“Guns do not kill children. Teachers kill children”
My friend Alex Tenenbaum is a writer, producer and all round damn funny guy. His brilliant new animated video, “It’s time to arm our children” depicts a livid Piers Morgan as he takes on the pro-gun lobby. It’s smart, it’s funny, its incendiary and it’s crude as hell.
Punctuated with ridiculous lines like “Guns do not kill children. Teachers kill children” – which serve to play up the absurd direction that this debate is going in – the fresh satire reminds me of South Park (especially in its early days) or the awesome mini-animations produced by the guys over at JibJab Media.
Interview with Alex Tenenbaum
I interviewed Alex about his first – of what may become many – animated sketches.
What inspired the video?
I found it incredible that despite all the facts and figures, and after such tragedy, the pro-gun lobby could still be calling for more guns. Having watched Piers’s quite ludicrous interviews, I felt that both sides were ripe for comedy. The pro-gun lobby want to arm teachers across America. Our sketch, set one year in the future, has that legislation in place and shows the next stage of the debate. What is so scary about it, is that you can see the NRA actually suggesting this before gun control. It’s an absurd sketch for an absurd argument. The world has moved on since 1791.
Is it too soon after Sandy Hook?
I don’t think so. The joke here isn’t about the shootings. It’s about the absurdity of the debate. Arming teachers across America?! I don’t think it’s offensive in the slightest but if I’m wrong then being offensive isn’t a crime! I just want to make people laugh.
Is the second amendment out of date?
Probably, but I don’t really care either way. I don’t live there. Mental place. A shotgun at 18 and a beer at 21?
Are you a fan of Piers Morgan – it’s hard to tell?
Yes and no. He’s obviously extremely talented. In 8 years he’s gone from disgraced newspaper editor to hosting one of the world’s biggest talkshows. And he covers all bases. He can interview reality TV rejects one day and the president the next. I think it comes from his time as a tabloid editor.
Fair play to him. I also find him annoying to the extreme. He’s boastful, brash and at times, unbearable. His interviews with the pro-gun lobby have more often than not, descended into farce. But that’s the thing. He knows what he’s doing. This gun control debate has put him on the map more than ever before and is now an issue for which he is recognized.
He’s making millions of dollars and has achieved the worldwide fame and notoriety that he craves. The “deport Piers Morgan” petition would’ve been music to his ears. America wants rid of Piers Morgan but he isn’t going anywhere. And they’re welcome to him!
Are you a fan of South Park, because this reminded me of their early days?
Yes. I love it. It takes no prisoners – nor does it take sides. I think animation itself is an incredible tool for comedy. You have license to say things that you’d not be able to say using actors. South Park is the best example of that. Would Eric Cartman exist in any medium other than a cartoon? Not in this day and age. It’s the best satire on television by a country mile.
How was the animation made?
With great difficulty! Animation is a long and costly process and I had neither time nor money. My budget was exactly £0 and I wanted to get it out whilst the debate was hot. I found an animator who loved the script and put an incredible amount of time and effort into it for free (Luke Bridgeman Animations). I’ve still not met him!! George Sawyer recorded the part of Richard Handler in Brighton and Piers was played by the lead actor of another film I’m working on, Sam Coulson. I owe them all a huge amount.
What else are you working on?
I’ve just written and produced a short comedy-film – The Rules of Textual Attraction, which is still in the edit and am mid-way through my first feature script!!
What other topics, aside from gun control, are in your – err.. crosshairs?
Ha! Lots of stuff. I’ve always hated certain types of Liberals. You know – the ones who are liberal until you disagree with them. Then they turn into Nazi’s.
I think I know the sort – naming no names! So, what inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Tell us about Sprauncy Pictures.
Sprauncy Pictures is my production company. I only started it last month as a vehicle through which produce my work through. The Rules of Textual Attraction was my first film and this is the second. Keep an eye out for more soon!
Well we, at least, are certainly hoping for more of this stuff. But what do you think? Tell us in the comments below.