Americathon (1979)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Political Satire, Black Comedy, Satire  |   Release Date - Aug 10, 1979 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
  • AllMovie Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Synopsis by Fred Beldin

In the future (the distant year of 1997), the United States of America is in crisis. The oil shortage has grown to epic proportions, leading to people living in their cars and bicycling to work. Cigarettes and meat have been outlawed, gold coins are needed to operate common household appliances, and the Western White House (located in a luxury apartment in California) has been forced by economic necessity to operate round-the-clock tours for vacationing Chinese citizens. The economy is deep trouble; President Chet Roosevelt (John Ritter) has borrowed four billion dollars from Native American tennis shoe manufacturer Sam Birdwater (Chief Dan George), and he's foreclosing on the loan. When a media expert, Eric McMerkhin (Peter Riegert), is summoned for advice (since despite all hardships, Americans refuse to give up their televisions), he suggests a telethon. It's a great idea, except the President's assistant Vincent Vanderhoff (Fred Willard) is in cahoots with the United Heb-Rab Republic, a sinister coalition of Israeli and Arab nationals who want to snap up America if the debt can't be paid. He ensures that the show is stocked with endless ventriloquists and insists on Monty Rushmore (Harvey Korman), a washed-up, drug-addicted television personality as host. The star of the popular sitcom "Both Mother and Father," he is sure to self-destruct over the grueling 30-day-and-night telethon schedule. Despite terrorist attacks and the kidnapping of President Roosevelt, the patriotic spirit prevails and American citizens dig deep and pledge their gold to the cause. This outrageous farce (based on a play by Firesign Theatre alumni Philip Proctor and Peter Bergman) features cameos from Elvis Costello, Jay Leno, Meat Loaf and the Del Rubio Triplets, and is narrated by George Carlin. The Beach Boys, Eddie Money, and Nick Lowe contribute to the musical soundtrack.



debt, economy, kidnapping, loan, President, telethon, television, terrorism, Vice-President