Weird Science #16: "The People's Choice"

Weird Science #16
"The People's Choice"
November - December, 1952

Al Feldstein: Script
Joe Orlando: Pencils and Inks
Marie Severin: Colors

In a busy television studio, a technician goes over the last minute
preparations.  The cameraman double-checks his viewfinder.  Fan
Wonderland moves to her position before the puppet stage.  A clown puppet
with a pointy nose rises up, followed by a greenish one.  The red light
is on and the announcer introduces "The Cuckoo, Fan, and Allie Show,"
starring Fan Wonderland and Snag Fillbrum's puppets, Cuckoo and Allie...
Millions of viewers tune in to the program, and listen as Cuckoo tells
Fan about Allie's super idea.  Allie Gator announces that he is running
for President.  One family is amused by this development and continue to
watch with rapt interest.

The Cuckoo, Fan, and Allie Show was a success with viewers across the
country.  The shy Cuckoo asks Fan if Allie can indeed run for President,
and the lovely hostess agrees that he can.  Alexander K. Gator tells the
viewers at home to vote for him.  One child asks his father if Allie
could be elected President, and learn that the puppet would have to catch
the convention.  When asked what a convention is, the father tells them
about the two parties who hold a convention where they each pick their
candidate for President.  In order to run, Allie would have to be picked
by one of them.  Cuckoo and Fan say goodbye to their viewers, with
Alexander K. Gator still urging the folks out there to vote for him.  The
following day, two men are riding on the bus, and discuss last night's
show.  The idea of the alligator running for President has them looking
at the other potential candidates with regret.

The National Conventions were held last July and now, two kids are asking
their father why Allie wasn't nominated as a candidate.  The boys see
that their father is unhappy with the nominees and ask if he could vote
for Allie instead.  When he mentions that he could vote for the puppet on
a write-in, the kids suggest that he do just that.  When Sam rides again
on the bus, he asks Phil what he thought of the conventions.  Sam tells
his friend that his sons have just given him a great idea.  He will cast
a write-in vote for Alexander K. Gator for President as a form of
protest.  Phil agrees and decides to show the politicians what he thinks
of their candidates.

Phil and Sam were overheard by a woman, who tells her friend that she'll
vote for the alligator puppet, too.  Ethel tells her husband about her
protest idea and at work, Herman tells Larry about the idea his wife has
given him.  At home, Larry and his wife decide to vote for the humorous
alligator puppet, too.  The Cuckoo, Fan, and Allie Show soon receives
thousands of letters from viewers who are planning to vote for Alexander
K. Gator.  When Fan tries to convince the viewers that voting is a
privilege and the duty of every citizen, the puppets insist that they
cast their votes for Allie.

With Election Day coming soon... Sam and Phil read about how people were
treating the upcoming election as a joke.  Street corner vendors began
selling Alexander K. Gator For President Buttons and ties with brisk
sales.  On the day before Election, a reporter from Live Magazine wants
to interview Snag Fillbrum, but the puppeteer has to go on in a moment.
On Election Day, Sam and Phil are among those who have cast their vote
for the dang puppet.  On the night of the election, New York and Maine
are carried by the write-in votes for Alexander K. Gator.  In the
morning, with only a few districts left to report in, the concluding
result is that Alexander K. Gator has been elected President of The
United States.

The following day finds Congress convening in special session, with the
request that Snag Fillbrum be brought to Washington.  The puppeteer is
soon before the joint session of Congress, and shows Allie to the
senators.  Fillbrum reminds them that Allie was justly elected, but the
senators don't know what to make of a puppet as President of the United
States.  After all, the puppeteer is responsible for its voice... its
movements.  Snag Fillbrum disagrees and points out that although Cuckoo
is a puppet, Allie is not.  When another senator asks if this is a real
alligator, Fillbrum tells them that Allie... is an alien from outer
space.  He came to Earth years ago and captured him.

Allie lives on Snag Fillbrum's arm like a parasite, and is the advance
scout for an interstellar invasion.  Upon hearing this, Congress is about
to vote to cite him for contempt.  Now it is Allie who speaks, while
Fillbrum is frozen in place.  Now, millions of alien creatures like Allie
have emerged from hiding, and know that one of their number is now
President.  The invasion was soon underway, with impeachment proceedings
in progress against Alexander K. Gator.  Phil and Sam are riding the bus,
along with other passengers who are carrying parasites on their arms.  In
Congress, the impeachment indictment against Alexander K. Gator is
dismissed, and he is allowed to take office as the duly elected
President.  All in favor signify by raising their hand and saying "Aye."

This was a parody of the "Kukla, Fran, and Ollie Show."

The election process has hit a "snag."

Marie Severin is a fan of Albert from "Pogo."

I'm a fan of the "Gizzard" character from "Not Brand Ecch."

The Parasite first appeared in Action Comics #340 (August, 1966).

The black costume which turned out to be a symbiote first appeared in
Amazing Spider-Man #252 (May, 1984).

Steve Chung
"The People's Review"