Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have hit the campaign trail, but they’re stumping for viewers rather than voters.
Taking a page out of election year strategizing to promote their upcoming political comedy “The Campaign,” the two stars have embarked on a “whistle stop” tour of major cities across the country, launching at Los Angeles’ The Grove shopping center. Or as Ferrell called it, “the historic Grove, since 1850, when the Gap family discovered this sacred plot of land.”
“The Baby Gap family,” Galifianakis corrected.
The film centers on the down-and-dirty political duel between two Southern candidates duking it out over the congressional seat in their tiny district, prompting Ferrell and Galifianakis to put on their own road show to sway the swing votes of movie ticket buyers.
“It helps that there is - or I believe that there is – a presidential election happening in…is it December? When does it take place?” said Ferrell. “November! And with the state of how crazy politics are getting, we thought that it'd be a very timely and funny way to kind of make fun of politics.”
“It's poking fun at the political system,” added Galifianakis. “There's very good jokes in it, and also there's a little bit of a message that doesn't swing right or left. It's just a good message for the American people as a whole, I think.”
Ferrell said his character Cam Brady “is for anything that will get him elected. He is a four-time incumbent. There are whispers that he's potentially going to be picked to be vice president. That's as high as his aspirations go. He likes the idea of being a vice president, where you don't have to really work too hard. He has some shortcomings. He's a little bit of a philandering politician, and that opens the door for Marty to begin his campaign.”
Galifianakis calls contender Marty Huggins “a guy who's kind of a black sheep of his family. He comes from a political family and they have all kind of ostracized him, but because he has a family name. They put him up to challenge Cam's campaign because there is family recognition. It's like putting a Kennedy up there in North Carolina. So I'm kind of the fish out of the water when it comes to the political game, and I think that Will's character is very savvy at it.”
Both actors had strong visions for what they’d do if they actually entered politics.
“I would do exactly what the congress people are doing right now: nothing,” said Ferrell/ “I'd just hangout in Washington, go to great restaurants.”
“Maybe go to a ribbon cutting at Arby's or Six Flags,” offered Galifianakis who then suggested one sweeping change he’s passionate about: “Make it legal to make a left on red.”
“We have to get that done,” agreed the bipartisan Ferrell. “I think that's on the ballot this year. Prop 89. Left on Red!”
It was a sound campaign platform, prompting the mall-goers of The Grove to join in a repeated chant of “Left on Red!”