Yet another weird Herman Cain campaign ad: "He Carried Yellow Flowers"

[Video Link, via Tim Heidecker] This one's classic, meaning it came out back in August when no-one was paying attention.


  1. I choose to interpret Cain’s recent campaign ads to mean he advocates a more tolerant approach to recreational drugs.

  2. Seems as though Nick has a hard time remembering his lines. Maybe somebody could write them down on a card and hold them up off camera. Or even project them onto some sort of screen.

  3. He doesn’t want his bills to be longer than 3 pages, but he’ll let his ads run longer than 3 minutes…

  4. What a brilliant concept: use the word “real” over and over. Just like my stupid boss who thinks that the more times he puts the word “sale” on his website, the more he will sell. On the other hand, this ad is properly dumbed down to the level of most U.S. voters.

  5. Isn’t “Nick” supposed to be a sympathetic character? His whole “no eye contact” diva schtick once he’s ‘out of charcater’- this appeals to the Plumber Joe’s? A real man stands up for what’s right, and when they yell cut, and even bigger man sips froo-froo drinks and voes for Cain? This makes zero sense. Seems shifty that Tim Heidecker had to point this one out, it has his humor, and the director character could even be him.

  6. I don’t get why he would choose a Hollywood elitist stereotype (“Where’s the straw? You like your job?”) as his spokesperson. Just who is that guy supposed to appeal to?

  7. I’m not sure how far he’s taking it.  During one of his next appearances, “Herman Cain” is likely going to take off his mask to reveal either Joaquin Phoenix or Sacha Cohen. 

  8. I’m confused.  What was Ann Coulter doing with that chicken?  And what were Nick, Ann, and the chicken going to do in that shack after the director called “Cut”?

  9. So…let me get this straight because I’m about seven different kinds of confused now.  First, who the fuck is Nick Searcy?  Second, am I really supposed to buy the whole “get real” and “teleprompters are for pussies” thing from an actor?  Third, is he suggesting things were better back in the Old West Days?  Fourth, who would take this seriously?  Fifth, it’s NOT a Colbert SuperPAC ad???? Sixth, this is the GOP frontrunner?  Seventh, Am I conscious?

    1. scifjazznik, did you never see the sci-fi show Seven Days?  Nick Searcy was one of the regular cast memebers, and played a right-wing NSA agent.  Currently, he is a regular cast member on Justified, playing a Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall.

    1. Good god, it really is him. I love “Justified”, as would most right-minded TV viewers (and fans of Elmore Leonard). Now I’m not sure I can watch Art Mullen chew out Raylan Givens without throwing up in my mouth a little.

      To be fair, though – he is an actor. Perhaps he needed help making payments on his boat.

  10. Herman Cain knows that nothing cuts to the core like straight talk from a man with a walrus moustache.

    Can’t wait for next week’s ad starring Wilford Brimley.

  11. Herman Cain:  Brought to you today by our friends at The Onion

    This is reverse, reverse, reverse psychology at work.

  12. I think the most bizarre part of the video is at the very end with Cain’s slow-motion grimace-turned-smile-turned-leer:  it’s like he’s just decided to eat the viewer.

  13. *hopelessly confused* (I have only just come to understand that this “Cain” person isn’t John McCain)

    Someone please explain who this chap is for us British folks, using 5 words or fewer?

      1. Exactly.  It doesn’t matter at this point if his campaign succeeds or loses the Republican nomination.  Cain has succeeded in cementing his position as a highly paid public speaker, and possibly even a lucrative deal as a regular Fox News pundit/analyst.  Mike Huckabee, anyone?  Sarah Palin?

    1. Someone please explain who this chap is for us British folks, using 5 words or fewer?

      How’ bout: “America: dumb as you feared”?

      Or maybe: “The Republicans’ new Black friend”

      1. “The Republicans’ new Black friend”

        change to:

        “The Republicans’ token Black friend”

        Your wording implies they might have had another black friends before.

