'Perrodies'? How Rick Perry ad spawned a viral Internet sensation (video)

Rick Perry's campaign ad 'Strong' – which goes after gays in the military, the 'war on Christmas,' and the ban on prayer in schools in one fell swoop – has 646,000 'dislikes' on YouTube.

Charlie Neibergall/AP
Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands at his podium as he prepares for the Republican debate, Saturday, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Rick Perry clearly faces an uphill climb to the Republican presidential nomination, but he’s won another sweepstakes of sorts. The Texas governor’s campaign ad “Strong” – which goes after gays in the military, the so-called “war on Christmas,” and the ban on prayer in schools in one fell swoop – has hit an unprecedented high for “dislikes” on a campaign video on YouTube: more than 646,000 (compared with 20,000 “likes,” and a total of 4.7 million views).

But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Governor Perry should feel pretty good. “Strong” has inspired countless parodies – or “Perrodies” – including one hot off the presses Monday from another presidential candidate who’s an even longer-shot than Perry – openly gay Republican operative Fred Karger.

“I’m Rick Perry, and I’m ashamed to admit to makin’ that ad about gays in the military and all,” says Mr. Karger, putting on a Texas twang and wearing a black jacket instead of Perry’s trademark tan barn coat. “I guess I’m just desperate because I’m so low in the polls.”

Another parody, called “Jacket,” dubs over the real Perry with a Perry sound-alike and alternate script. “As president I will end Obama’s war on time travel, fight to stop my hilarious self-contradiction, find Lady Gaga and convince her to become a lawyer, and stop Ryan Murphy from creating ‘Glee,’” says “Perry.”

“Perry” also discovers, to his dismay, that his tan barn coat looks just like the one on “Brokeback Mountain.”

There’s a Jewish version:

And an atheist one:

But Perry may get the last laugh. He’s got people talking. And the ad still appears on his web site, which means his campaign still thinks it’s worthwhile. As Perry makes a final swing around Iowa, in these final weeks until the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, conservative evangelical voters will be a key target group. Certainly, the sentiments expressed in the ad will find receptive ears.  

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