1976 (the Musical)

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1976 was a large-scale musical produced in 2005 by Andrew Lloyd Webber, to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary (tridecennial) of the Bicentennial of the United States (2006).

The Making of 1976[edit]

In mid-2001, President-elect Bush commissioned the musical to raise awareness about what, to him, was a momentous time in the history of America which he entirely missed, what with having forgotten to pay attention. The libretto (pencilled by George W himself, after extensive internet research) is particularly noted for taking some widely anachronistic liberties with historical facts, such as including modern computer technology, indentured servitude, and giant friendly robots. Anyway, the accumulated effect of the piece is one of overwhelming astoundedness, in spite of the fact that its one major running gag quickly becomes lame and tiresome.

The Story[edit]

Overture[edit]

The story opens with President Gerald Ford sitting slumped over in his Oval Office, totally depressed about how badly the War on Inflation is going. He is then dragged kicking and screaming by Henry Kissinger to a secret meeting of the Cabinet, where they are arguing amongst themselves on what exactly the Presidential Line of Succession is supposed to be. President Ford then chides the members of the Cabinet for being so petty and boldly sings to them about his hopes and dreams for America in the centuries to come (Someone's Knockin' at the Door), which ends abruptly when he trips over his own elbows and falls up a nearby flight of stairs.

Act 1[edit]

Ford, recovering from his painful injuries, later confides in his wife Betty (a recovering glue-sniffing addict) and pleads with her to prepare a monumental and elaborate State Dinner with a patriotic theme, to impress and otherwise humiliate the soon-to-visit Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. In song, Betty tells him that she has a far more urgent problem, such as requiring unrestricted access to the Federal Government stockpile of legally-seized illegal drugs (Hypodermic Needles), else Gerald can go stuff himself already.

Act 2[edit]

Meanwhile, the debate on the Equal Rights Amendment is raging at full steam in both houses of Congress. Ford enters unexpectedly and starts singing very loudly about how inflation, and not women, is the true enemy (Let's Get Fiscal), and only stops singing when he loses his grip on the podium and crashes head-first into a nearby paper shredder. Undeterred by this outlandish display of Presidential ineptitude, the Congress decides to adjourn for a half-hour lunch break by a vote of 435 to 100.

Act 3[edit]

During lunch, President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger gaily skip hand-in-hand through the dilapidated neighborhoods of Washington DC and behold all of the horror and misery and squalid third-world conditions which lies just outside of eyeshot of the luxurious mansions owned by Federal government officials. They then break out into a heart-warming duet about something entirely unrelated (My Bologna Has a First Name) in an attempt to distract themselves from their intermediate surroundings; interrupted only when Ford loses his balance on the precarious sidewalk and tumbles headlong into a large rotating cement mixer.

Act 4[edit]

Arriving back at Congress, the cement-drenched President and Secretary of State suddenly realize the awful truth: Senator Ted Kennedy (D, Massachusetts) absolutely refuses to vote for Ford's economic stimulus package unless he (and the entire Democratic Party) can retain the services of hundreds of illegally-imported Vietnamese geisha interns for their personal amusements (Jack Daniels, Rum, and Girls). Aghast and sickened by this filthy political conniving, Ford finally caves in to Kennedy's outrageous demands, providing that Kennedy conveniently forgets to bring up that unpleasant stuff about Ford's reckless distribution of "Get Out of Watergate Prosecution Free" cards during the next election.

Grand Finale[edit]

In the closing number, the entire 537-man ensemble sing a rousing melody of how incredibly awesome it is to be an American during the Bicentennial (Born in the USA), which is briefly punctuated by Ford when he accidentally smacks his face into the Liberty Bell, twice.



Cast[edit]

President Ford................................... Chevy Chase
1st Lady Betty Ford............................ Mary Tyler Moore
Lynette Fromme............................ Lara Croft
Jimmy Carter............................ Sonic the Hedgehog
Henry Kissinger.................................. Mike Myers
Senator Ted Kennedy.......................... Bryn Terfel
Geisha #1.......................................... Mary-Kate Olsen
Geisha #2.......................................... Roseanne Barr
Ghost of Richard Nixon..................... Rich Little
Gerald the Motherfucking Ford (Ford when he was a motherfucking Gerald)..................... Samuel L. Motherfucker
Giant Friendly Robot #1..................... Arnold Schwarzenegger
Voice of Giant Friendly Robot #1......... Rich Little (uncredited)

Credits[edit]

Libretto by: George W Bush
Music by: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Period Costumes by: J.C. Penney
From a completely original idea by: George W Bush
Songs & Lyrics by: Tim Rice & A Motherfucking Guy on a Motherfucking Play