  14. I think there needs to be a new meme that casts Nick Searcy as the anti Chuck Norris. 

    ie– Nick Searcy doesn’t eat warm pudding, warm pudding eats Nick Searcy.  I’m not very good at these things, but someone more into Norris Mythology could have a go at it.

  15. I waited a full 30 seconds to yell “A black sheriff??!!”  And then it turned out to be a white guy on that horse.  Not Herman Cain.   How disappointing.

  16. I haven’t seen the film but according to IMDB Nick Searcy was in the 2003 film “Head of State,” a critically panned Chris Rock comedy based on the oh-so-crazy premise of a black guy running for President of the United States. I still don’t know if there’s some cosmic message there.

  17. Beyond the fact I totally disagree with his politics, even if I did agree, these ads he’s throwing out there just make me want to scream “Nooooo, you’re doing it wrong,” at the screen.  They are so bad, and who the hell is Nick Searcy anyway?

    Then there’s something that’s been bothering me about this guy ever since I first heard his name.  His last name is “Cain”.  FFS where is the apocalyptic backlash from the christian right?  His name is “Cain”  am I the first one to realize that he still hasn’t been called the antichrist yet?

    Come on… Fred Phelps?, Pat Buchannon?, Bueller… Bueller…

    1. I’m with you on the Cain thing. People made such a stink about Barak HUSSEIN, that they couldn’t not spell it in all caps. But Cain… no issues there.

  18. Someone needs to tell the world that buying a 5D doesn’t make you a cinematographer. When the shots are actually  in focus, they show off the harsh, horrible lighting. We won’t even talk about the cuts or writing.

    If Herman Cain can’t get a group of competent people to make a video, how do I expect him to pull together a presidential cabinet? 

    We don’t. He’s not serious about the candidacy. He’s just selling books until the GOP realizes he can’t be elected.

  19. I think Herman Cain’s cuckoo clock is wound up a little too tight and he is not the craziest one in the bunch. 

  20. I expected his cup to be full of fur…

    Hypocrisy: complaining about someone using a teleprompter whilst using a teleprompter.
                       : commenting on being a “real” anything while your stunt-double does the shot.

    Herman Cain is a Koch Bros. enterprise.

  21. These ads have me thinking (dreaming?) that Cain is in the process of pulling the biggest political prank in history.  I can just see him after winning the GOP nomination and, at the final debate with Mr. Obama, saying ‘Barry, you are absolutely right, I hereby resign from the election and will vote for you”

    1. Isn’t that what happened in 2008, except for the denouement. From the moment that he picked S-Pal as his running mate, I assumed that Senator McCain was a sleeper agent.

      1. Yes! I thought this too/hoped for it. I’m always afraid my bent for such theories comes out of the hyper-competency mythos of Harvard/Yale/Oxford men running the world. Some sort of feral security blanket with a double edge. 

  22. Equally crazy, but in a less silly way, is this one about his 9-9-9 plan, where he starts intoning “our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery–the IRS has become the overseer of the American people”, and later quotes Martin Luther King in a fiery speech about his tax plan where he yells out “we’ll all be able to say, free at last, free at last!” finally ending the ad with the line “we will replace oppression with prosperity”. Talk about your tasteless analogies…is his appeal basically to white people who have some need to feel like they’re just as oppressed as black people have been over the last few centuries?

    1. …is his appeal basically to white people who have some need to feel like they’re just as oppressed as black people have been over the last few centuries?

      That’s a pretty big constituency. Scroll down a few posts and you’ll see a comment thread where a lot of readers from this very site try to explain away things like white kids doing blackface for Halloween because somebody else dressed up as the Swiss Miss once.

  23. “There was a time in America, when a man was a man”

    or in some cases, 3/5 of a man, according to the law.

