NEW ANIMATION: Death Cab for Sarah

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Editorial cartoonist Ted Rall and animator David Essman have released a hilarious, vicious parody of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to celebrate Election Day 2008.

Distributed for free on YouTube and at, “Death Cab for Palin” is an animated political cartoon that lampoons Sarah Palin’s presidential ambitions. Noting that vice presidents frequently become presidents, “Death Cab” depicts a rabid Vice President Palin trying to poison and bomb President McCain in the style of the classic “Road Runner” cartoon series.

Rall, a syndicated cartoonist for Universal Press Syndicate, is no stranger to controversy. His “Terror Widows” and “FDNY 2011” cartoons after 9/11 were some of the most controversial cartoons in U.S. history. Will “Death Cab for Sarah” join their ranks? “I don’t know,” says Rall, “but it was such a fun idea I just couldn’t resist going with it.”

Permission for reproduction and broadcast are freely given under the condition that the piece not be altered in any form without express permission. To contact Ted Rall, please email

TED RALL’s editorial cartoons and columns are syndicated to more than 100 newspapers around the U.S. Twice the winner of the RFK Journalism Award and a Pulitzer Finalist, he is President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.

DAVID ESSMAN is an animator currently at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His animated films have been screened across the country, including Animation Block Party, The Chicago Underground Film Festival, and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

12 Responses to “NEW ANIMATION: Death Cab for Sarah”

  1. Russell Says:

    “We’re sorry, this video is no longer available.”

    Technical problem? Or did you get censored?

  2. Brubaker Says:

    Wow, two Chuck Jones reference in one (the Grinch smile and the Road Runner parody)

    Could’ve been longer. Maybe one more assassination attempt from Sarah and it would’ve been better. And Dick Cheney’s voice was too low.

    I like Essman’s animation though. Especially the animation of the French ambassador; the way his head moves like that.

    The animation reminds of the early Simpsons from the Tracy Ullman years. Speaking of which, I hear their original animator, Klasky-Csupo, is looking for a new show to pitch (they did some good adult-oriented stuff; see Duckman)

  3. Ted Rall Says:

    Thanks, Charles–in Web animation, “could have been longer” is high praise. At over three minutes, it’s already longer than the experts say people want.

    I actually did have another attempted assassination scene scripted–Palin tries to scare McCain into a heart attack in the White House basement on the way back from a midnight raid on the candy machine–but it would have made the video too long.

    What’s fun about this is that it’s new. So the learning curve is still steep. My cartoons for this week might be 0.0001% better than last week, but this animation is maybe 30% better than the last one. One thing I’d change in this one right away: Cheney’s voice is too low at the end. And there’s other stuff as well.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The hate mail you’re getting on youtube is piling up.

  5. Timothy Says:

    Didn’t really like the first one too much, the animation, voice, pretty much everything had a lot to be desired. This one, however, is more than 30% better, it’s about 80% better and it made me laugh. Keep them like this and you’ll be a star!

  6. Russell Says:

    It was working this morning. Awesome!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    BOC!!!!!!!!! RAWK!!!!! ps I just voted!! Dorme bene….

  8. k Says:

    Professor is incorrectly spelled in the credits.

  9. Balance of Power Says:


    I just saw your Obama animation. I’m curious… why did you have him flying on a donkey? Is this some subtle satire of his being a secret Muslim? (I faintly reading something about Mohamed having a dream about flying on a donkey…)

    If so I’m surprised you would resort to that sort of thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Muslim, but surely this whole joke/smear is played out by now.

    Besides, I think the joke is a little too subtle, even for the most sophisticated of audiences.

    Still, I’d like your thoughts on why you threw it in there.


  10. Anonymous Says:

    BoP, I thought he was riding a donkey cause Jesus rode a donkey when he went entered the gates of Jerusalem, at least that’s what I got out of it.

  11. Jana C.H. Says:

    I asumed Obama was flying on a donkey because he’s a Democrat.

    Jana C.H.
    Saith Floss Forbes: If you don’t know the tune, sing tenor.

  12. Incitatus Says:

    Great, a lot better than the first one, Ted. I agree with the others, it could have been longer.
    How about another version starring John F. Obama and Hillary Rodham-Johnson?

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