed in the supplement industry or was letting them supplement his income, but luckily, Gibbers was unable to terrify Americans with his vision of a vitamin-hating police state. The FDA's new regulations went through, and Gibson found himself on the wrong side of history -- a position he's since become intimately familiar with.
Kid Rock And Sean Penn For Generic Unity Between Americans
It's no secret that America is a politically divided country. And who better to bridge that bitter gap than Kid Rock and Sean Penn, two of the most beloved and kind artists in the world. Between Kid's political savvy and Penn's famous calmness, only these two could ever unite Americans across the political spectrum -- mostly by making all of them ask "Wait ... what the fuck?"
This nearly 11-minute (no, seriously) public service Sundance entry is called "Americans," and it features one of America's favorite (alleged) spousal abusers sitting down with one of America's least-favorite aural abusers for a conversation that absolutely no one asked for.
We open with Penn sitting at a bar and ordering vodka, even though he already looks and sounds completely shitfaced.
Mitt Romney (this was made in 2012) is giving a speech on TV. Penn asks for the channel to be changed, but the justifiably scared female bartender ignores him, just in time for Romney to introduce his special musical guest. It's Kid Rock, and for a moment, we are all Sean Penn:
Then, gasp! Old Man Rock appears in the bar! How Penn failed to notice a six-foot-tall overall-wearing Americana scarecrow right next to him is left unexplained.
But Mr. Rock, who also seems drunk, plops himself down next to Penn and starts complaining about "Obummer's" tax policies, like a totally relatable middle American. The two start sniping at each other like YouTube commenters -- Penn quotes Goebbels, while Kid Rock says "Fuckin' suck it, commie." They both take turns delivering incoherent tirades, although Penn seems to be winning the debate. After all, it's hard to take Kid Rock seriously when he's dressed like he's on his way to play the Country Bear Jamboree.
They nearly come to blows, in a fight we could only hope they somehow both lose, until a random sassy bar patron tells them to shut up and appreciate everything America has to offer. Her passionate speech about what American citizenship means to her is somewhat undercut by the fact that she finishes by calling them "fucking pussies," but never mind that --there's some breaking news on the bar TV that inexplicably isn't just on ESPN. 26 marines have been killed in Afghanistan! Cue sad music and Kid Rock failing to act!
Thankfully, those soldiers didn't die in vain. Rock and Penn are inspired by their sacrifice to toast "to freedom" and apologize to each other -- while babbling over everyone else's respectful moment of silence. Naturally, the next step is a wacky montage! The first thing Kid Rock does is sell his car and buy a Prius, as any relatable conservative American who wants to learn more about his liberal friends could totally afford to do at the drop of a hideous hat.
Next, we get a shot of an environmental protest, Kid Rock urinating in the background, and Penn catching his urine in a bucket because ... Kid Rock's dehydrated lizard juice still counts as potable water? No time to reflect, because it's time for Penn to trade places! Kid Rock teaches him to drink a beer instead of a girly cocktail! As the day is winding down, Penn takes Rock to a gay wedding, which, according to this movie, involves one of the men wearing a wedding dress! Are we seeing this wedding through Rock's Republican eyes?
They then buy each other T-shirts and exchange them on the beach! Kid Rock and Sean Penn are totally about to fuck! After the pair leaves the beach to go bone down, the message of this inspirational tale appears onscreen for the benefit of the slower viewers: We're all Americans, whether we love PETA, own guns, or are a sassy black woman. Those are the only three kinds of Americans. You too can put aside your cavalcade of liberal and conservative stereotypes and stop yelling crude insults at each other long enough to bond over some dead marines and go car shopping. Because in the end, aren't we all just South Park jokes without the irony? Fuck yeah, Sean Penn and Kid Rock. Fuck yeah.
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