With the impending election making headlines, the current gaggle of possible presidential candidates has been the subject of debate and of course comedy. Political satire shows, like “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” have continuously spoofed the policies and practices of those at the top of the governmental race.
For comedian Al Shearer, the electoral process seemed like a great subject for a film. In “The Other Black Guy Running for President,” Shearer draws on the skills he acquired as a TV personality, on shows like “Punk’d,” and uses humor to explore pressing political issues. Just as “Borat” explored prejudice in a manner that was somehow enjoyable to watch, this film taps into unsettling truths while maintaining a degree of sarcasm.
Where you at all apprehensive about making a controversial film?
Not at all, the world needs to wake up to what is going on. Most people don’t want to read the paper or watch the news but we need to fix some things before it is too late.
How have people reacted to the film and its message?
People love the film and the message. A lot of people think the comedy of it will help get younger people’s attention which would be great.
What mockumentaries inspired you when you were developing your own?
I would call it a comedic documentary instead of a mockumentary where I feel everyone is in on the joke. None of the people I messed with had a clue. Of course Sacha has been a big inspiration but you have to remember I’ve been doing this since 1998 when my show “Hits From the Street” premiered on BET.
In the film you tackle some pressing political issues. What did you learn from your interactions with the likes of Rich Santorum and Michelle Bachman?
Both Slick Rick and Michelle are nuts. Rick is like a robot saying anything he thinks will get him a vote and Michelle has a cult like following. I was scared I was going to be kidnapped at her rally.
What did you learn about prejudices in the electoral process?
Everyone has prejudices but especially when it comes to who should be president. When I asked about different candidates it was scary to hear people talk about a certain look or type they expected to be President instead of who would change the country for the better.
“The Other Black Guy Running for President” is available on ITunes starting June 15th. For more info visit www.alshearerforpresident.org.