Terry Crews' President Camacho 'Leads From Behind' in Colon Cancer PSA

The star's new agency, Super Serious, partnered with Ryan Reynolds' shop Maximum Effort on the campaign to combat 'the preventable cancer'

Leaders from Glossier, Shopify, Mastercard and more will take the stage at Brandweek to share what strategies set them apart and how they incorporate the most valued emerging trends. Register to join us this September 23–26 in Phoenix, Arizona.

President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho has come from the future to encourage the public to “get your ass checked” in the latest entertaining installment from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s “Lead From Behind” initiative.  

In “Inside President Camacho,” the patriotically clad character from the 2006 cult film Idiocracy—memorably played by Terry Crews, who has reprised the role multiple times since—shows up to the doctor’s office, camera crew in tow, to announce he’s returned to the past to “get the best care now, so that I can live forever.”

What ensues is a dependably hilarious, expletive-laden adventure that also happens to be an informative dive into some sobering stats and preventative care options for colorectal cancer, with the 54-year-old getting a real-life procedure done in the process. 

“I’ve partnered with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and ‘Lead From Behind’ because together, we can prevent unnecessary suffering from the preventable cancer,” Crews said in a statement. “The outrageous persona of President Camacho demands the attention this cause deserves. Reprising this role felt like the perfect way to continue to raise awareness and encourage people to get screened.” 

The 5-minute-long spot, which was produced by the agency recently founded by Crews, Super Serious, in partnership with Ryan Reynolds’ shop Maximum Effort, follows the viral video released last year for the nonprofit. In the previous chapter, Reynolds and fellow actor and Wrexham AFC co-owner Rob McElhenney each filmed their own colonoscopies and encouraged audiences to get the potentially life-saving procedure. 

“Last year, Rob McElhenney and I filmed our colonoscopies for the world to see. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was important,” Reynolds said in a statement. “The impact was so great that apparently the President of the United States in the 25th century heard about it. We applaud President Camacho for his bravery—and also idiocy.”  

Crews’ video will be available on LeadFromBehind.org and social media, with audiences encouraged to tag loved ones considered “at risk.” A screening tool can be found at quiz.getscreened.org.    

Started from the bottom… we’re still here

According to Zocdoc, citing “the Ryan Reynolds Effect,” last year’s buzzworthy video resulted in 36% more colonoscopy appointment bookings per day in the first three weeks of the release compared to the 100 days prior. Appointments overall jumped 34% between September 2021 and 2022.  

Social media also saw an increase of engagement on the subject, with posts using #colonoscopy increasing by 244%, and Google searches for “colonoscopy” and “colon cancer” seeing a 129% and 113% bump respectively.   

With an estimated 81,860 cases and 52,550 deaths in 2023 alone, colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the U.S. for men and women combined—and one with a 90% survival rate with early detection and treatment. Currently the leading cause of cancer death among men under 50, it is expected to reach similar numbers for men and women between 20-49 years of age within the next decade.

According to research, the disease disproportionately affects Black and underserved Americans, with Black Americans 20% more likely to develop it than non-Hispanic whites and 35% more likely to die from the disease.

“This shit is killing too many of my constituents,” Camacho says in the video. “Especially Black men. And I need you all alive to vote for Camacho in 2024!” 

While it is recommended that screenings begin at age 45, a third of eligible adults are currently not getting it done. 

“Screening can prevent colon cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths called polyps. That’s why colon cancer is ‘the preventable cancer,'” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, in the statement. “Screening can also detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment is usually more successful. ‘Lead From Behind’ aims to spread this message, break down the stigma, and encourage everyone to get screened.” 

In addition to the campaign, the Alliance also recently announced the appointment of Jerry J.K. Tillery as the organization’s first Chief Impact Officer. In the new role, Tillery will oversee marketing and communications, patient and family support, data intelligence and technology, and finance.