Slacktory

Abraham Lincoln impersonator

Can you believe there have already been two Abraham Lincoln movies out this year? When was the last time Abe made an appearance on the big screen?

I’m not going to look it up or anything, but I think it was Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, right? Doesn’t he come out at the end and say something like “Party on dudes!” I actually don’t remember. That movie came out when I was like three years old. I remember my parents rented it for me one time when I was maybe seven, but what’s the point of showing any movie to a seven-year-old? They’re not going to remember it, one. And two, do you think a little kid has the attention span necessary to comprehend exactly what’s going on? I still have no idea what that movie was about. I remember there was something about fixing that telephone booth with chewing gum. Maybe I wasn’t the brightest seven-year-old. Or maybe that movie didn’t have the most well-written script.

But this is all entirely beside the point. There have been two Lincoln movies this year. I can’t think of any other Lincoln movies besides some stoner comedy from twenty years ago. What I’m getting at is, let’s keep going with this before Lincoln mania dies out and we have to wait another four score before it’s hot again.

So far we’ve had a vampire movie and a serious biopic. I say next up we go for abstract sci-fi. How about, hundreds of years from now, a divided United States realizes that its only hope in getting past centuries of partisan gridlock is in cloning and resurrecting the one man who couldn’t stand to see a divided nation split apart. But there’s a twist. When the scientists reach for the vial of Abe Lincoln DNA, they accidentally spill some Hitler DNA in the mix. The result is exactly what you’d think: Abe Lincoln’s body but Hitler’s mind.

I saw this going an alternate way, where a competing group of evil scientists resurrected a Hitler clone at the same exact time as the good scientists created the Lincoln clone. The evil group would kidnap the Lincoln clone, and then they’d do the whole Face-Off thing. You know, surgically switching their faces. Hitler would look like Lincoln and he’d head off to Washington to unleash his diabolical plan. Lincoln, however, who now looks like history’s most evil of villains, would have to gain the trust of a more than skeptical nation, ultimately overthrowing the impostor and taking back the White House.

Next up: romantic comedy. This one would be a little harder to pull off, seeing as how history has kind of made Mary Todd Lincoln out to be a little crazy. But isn’t every character in a romantic comedy sort of crazy? The writers would just have to be a little creative in their interpretation of history. They’d have to cast either Sandra Bullock or Julia Roberts.

And Lincoln would have to have a slightly different backstory. No top hat. No beard. Maybe it would be all about how the First Lady convinced Abe to acquire his signature style. And maybe he’d cheat on her, apologize, and then swear his loyalty all over again, thus earning the nickname Honest Abe. I’m thinking Gerard Butler as Lincoln. I’m also thinking there has to be a big dramatic motorcycle chase to the airport. You know what? Just cut in the motorcycle chase scene from that Matthew McConaughy movie, the one where he’s chasing after Kate Hudson. Just put it in there, it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t make any sense. Because it’s romantic.

Maybe four Lincoln movies would be a little much for the public to stomach. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t exploit it for all it’s worth. I’m thinking a TV series. We’ll call it Lincoln Blvd. about five guys that share a house together. And guess what? They’re all professional Lincoln impersonators. So the whole show could be about their mishaps and stumbles as they try to get gigs selling cars on Presidents’ Day or doing those silent acted-out-of-focus shots used in the background of any History Channel documentary. And then maybe the show would take place in some random city, like Columbus, Ohio, where maybe the demand for five Lincoln lookalikes isn’t that high, so every time they show up at an audition, it’s just them, the five of them. And they act all surprised every time they see each other in the waiting room. And actually, that could be the whole series, just a bunch of awkward auditions. When one of them goes in to try out for the role, the other four talk shit about him behind his back. And everyone would laugh because it would be so funny.

Let’s keep going. There has to be a way to just completely max this out. What about an Abe Lincoln breakfast cereal? Or some vintage Abe Lincoln victory plates?

Jesus, I just thought of it. What about pennies? And five dollar bills? We should get the mint to issue some limited-edition collectable currency. And the banks could just randomly release the currency into the general money supply, and everybody would rush to the banks and demand more Lincoln money.

I think this is great. Let’s just keep it up until it dies out. Maximum Lincoln.

Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount / The Washington Post

Robert Gunther writes at Strictly Autobiographical.

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