Jonathon Sharkey is a former pro wrestler, a “Luciferian” who drinks his 19-year-old fiancée’s blood, and a candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination.
He once proclaimed that if he were elected President, he would literally impale George W. Bush. He also would have terrorists impaled and would personally decapitate violent criminals. He is pro-life.
All the above is on Sharkey’s Wikipedia page. I have left out many good things. I swear there is not a single unfunny line in there. The citations are funny.
Why has the internet pretty much ignored this man? Boing Boing tracked him early in the 2008 election cycle (here, here and here), including when his threat against Bush got him jailed, but hasn’t touched him since. BuzzFeed and Videogum, which collect weirdos like Sharkey, haven’t touched him. So far he’s mostly covered by professional reporters, and he keeps giving them brilliant, brilliant material.
Here’s a typical piece, by Tampa Bay’s 10 News, showing Sharkey and his fiancée.
While in jail in 2008 for his threats to Bush, Sharkey talked to Nashville’s NewsChannel 5, saying “In the vampire community I am the most known vampire in the world” and “I cannot deal with garlic.” They took a picture of his teeth, which look normal but which he says prove that he’s “King of the Vampire Nation.” The interview is on video.
It’s impossible to talk to him and not get a brilliant quote. This January he told ABC News, “Yes, I have a chance of winning. People like Sarah Palin are making it quite easy to pull off.”
Talking to News Channel 5 again in 2008, he explained local opposition to the vampire commune he was planning: “These people up here are very religious, you know. And they don’t want change and vampires they don’t need.”
With the Columbia Chronicle, he got cocky about the Secret Service (who confiscated rifles and spiked stakes from his house after the Bush threat): “They were telling me, when they were interrogating me, that their job was to protect Bush even after he’s out of office. I’m looking at them like, ‘Oh, you’re going to defy me when I become president?’” Reporters got a law professor to discuss Sharkey’s First Amendment rights and argue that the silliness of Sharkey’s stated intentions might protect him. “If he’s a vampire, why is he the one staking people? Shouldn’t he want to bite the president and feed on him?”
Reporters can even add their own brilliant lines. ABC’s Emily Friedman wrote, “So far Sharkey has not had to file an official statement of candidacy with the FEC. That is only required if he gets more than $5,000 in donations. So far he has zero.”
Even the goddamn registration reports are funny. The Tahoe Daily Tribune: “Also registered as candidates for the presidency are President Emperor Caesar Buonaparte of the Absolute Dictator Party and Jonathan ‘The Impaler’ Sharkey of the Republican Party.” His FEC filing is titled “IMPALER FOR PRESIDENT 2012; THE”.
Sharkey has been a wrestler since 1988, he told Canada’s Slam! Sports. He also told him that his execution plan includes rapists, murderers, animal abusers, child molesters and anyone with three DUIs. He also said that he’s against teaching evolution, but he’s for gay marriage.
He told Slam about the documentary The True Impaler: REDEMPTION!, which covers Sharkey’s history. It’s on IMDb with a few clips.
Any character as extreme as Sharkey is a bit “troubled” and deserves some mercy, or is a bit dangerous and deserves some disapproval. Beyond the Bush threats, Sharkey has pled guilty to harassing a teenage girl.
And yet Sharkey can seem like a normal functioning adult. One minute into a True Impaler clip, Sharkey asks how a friend’s “moms” is doing after hip surgery, and he is in this moment the most likable, adorable man in the world. He teases the girl about being a Steelers fan. “You wouldn’t say that if I had my impaling stake,” he says, pretending to swat her with a rolled up booklet. Later he wears his sweatshirt over his shoulders like a soccer mom.
In a clip like that, Sharkey is America’s cheesy uncle who just happens to suck people’s blood. He has three kids (a fourth is dead); in high school he dated a girl named Debbie.
This is Sharkey’s third presidential campaign. He reminds me of Jimmy McMillan, who ran on the Rent Is Too Damn High ticket for 17 years before he went “viral”. Like Sharkey, Jimmy got plenty of press before his big moment.
Sharkey may not tap into the zeitgeist the way Jimmy’s rant did, but there has to be a video bite (har) we can focus our attention on. His YouTube channel has 40 bizarrely edited videos. His Facebook channel, as if to balance out the YouTube madness, sounds sane and collected.
Do we just need the news interviews as embeddable YouTube clips? I don’t think those capture enough of the essence of Sharkey. Seeing him insist his canines are vampire teeth tells us he’s deluded; it doesn’t reveal the rest of his complicated character. What would get us all talking about this guy? What’s Sharkey’s Too Damn High moment?
Photo (C) Jonathon Sharkey on IMDb