This year might be more memorable politically for everything that didn’t happen than what did, but that didn’t stop comedian Mark Eaton from having some fun with the most memorable political ads.
Eaton, a member of the D.C. political satire group “Capitol Steps,” weighed in on our Top 5 favorite ads of 2013 in this special year-end edition of “Top Line.”
1. New York Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio’s ad featuring his son, Dante
In the crowded New York mayoral race, this ad helped de Blasio stand out by saying something the candidate couldn’t say himself. The ad starts out with a young African-American teenager talking about why he supports the white de Blasio, and, by the end, viewers learn that the young man, Dante, is de Blasio’s son.
Eaton had some fun with the ad, joking about the distractive pull of Dante’s recognizable hairstyle.
“I think the first time you see if you don’t even hear what he’s saying because of that afro,” Eaton said. “That’s 70s ABA [American Basketball Association] Afro going on there, but I guess after the first time you see it, the punch line is out there that this is his dad.”
2. Shaquille O’Neal’s endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
The retired basketball star proved that he can deliver a political endorsement in a similar fashion to his commercials for Gold Bond and Icy Hot in this ad endorsing Republican Gov. Chris Christie for his re-election campaign.
“I love that they put the basketball goal behind him because we might forget who Shaq actually is,” he said of the basketball star, who was born in Newark, N.J., and retired in 2011. “And it’s the exact same set where he does Gold Bond body creams and Radio Shack, everyone is just Shaq sort of standing there talking.”
Christie ultimately sailed to victory against Democratic challenger Barbara Buono, but whether O’Neal’s endorsement aided in the victory is less clear.
3. “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson’s endorsement of Louisiana Rep. Vance McAllister
In a special election to fill Louisiana’s 5th District congressional seat, Republican businessman Vance McAllister was considered the underdog. But his campaign got a boost from the endorsement of some friends who live in his district who just happened to be the stars of the “Duck Dynasty” reality show.
“My gut response is that I am worried that we’re going to see other reality stars now having to endorse candidates,” Eaton said. “Who does Honey Boo Boo prefer? Who do the ‘Ice Road Truckers’ endorse this time?”
McAllister, who is now the newest member of Congress, told ABC News that he believes the endorsement helped his successful campaign.
4. Massachusetts Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez’s reverse attack ad featuring a toilet seat
Gabriel Gomez, the tea party favorite in the Massachusetts special election to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat, used this “reverse attack ad” to mock the attacks made by his Democratic opponent, then-Rep. Ed Markey.
“What’s funny about that one is they say, Ed Markey must think we’re stupid and yet they show us a picture with the toilet seat up and they show the arrow that shows the toilet seat’s been left up because we can’t figure out that the toilet seat’s been left up,” Eaton quipped. “I mean, who’s calling who stupid in that regard?”
But in this election that saw mud-slinging from both sides, Markey ultimately prevailed to win the – errr – coveted seat.
5. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s sing-a-long attack ad of challenger Allison Lundergan Grimes
This ad, paid for by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R – Ky., is an early defense of his Senate seat as he makes a bid for re-election in 2014, and it is certainly memorable. Indeed, we wish you good luck in getting it out of your head.
“I think you guys might have violated the Geneva Convention[s] by showing me that,” Eaton joked. “If they played this at Guantanamo Bay, I think the terrorists would be begging for waterboarding after a while.”
To hear more of Eaton’s witty remarks about the year’s most memorable campaign ads, check out this episode of “Top Line.” And to vote on which ad from our list takes the cake for the year, tweet us @RickKlein or @OKnox.
ABC News’ Alexandra Dukakis, Betsy Klein, and Tom Thornton contributed to this episode.
Dick Norling and John Knott assisted in the episode’s production.
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