Many of the MGM Our Gang shorts have gotten a bad rap (and sometimes deservedly so). And the spotty humor of shorts like Election Daze is probably why.
And yet, after watching this short recently, I came to the conclusion that much of the humor is a subtle stab at the cynicism of politics. I mean consider this: Mickey and Froggy both run for club president. They both combine election speeches with bribery (Mickey gives out lemonade, Froggy gives out jelly beans). This behavior is not unlike today's politicians who seek to win favor with voters and special interest groups. The funniest part of the film is Froggy dressed in an over-sized outfit that looks better suited for Teddy Roosevelt, proclaiming, "When you think of jelly beans, think of me!" As he's trying to deliver his speech, a heckler constantly blows on a noise-maker (again, not unlike the political hecklers of today, only they do it loudly and with signs).
The topper is when Froggy and Mickey, with the electoral results ending in a tie, decide to literally divide the clubhouse, and have their meetings simultaneously at opposite ends. Does this remind anyone of the perpetual polarization of the US?
What this short may lack in consistent humor, it makes up for in its insightful jab at politics!
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