Americathon is a 1979 American comedy film, told in narrative flashbacks, about a young TV consultant is hired by the President of a bankrupt USA to organize a telethon in order to prevent the country from being repossessed by wealthy Native Americans.
- Directed by Neal Israel. Written by Neal Israel, Michael Mislove, and Monica Johnson, based on a play by Firesign Theatre alumni Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman.
- [in a press conference] God knows I am a patriot. I loaned the country 400 Billion. And I want my 400 Million back. Does that make me a bad guy? I've got to eat too, you know! So I'm giving the President until the end of September this year to pay me back, or I'll be forced to foreclose. What can I do? I've got to eat too, you know! Does that make me a bad guy?
- Everyone all across the country was watching the telethon. From what was left of New York, to the first all-gay state, North Dakota. All eyes were glued to their sets... [shot of men at stand-up urinals watching television] ...which in some cases, ruined a lot of good shoes.
- President Roosevelt was a successful graduate of EST, Scientology, TM and Primal Grope Therapy. And he was elected on a platform unique in American political history: "I'm not a schmuck!" Even though that was Chet's only campaign promise, it looked like it would be a tough one to keep.
- Lucy: [answering the phone at the Western White House] Hi! United States of America!... No, this is Lucy... Oh! Yes, Mr. Ambassador! I'll tell him you called!
- Panhandler: Excuse me? Sir? Can you spare $25.00 for... for a cup of coffee?
- Western White House Tour Guide: All right, people. Let's move it! Please, ma'am. No spitting in the hallway!
- Mouling Jackson: [singing] Don't you ever say "No" to me / Listen, I'm a lady. Period. / Classy, too. / Won't you come over here / And I'll prove it to you / And then if you still don't think / I got style and grace / I'm going to oh, so gracefully / rip the lips off of your face!
- Narrator: [opening sequence; two dinosaurs fighting] What you're looking at is downtown Pittsburgh, one million B.C. Those two big guys are fighting for a parking space. This is where our story begins. If they could have just learned to live together like decent human beings, they'd still be around and there never would have been an energy crisis. But they died out, and what was left of them turned into fossil fuel... Oil. See, it's not cute when eleven tons gets cranky. Their problem was they were all teeth and no brain... [shot of President Jimmy Carter] ...which brings us to this guy. Jimmy Carter was President of the United States when everybody started to notice we were running out of dead dinosaurs. No more gas to run our cars. Fights at the pump. People getting nozzle-whipped. So what was his solution? He made a speech.
- Jimmy Carter: The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us. But it will, if we do not act quickly.
- Narrator: We didn't. When America finally ran out of gas, an angry mob broke into the White House and lynched him. Along with three or four of his snottier cabinet members.
- News Reporter: Mr. Vanderhoff, would you care to comment on the rumor that President Roosevelt has been assassinated?
- Vincent: [to the assembled reporters] Guys, how am I supposed to know that? I haven't been upstairs yet. Excuse me.
- Morning Radio Announcer: [in an overly cheerful voice] ...and we're going to have a complete report right here on K-BOB at 11:00 tonight! And now the weather. Beautiful beach day if you can get there! Freeway condition's heavy. This report brought to you by Magic Seat! The bicycle seat that fits you like a glove, and grabs you like a friend! And now, here they are, still going strong after 40 years, the Beach Boys! [leads into "A Beautiful Day" by the Beach Boys]
Film trailer narration
- Narrator: [imitating Walter Winchell]: If you call yourself an American, if you care about America, then see Americathon at your local theater before you see it happening in your own front yard!
- The ultimate spectacle is now a movie.
- John Ritter - President Chet Roosevelt
- Harvey Korman - Monty Rushmore
- Peter Riegert - McMerkin
- Fred Willard - Vanderhoff
- Chief Dan George - Sam Birdwater
- Zane Buzby - Mouling Jackson
- Meat Loaf - "Oklahoma Roy" Budnitz
- Elvis Costello - Earl of Manchester
- Tommy Lasorda - Dunphy
- Jay Leno - Larry Miller
- Howard Hesseman - Margolis
- Cybill Shepherd - Gold Girl
- George Carlin - the Narrator