Entertainment behind the scenes
Movie director Ron Howard has spent much of his adult life making a name for himself apart from the All-American boy named Opie he played on “The Andy Griffith Show” and the squeaky clean Richie Cunningham of “Happy Days.”
But in a video posted on Thursday at the comedy Web site Funnyordie.com, Howard stepped away from the director’s chair and became both Opie and Richie, one more time, to promote Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) joined Opie, and The Fonz (Henry Winkler), the greaser from the sitcom “Happy Days,” had his own chat with Richie. “Happy Days” and “The Andy Griffith Show” are among the most popular shows in TV history. The full video can be found here.
“I’ve never done this before and I hope never to do it again, but I guess you could say I’m feeling pretty desperate these days,” Howard said in the video. “So, as a demonstration of my sincerity, this is for you America.”
With that, Howard entered the black-and-white world of 1960s program “The Andy Griffith Show,” playing the 8-year-old Opie who is the son of small-town sheriff Andy Taylor. He tells his TV “dad” he wants to vote for Obama one day. Griffith told him he could do it, if he avoided the “butter-fly ballot.”
In another segment, Howard reappears dressed as teenager Richie Cunningham. He talks to the Fonz, the leather-clad greaser on ”Happy Days” who epitomized cool. The two talk about voting and double dating with someone who sounds a lot like Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“Ron Howard’s Call to Action,” as the nearly four-minute video is called, is the latest in a string of political videos placed at Funny Or Die, a Web site created by comedian Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay.
The biggest hit for the Web site so far was posted in August, when celebrity heiress Paris Hilton mocked Republican presidential nominee John McCain over an attack ad he put out using an image of Hilton. In that video, Hilton played it relatively evenhanded between Obama and McCain, offering her own political ideas as she launched a fake presidential candidacy.