  24. So, wait.  It’s a campaign ad – using the Wild West as ametaphor – but then quits halfway through to break the fourth wall- to have an actor talk about how a candidate is more “real” than the President, because the President (like  the seven presidents before him) uses a teleprompter to deliver speeches written by speech writers – and then he goes back to acting, forgets his line, and has to be fed it? And on top of that it’s a campaign ad for an African-American candidate that’s wistful for a time when African-Americans lacked basic human rights like voting? And the hook is the guy’s carrying a bouquet of yellow flowers that he uses to pimp-slap an African-American character? Is that what I’m seeing?

  25. What really sells it for me is the latch on the OUTSIDE of the little house.

    Herman Cain – He believes women should be locked up when you’re not visiting.

  26. I like the way he criticizes Obama for being “a community organizer” who is famous for his fancy speeches.  That is, at best, the ’04 Obama.  The guy’s kinda updated his resume since then.

    1. The large quantity of butt shots at the beginning, combined with the “A man was a man, and a man on a horse was just a man on a horse, unless he carried yellow flowers” made me sure that this was going to be a homophobic Brokeback Mountain joke about how teh gheyz are ruining America. I mean, knowing that it was a GOP candidate’s ad + “men used to be men!” + “man on [animal]” + cowboy butt = where else could this be going?

  27. Well, not being from the US I’ve got a couple of questions:

    1. Why is there a lock on the OUTSIDE of the door of the house the woman is in? What is that telling us?

    2. Are all US ads so weird or just the ones by the Republicans and fellow travellers?  It sort of makes me think of Putin and his strange style of self-promotion.

    I’d love for there to be ads like this in Australia. It would make them worth watching. 99+% of voting age Australians vote but the ads are not as interesting or as weirdly compelling.

    Can we borrow some of yours?

    1. Brilliant observation re: Putin’s weird self-promoting videos and these Herman Cain ads. The bottom line is not to take him seriously as a presidential candidate. He’s on the road selling his autobiography and raking in money from donors the same way Sarah Palin has for the past 3 1/2 years. They take the money from the uninformed and use it to support their life style. They need the media attention, too. That’s a big part of their modus operendi. Cain is sadly lacking in campaign offices in various states which speaks volumes to his lack of a serious run for the presidency. We have a word for the Palins and Cains and their ilk: grifters. Rip-off artists big time.

    2. I’d love for their to be ads like this in Australia […] Can we borrow some of yours?

      Heck, why don’t you just go ahead and borrow Cain. Keep him for as long as you want.

      Longer, even.

  28.  There are enough crazy, conflicting and baffling tropes, symbols and plain weirdness in that video to inspire a thesis or perhaps a psychological assessment. I’ve largely avoided Cain unless I’m reading analyses and reporting that are serious in intent. So this first foray into the mind and humor of Herman Cain left me with a chin sore from bouncing off the floor as I managed to get out a “Whu-?”

    Aside from that rather lackluster, but eminently strange, performance of “Imagine All the Pizza,” performed for and with a large group of Omaha Caucasians, I have missed out on the manifestations of his flourishing derangement. (What do you want to bet that he never paid royalties to perform that song? Sued? Blame yourself Herman.)

    There’s a twisted intellectual in me that is tempted to wade in and research all of his expressions of wit and whackadoo. This guy is a gordian knot of lunacy and his background suggests a man who must be quite different from the persona he’s displaying now. 

    I’m confident he’s just running for the dough. Grifter on the take, pullin’ a Palin, rakin’ in the moolah, ensuring higher speaking fees and a spot on Faux News. But then I remember that he’s the Koch Bros. pigeon and wonder what the hell they’re doing. Their strategy of backing guaranteed losers who are unmistakably bonkers seems suspect to me.

    What are they really planning? Or is this their Achilles Heel? Are they so out of touch with reality that these people seem sane (enough)? Or do they hold such a cynical view of Americans that they think the voting populace won’t notice or object?

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