Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
President Obama makes his entrance to strains of “Hallelujah” on “Glenn Martin, DDS”
In a recent episode of “Glenn Martin, DDS,” the Nick at Nite program portrayed President Barack Obama as a messianic character, Vice President Joe Biden as his devoted worshiper and former Vice President Dick Cheney as a basement-dwelling mastermind living off rats and plotting world domination.
The clay-animation, stop-motion episode, “Hail to the Teeth,” debuted on President’s Day on the children’s cable network Nickelodeon during its primetime programming block, Nick at Nite. The episode aired again this past week.
Following the adventures of traveling dentist Glenn Martin and his family, the characters first meet Obama in the Oval Office, as the president needs emergency dental work.
Obama enters with a golden glow behind him, while Biden – in choir robes – breaks out into a song of “Hallelujah.” A moment later, the president’s aide has to remind Obama that he has begun to float a few inches off the ground.
Later in the episode, Obama also passes through a wall to reach a character – perhaps a reference to Jesus passing through a wall to reach his disciples after his resurrection – and plucks a fired bullet from the air with his fingers.
And while portraying Obama in such a messianic light might be seen as a compliment, the makers of “Glenn Martin, DDS,” also made a few comedic jabs at the sitting president.
For example, when Martin first greets the president, he begins to make a comment about Obama wasting money, only to be suddenly cut off by Secret Service agents holding guns to his head to stop anyone from talking negatively about the president. When Martin references the president’s middle name, Hussein, the Secret Service agents emerge again to silence him.
And when Martin’s CEO-wannabe daughter, Courtney, hears the president compliment her dad, she quips of Obama, “It would be cooler if he wasn’t a socialist!”
A pair of characters also lampoon the recently passed health-care legislation, remarking, “That’s as crazy as your health-care initiative – it’s not possible,” and, “Millard Fillmore – now that’s a guy whose health plan made sense.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney, however, got the worst of the spoof, portrayed in his underwear living in a secret lair beneath the White House. From this bunker, Cheney claims to have secretly run the entire country since he crossed the Delaware at George Washington’s side. He brags of manipulating the money supply, election results, Nielsen ratings and the rise of George W. Bush.
The vampire-like Cheney snakes through the D.C. sewer system, bites the head off a live rat and eventually disintegrates to dust when Martin’s son exposes the former vice president to sunlight.
Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon’s executive vice president of development and original programming, touted the episode as a “hilarious” and “irreverent take on some of Washington, D.C.’s most recognizable figures.”
According to a Nickelodeon statement, the cable and satellite channel has become the No. 1 entertainment brand for children by “putting kids first in everything it does.”
The company boasts its television network is seen in almost 100 million households and has been the No. 1 basic-cable network for 15 consecutive years.
“Glenn Martin, DDS” reportedly draws 2 million viewers and airs on Nickelodeon, Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, immediately following “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
The program has previously been subject to controversy and parental complaint, as its content, despite following such a popular children’s show as “SpongeBob,” nonetheless contains sometimes sexual, political or violent themes intended for the network’s older, evening audience.
“It is a sitcom and part of the Nick at Nite lineup, so it’s not the common children’s fare,” David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, told Florida’s St. Petersburg Times. “This is a funny show for the Nick at Nite audience … which is 18 to 49.”