Santa Election 2012: Four Candidates Seek to Replace St. Nick

Maria Bamford, Andre Royo among the challengers

I vote YES! on Funny or Die's marvelously cast, pitch-perfect political ad parodies pegged to the unlikely premise of an election to replace Santa Claus. These spots work on lots of levels, and they're devastatingly great as a unit, skewering just how inane, vacuous and predictable election commercials have become. Seeking your support are four candidates, played by Christopher McDonald, David Koechner, Maria Bamford (Target's crazy Christmas lady) and Andre Royo (Bubbles from The Wire). We've got fake-bearded holiday insider Glenn Fondale ("Unlike other candidates, my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly"); fake-goateed, hard-charging Mack Henry ("I know reindeer. I know how to control 'em, and God forbid, I know how to kill 'em"); soft-spoken, family-values psychopath Kathleen Heyward (her mantras include "I'm a North Pole outsider" and "No presents for gays"); and best of all, doofus everyman Burt Grumm ("Though I'm not as fat as Santa, I can get fatter"). The latter's ad is filmed in a dingy cubicle with hand-written signs on the walls, but he prevails in a landslide anyway ("85% of Earth picks former grifter!"). OK, I gave away the ending, but this isn't really a case of the press calling a race prematurely, because all four hopefuls are absolute winners. To find more uproarious, absurd election parodies than these, you'd have to cue up Mike Tyson as Herman Cain or watch the real campaign ads of Rick Perry.