September 27th, 2012
11:05 AM ET
2 years ago

Samuel L. Jackson: 'Wake the F*** up' for Obama

(CNN) - Actor Samuel L. Jackson entered the political fray this week, starring in a new web video that parodies his own audio recording of the mock children's book, "Go the F*** to Sleep."

This time, however, Jackson is reaching out to voters–not frustrated parents–urging Americans to "Wake the F*** Up" and vote for President Barack Obama. (Obviously, not work safe without headphones, but there's also a bleeped version.)

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In the nearly four-minute video told like a children's book, Jackson narrates a metrical tale of disenchanted Obama fans who have since dialed down their support.

"In the silvery moonlight that bathes every town,

The people lye dreaming so safe and so sound.

They're warm in their beds, snuggled up in their sheets,

But four years before, they were out in the streets."

The story features a girl named "Little Susie," whose family once actively campaigned for Obama but now sits on the sidelines this election year.

"We canvassed and phone banked with passion and pluck.

It matters this time, but their eyes are shut."

Funding for the project came from the Jewish Council for Education and Research, a super PAC supporting President Barack Obama. The group has made other humor-based videos, including a video last week on Voter ID laws that featured a brash performance by comedian Sarah Silverman.

The new video also takes a comical spin. As Little Susie's parents brush her off during her childlike pleas for activism, Samuel L. Jackson appears in the family's dining room–with an in-your-face, though still rhythmic, approach.

"Sorry, my friend, but there's not time to snore.

An out of touch millionaire just declared war

On schools, the environment, unions, fair pay.

We're all on our way if Romney has his way.

He's against safety nets. If you fall, tough luck.

So I strongly suggest, that you wake the f*** up."

The video continues with a storybook pace interrupted by Jackson's rather blunt, yet lyrical, pep talks. Jackson, for example, took issue with the excuse made by Little Susie's teenage brother, who argued he's not involved because he thinks "all politicians are the same."

"They're all the same? Big brother, please!

Obama sent SEALS to Bin Laden's Place. Romney sent jobs overseas.

How about that student loan overhaul? It's going to save you thousands of bucks.

Mitt will cut that sh*t in a second. My dude, Wake the f*** up."

Last year, Jackson made headlines when he narrated the audiobook version of "Go the F*** to Sleep," a satirical children's book that strikes a chord with frustrated parents who try to tuck their kids in at night.

When Audible Inc. released the 6-minute recording as a free download, it received 160,000 downloads in 48 hours. Audible also saw a sharp spike–up to 160% increase–in downloads of their apps for smart phones during the same time window.

The original book, written by Adam Mansbach and illustrated by Ricardo Cortés, originally was slated for a fall 2011 release. The PDF version of the book, however, was leaked and went viral. It became so popular that Akashic moved the release dates for the print book and e-book up to June of that year.

– CNNMoney's Julianne Pepitone contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. CryBabies

    How nice! I look forward to more crass ramblings from the hollywood elite. Quality to the nth degree!

    September 27, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    If you are not getting out to vote because of disappointment with the current DNC-RNC status quo offerings, consider voting Green party this time, for a liberal Change. Get out to vote.

    September 27, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. BLKMANinAmerica

    Well it needs to be done in order to get American's to Wake the ___k-up 4REAL.

    September 27, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. Borderless

    !Bob: No celebrity, conservative or liberal or "liberal" can in anyway affect my opinion. To me, they aren't living in the same world. They are rich, spoiled, and pampered. They are treated like royalty and I find that shameful. How can someone like that be in anyway connected to the average American? When they find themselves living form paycheck to paycheck or even from meal to meal, then their views would have relevance.

    September 27, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. paulm5545

    Class act. Grown man resorts to profanity to get his point across. With all the roles and dialogue he has had through out his career, "Wake the f__k up," was the best phrase he could come up with? What is his target audience – teenagers?

    And Little Susie's teenage brother is correct – all politicians ARE the same.

    September 27, 2012 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. tavernvoice

    Sam – wondering if you could redistribute a few hundred thousand of yours to me an my family, We're in the crapper right now. We're paying more taxes than we have in the past. And while your at it, perhaps you could redistribute some of those cherry jobs you hand out to our friends – Perhaps assistant to the assistant assistant producer. It's a sad day when voters get their cues from self-riteous celebs like this. Or hey better yet, let's vote for him because Madonna will strip – now there's an educated electorate.

    September 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Dean

    A recap of Hope and Change since President Obama took office in Jan 2009. Comparing economic indicators starting in Jan 2009 to present day:

    1. Federal debt has increased by 43% from $10.6 trillion to $15 trillion.

    2. Americans living in poverty have increased by 16% from 39.8 million to 46.2 million.

    3. Total unemployment (U6) has increased by 68% from 13.7 million to 23 million.

    4. Price of gasoline has increased by 80% from $1.86/gal to $3.35/gal

    5. Americans on food stamps have increased 42% from 31.8 million to 45.2 million

    6. Home foreclosures per year have increased by 34% from 850,000 to 1,140,000

    7. Total bankruptcy filings per year have increased by 42% from 1,117,641 to 1,593,081.

    8. Median Household incomes have declined by 4%.

    9. Average selling price of new homes has declined by 10%.

    10. US dollar compared to foreign currencies has declined by 8.7%. [US dollar index of 85.9 in Jan 2009 to 78.5 in Dec 2011.]

