Remember that crazy fight scene in the movie Anchorman? The one where Ron Burgundy and his team get into a murderous five-way brawl with other newscasters?
Well, a branch of the BBC has edited that scene to explain the UK’s 2017 election. And it’s amazing:
This might not make a lot of sense if you don’t follow the British election super closely. So here’s a quick explanation of what’s going on:
- The first person to speak, taking the place of Ron Burgundy, is Jeremy Corbyn — the left-wing firebrand and leader of the opposition Labour Party. He’s flanked by leading members of his party, like his deputy Tom Watson (in the Champ hat).
- He’s immediately confronted by incumbent Prime Minister Theresa May, from the Conservative Party. She’s with members of her government, most notably Boris Johnson — the current foreign secretary and former mayor of London. She says that “the UK needs a strong and stable leadership,” the slogan of her campaign, as she pulls out a switchblade.
- Then Tim Farron, the head of the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, storms in yelling about “forces of darkness.” They then keep one of the original Anchorman quotes — “You dirtbags have been in third place for five years!” — which is a bit of a joke, as the LibDems actually have been in third place in national polls for a while now.
- The next one to show up is Nicola Sturgeon. She heads up the Scottish National Party, which wants Scotland to leave the United Kingdom. Her character is smoking a pipe.
- The next one to talk is the head of the Green Party, who has replaced an irrelevant random character because the Greens are entirely irrelevant in national politics.
- Finally, Paul Nuttall — the head of the UK Independence Party, or UKIP — comes in. They put a line from Ben Stiller’s character in the movie — “Cómo están bitches” — in his mouth, which is especially funny for Americans because UKIP is the hardcore anti-immigrant xenophobic party.
Then everyone starts fighting, and Nigel Farage — the tragicomic former head of UKIP — shows up in the middle of everything. It’s great.
If you want a more substantive explanation of this actually important election, covering how it works at a basic level to the stakes to very detailed analysis of who’s likely to win, I’d recommend this explainer. If you want to stick to the Anchorman video — well that’s fine with me too.