If you’re going to run in a municipal primary, particularly in an off-year election, it sure does help to have hilarious and famous friends to make campaign videos for you.
Will Ferrell released a video Wednesday endorsing Eric Garcetti for mayor of Los Angeles. It quickly went viral, getting nationwide attention because, well, Ferrell is really funny.
"You probably are thinking who cares what some strikingly handsome actor thinks?" Ferrell jokes. "But I'm not just an actor. I'm also a native Los Angeleno, a father of three, and a business owner. And I want a city that is vibrant and healthy for my three sons and my four illegitimate children to grow up in. That's why I'm voting for Eric Garcetti."
He promised free waffles for the city of Los Angeles if Garcetti won. And he mentions how Garcetti was going to toss out a song he wrote on a whim. “I said, ‘Wait there is something there.’ That song was later recorded by Olivia Newton-John, ‘Let’s Get Physical,’ the greatest song ever made.”
Aside from the jokes -- Ferrell says he met Garcetti in the hospital where they were both born and “even though we were each a day old, we exchanged phone numbers and swore to keep in touch" -- Ferrell talks up Garcetti's record as a city council member.
Campaign spokesman Jeff Millman says Ferrell has been "a very energetic supporter of Eric's for some time." And he isn’t the only celebrity who has gotten involved in the race. Garcetti's district includes Hollywood, so he's got a number of famous supporters in his corner, including Salma Hayek. She recorded a video in Spanish and English, vouching for Garcetti. “He’s not [like] most the politicians. This guy, I’ve known him a decade now, and he’s different. He really has a heart, a heart of a hero, the heart of a romantic.”
Just last week, Moby headlined a fundraiser for Garcetti, where Jimmy Kimmel hosted and the Ferrell video first played. The event raised $250,000, according to the campaign.
Millman points to Garcetti's role in encouraging film and television production in the city as one explanation for the celebrity support. "He's really been a big champion of the entertainment industry." And the revitalization of Hollywood is a major theme in Garcetti’s campaign.
Garcetti, son of former L.A. County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, was declared the “hipster candidate” by The Huffington Post, which cited his penchant for driving a Prius and growing much of his food in his yard.
The primary in the race to succeed L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will be held March 5.