Yogi Bush and Boo Boo Cheney drilling for oil in Jellostone Park? Yep. Guantanamo Bay as a Club Med, only with heinous torture. Yes, that too. Then there is "Weekend at Bush's," the story of President George W. Bush choking to death on a pretzel and being dragged around a la "Weekend At Bernie's" by Vice President Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.
So much for "big media" pulling punches with the administration.
The above plot lines are just some of the political and popular culture parody on tap from Viacom-owned VH1, which Monday will launch what it is billing as the first entertainment series to migrate from the Web to TV. A publicist for the show was pushing it as potentially "one of the most controversial series ever to air on television."
CampChaos Presents VH1 Ill-ustrated, a half-hour containing nine or 10 shorts, will debut at 11:30 Monday night, followed by another new episode each night at 11:30 for the rest of the week.
The series will then air on successive Friday's beginning May 28. A total of 10 episodes have been produced.
The satirical animated shorts are drawn from Web Site CampChaos.com. The show is the brainchild of creator and producer Bob Cesca and has been in the works since 2000. It aired initially as three, back-to-back episodes back in October and did well in the ratings.
In those pre-Janet Jackson-reveal days, some of the episodes actually repeated on Sunday mornings on VH1. But things are different now, and the show will likely not air before 10 p.m. out of concerns for running afoul of FCC indecency rules. In fact, Cesca has been in the editing room making some last-minute cuts at the request of nervous Viacom executives.
"Every day that goes by we are struggling to get jokes and sight gags on the air," he says. For instance, in a parody slated for Monday night, one of the Queer Eye crew is eyeing the bushy mustache of their makeover target, super hero He-Man. The word "ride" had to be bleeped out of the line, "I wonder if he gives mustache rides."
Cesca was also not allowed to use the euphemism "boobies," ultimately changing it to "thingies." On the other hand, he says somewhat quizzically, in a parody of E!, "we were allowed to show Brooke Burke pinned against a car windshield with the wipers slapping her breasts."
Though he concedes it has been a scramble to accommodate the new FCC climate and Viacom's change requests, he calls it "balsy" of the company to air the show in the first place.
Is he concerned about a plot line in which top administration officials put "big, stupid glasses" on the President's dead body and pull him around with ropes? You bet. "That one will get us audited by Homeland Security," he says with only a half-laugh.
Cesca points out that there is also a short lampooning the Democratic nominee-to-be as the star of a new video game, "John Kerry, Professional Snowboarder." All he can do is turn right, turn left and stop. "You score the most points for stopping," says Cesca.
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