Independent Films, Film Profiles
Americathon (also known as Americathon 1998) is a 1979 comedy starring John Ritter, Fred Willard, Peter Riegert, Harvey Korman, and Nancy Morgan, with narration by George Carlin, based on a play by Firesign Theatre alumni Phil Proctor and Peter Bergman. Others credited in the film include Elvis Costello, Jay Leno, Meat Loaf, Tommy Lasorda, and Chief Dan George.The premise of the film is that, sometime in the then-near future (1998), the USA has run out of oil, and many Americans are literally living in their (now stationary) cars and either jog or ride bicycles to travel. The federal government, housed in "The Western White House" (a sub-leased condominium in Marina del Rey, California), is near national bankruptcy and in danger of being foreclosed by a cartel of Native Americans in control of Nike (which has been renamed "National Indian Knitting Enterprise"). President Chet Roosevelt (Ritter) hires television consultant Eric McMerkin (Riegert) to help produce a national raffle. Instead, they decide that the only way enough money can be raised to save America is to run a telethon, and hire TV celebrity Monty Rushmore (Korman) to host it.The soundtrack features "It's A Beautiful Day" by The Beach Boys. Dorothy Stratten appears, uncredited, as one of the stage dancers. John Carradine was to have played "Uncle Sam" in this film, but his scenes were edited.
Year of Production: 1979
Length: 86 min.
Country: United States
- Neal Israel
- Joe Roth
- John Ritter, Harvey Korman, Peter Riegert, Fred Willard, Jay Leno, Chief Dan George, Zane Busby, Meat Loaf, Elvis Costello, Howard Hesseman, George Carlin