There's no beer this time (or aliens, yuppies or annoying girlfriends), but the Wassup?! dudes are back. And this time, they're not selling Bud.
It's the same bunch of guys from the original Budweiser commercial that debuted just before Bush took office and prompted Americans everywhere to stick out their tongues and linger just a little too long on the familiar greeting. In the intervening eight years, the friends have gotten older — and under the Bush Administration, their circumstances have changed. They're not "Watchin' the game. Havin' a Bud." Wassup Dude #1 — director Charles Stone, who also created the original ad — says, instead, that he's "Lost my home. Lookin' for a job." Wassup Dude #2, calling from a slightly inexplicable battlefield payphone, is "Still in Iraq. Watchin' my ass." Their uninsured buddy has an arm cast and neck brace and needs "money for painkillers." A four-eyed Dookie, still in front of the computer, is watching his stock portfolio tank; Intercom Guy, who shows up at the end of the first commercial with a six-pack of Budweiser, is clinging to the doorway in the teeth of a violent hurricane.
So what, after all, is up? The video cuts to a shot of Barack and Michelle Obama on TV and a slow smile on Stone's face as he says, "Change. That's what's up."
The video ends with a disclaimer that the views expressed "DO NOT REFLECT THE OPINIONS OF ANHEUSER-BUSCH COS INC." — and considering John McCain's wife Cindy is the heiress to an Anheuser-Bush beer distributor fortune, that's probably not a surprise. But an ad that manages to humorously skewer the Bush Administration's record while subtly tying it to McCain's (Stone is watching a McCain speech in the spot's open) and dust off a fondly-remembered if little-mourned catchphrase? That's sure to give a few Joe Sixpacks pause. True.