Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Presidential debates: zingers, one liners and catchphrases

Everyone knows wrestling is scripted which is why it is ridiculed by many. What most people don't know is that the wrestlers themselves help write their own lines. Whilst film actors are given scripts to read from and will defer to stuntmen for action scenes, wrestlers will often craft their own lines and obviously perform their own stunts. The ownership of their character allows their persona to be more authentic and appealing to the audience. That's not too discount their handlers and creative department who manage them also. Politicians are not so different, as can be seen in the Presidential debates.

In wrestling, characters develop catchphrases and signature lines to project there persona. They are short and snappy, designed to excite the crowd into wild cheers. Easy to remember and digest making them easy to sing along to and repeat. These lines are perfect for video packages hyping future feuds. Contrary to popular opinion wrestlers don't read off scripts. They largely improvise but are given a template as to what narrative needs to be conveyed to the viewer, it is up to the wrestlers to come up with and rehearse the zingers to achieve this. Some lines are zingers that are meant to damage a rival with a memorable quip. Other lines are purely clever to endear the audience with the candidate's charm and poise.

As we have seen in the Presidential debates the candidates go through a similar process. Chomping at the bit to execute there rehearsed lines often resorting to non sequiturs to get there. I've put in a sampler of some of the better lines from the debates with more to follow.

First I'll start things off with how the wrestlers get it done.
Chris Jericho and The Rock go at it each other face to face

A compilation of the best lines from the latest Republican debate

Mitt Romney serves up a line at latecomer Fred Thompson. Fred volleys with a witty comeback of his own

Democratic hopeful Joe Biden takes a shot at Republican Rudy Giuliani, poking fun at Rudy's catchphrase formula

Republicans Mike Huckabee takes on 'fringe' candidate Ron Paul. As the video shows, the author is already with me on the wrestling/fighting analogy


d said...

Great clips, especially with The Rock and Jericho, two of the best at the time. Just when I think someone's got the edge in the debates, someone else steps up and takes over. Now all we need is someone slamming a receiving door onto somebody else, like Benoit did to Jericho on Raw that one night.

punditfight said...

hehe lets not loose readers by getting too specific on the wrestling references. hehe!