Among the many horrifying things that Veep will surely introduce in its upcoming seventh season, Jonah Ryan’s bid for the presidency is the reigning champion. The character everyone loves to hate, exquisitely brought to life by the comical Timothy Simons, never seems to disappoint with his many disappointments. For as silly and surreal as Veep often is, however, the HBO political satire has had some trouble keeping up with the real world as of late. Consider Sen. Joe Donnelly’s (D-Indiana) new ad for his reelection campaign.
Wearing jeans, a button-down shirt and gloves, Donnelly talks about the many ways that he has butt heads with his own party in order to support President Donald Trump’s agenda. And through it all, he chops a couple of small, skinny logs with an ax. If this looks familiar, chances are you’ve already seen it on Veep, back from the time that Ryan decided to run for Congress.
Donnelly’s ad is not a shot-for-shot remake of Ryan’s fake one per se, but the resemblance is uncanny. After all, whereas Veep went out of its way to make it look as though Ryan himself wasn’t actually doing the chopping, Donnelly can clearly be seen swinging the ax with some success on camera. But the ending? Well, it’s common practice for political ads to feature video or soundbites of the candidates say they “approved this message,” but with both men do this while holding an ax and staring into the camera… it gets weird.
Being the good sport that he is, Simons retweeted Jerry Dunleavy’s original tweet with a special (albeit jokey) message for Donnelly’s campaign. “IM SENDING THIS MOTHERFUCKER AS CEASE AND DESIST,” he wrote before correcting himself in a subsequent tweet. “*A CEASE AND DESIST goddamn these typos.”