There are a number of hoaxes about false US presidential candidacies, but one of the most well known, and almost believable, is the deception that involved famous American actor Christopher Walken. It said that he was intending to run for president of the USA in 2008.
Some pranksters may have been inspired by the career change of former actor turned California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger and thought that they could pull off a similar story using Pulp Fiction star Walken.
It sounded credible and believable for a very short period of time, but, fortunately, the bubble quickly burst without causing any serious harm to anybody.
This prank was not the first well-known satirical candidate and campaign gag to be attempted in the history of American politics. Previous hoaxes included “Yetta Bronstein for President” in 1964 and “Nobody for President” in 1976. There were countless minor hoax presidential candidacies but they never got the attention of the media and the public quite like these three did.
It is clear that “Christopher Walken for President” has to be one of the best political hoaxes that have ever been tried. This one is perhaps more effective because it actually involved a real person—and a famous one for that matter.
There were even websites that were set up just to make this fake campaign seem authentic. The “walkenforpres” website even had a banner message that claimed to be from The Deer Hunter actor himself saying that the United States of America is on a “downward spiral.” The message then proceeded to say that Americans need to focus on what is most important to them, such as the children, the people, and the future. It ended with what seemed to be his campaign slogan: It’s time to get America back on track.”
As soon as the websites went live and the word spread, the Academy Award winning actor’s representatives had to clear everything up with the media.
Walken’s publicist, Mara Buxbaum, clarified in an interview that everything was just a hoax. She then went on to say that the people behind this story may have been inspired too much by Walken’s character in his latest movie at that time, “Wedding Crashers.”
Meanwhile, his agent, International Creative Management’s Toni Howard, said that she did not know where these pranksters got the idea. She also told media that Walken’s fans club guaranteed her that they were not responsible for this sham.
GoDaddy, whose company was the domain name registrar of the two fake websites, confirmed that the domain names were indeed registered and paid for. But they could not name the owners of the sites or who registered it because it was just paid by an entity named “Christopher Walken for President” with a Los Angeles, California address and a Florida ZIP code.
Furthermore, a spokesperson from the “Wedding Crashers” film distributor, New Line Cinema, had also confirmed that they have nothing to do with the hoaxes and that this is not a part of any of their internet marketing strategies for the movie.