    11. US dollar compared to gold has declined 105%. [ $855/ounce to $1750/ounce]show more show less

    Not to mention Obama's buddies like his safe school czar Kevin Jennings or his jobs advisor Jeff Immelt who has sent more jobs to China than any one person.

    September 27, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    Well at least Jackson has enough money to survive another 4 years of Obama and his failure. The rest of us do NOT have that luxury. Another 4 years of Obama will amount to a LOST DECADE for our economy and the millions looking for work. I agree with Jackson, if the country doesn't wake up FAST it will be late for millions of Americans to recover. 48 million on food stamps and growing, 1 out of 6 Americans in poverty, a government going broke and borrowing TRILLIONS to survive. Wake up America. You can do FAR BETTER than Obama and the miserable state he and others brag about, 8.1% unemployment and 1.3% growth. These are failure numbers, not success.

    September 27, 2012 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. freddiebrown

    Wake the F*** up. How many more excuses do you need to make for a lame president.
    Cussing the people is not going to get him votes. We own our votes. We give it to the people who
    can best put this country on track. If you have to beg for another 4 years to do what you didn't do,
    then it is clear, that you have failed. Step aside Obama.

    I am frankly tired of Obama's surrogates and himself shouting AT US like we are too stupid if we don't vote for him.

    September 27, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. iftheshoefits

    Mr. Jackson, does President Obama realize he registered as a Democrat? The way he governs,to the right of Nixon and, for f*** sake, Reagan, he seems more like a Republican to me. Here's my take:

    With Obama we will get more aggression in foreign lands, cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for those of us under 55 (gotta make sure the group in the 55 and up group don't lose theirs–they might not vote then), a definition of "middle-class" that includes $250,000 per year income earners (or, in other words, people in the top 2-3%–far outside any reasonably sane definition of "middle"), further entrenchment of the private health insurance industry and more anti-union, anti-public-schools, pro-"free"-trade, pro-business government.

    With Romney we will get more aggression in foreign lands, cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits for those of us under 55 (gotta make sure the group in the 55 and up group don't lose theirs–they might not vote then), a definition of "middle-class" that includes $250,000 per year income earners (or, in other words, people in the top 2-3%–far outside any reasonably sane definition of "middle"), further entrenchment of the private health insurance industry and more anti-union, anti-public-schools, pro-"free"-trade, pro-business government.

    Seems to me it doesn't matter which candidate I vote for. Either one of them will continue to screw my future up. No thanks. I gave money and time to Mr. Obama in 2008. This year I'll write-in or abstain on the presidential ticket and just vote down-ticket as I see fit.

    September 27, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. Borderless

    Wouldn't it be awesome if every time some Hollywood jerk started using their fame to further a candidate's cause that candidate had to pay them out of their campaign coffers? Republican or Democrat.

    September 27, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Jackie Allen

    Thank you Samuel!

    September 27, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. freddiebrown

    America woke the F- up in 2008 and elected the President – Barack Hussein Obama.
    Look where it got us.

    Now Hollywood is coming out and instead of the soft sell, they are cussing at us to vote for the failure again.
    Well Samuel Jackson, I don't think you have any trouble putting food on your familys dining table for the rest of your life. So do us a favor, STFU !!

    I resent another Hollywood elite shouting more insults at us because they are getting desperate that we might not elect their compadre again.

    September 27, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Hahaha...listen to this man!!!! DO. NOT. STAY. HOME. NO QUARTER!!!

    September 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. scottclark52

    Can't wait to hear what he has to say when his taxes go through the Mo**** F****** Ro**!

    September 27, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. Wake up people!

    Tell em again Sam! Wake the hell up! There are billionaires attempting to steal our election! And they are willing to throw 98% of the population under a slew of buses just to make President Obama look bad. Traitors, the whole lot of them.

    OBAMA 2012!

    September 27, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Grown man resorts to profanity to get his point across."

    Grown man cries about naughty words.

    FIFY.

    September 27, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  18. Laurie in Spokane

    My sentiments exactly – so what about the language if it gets people's attention. Too bad one can't figuratively just shake people awake nationwide.

    September 27, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. CNNTom

    Actually, Mr Jackson should be careful. If the public "wakes up" and sees the nonsense Obama has done, they'll likely vote him out office. The good news for Obama is that the public has been in a slumber for the last 20 years.

    September 27, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. James

    Isnt he th one that said he did not vote for any platform that Obama was for, he just voted for him because he was black? i know i saw a video interview about that. spoiled holly wood elite should all shut up. and does anyone really want to see the old wore out Madonna naked? i shudder at the thought

    September 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Anna B

    LOVE it!!! BEST ad I have seen this whole political season – Thank you Samual J!!!!! Hilarious, yet effective.

    September 27, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. usa

    @ Bob – I don't listen to those celebrities either – but at least they're gentlemen.

    September 27, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. Jim

    Well there you have it. Samuel Jackson says vote for Obama so we should all comply. It's over. Done deal! I always get my political advise from a black actor with a chip on his shoulder.

    September 27, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Dave

    Probably the only time in my life I will like Samuel L. Jackson. At least he is using his celebrity for positive things. A good thing too, he sucks as an actor.

    September 27, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. JMHand

    Some people need to lighten up, this was entertaining and he's an entertainer. Anyone remember Herman Cain? And calling Jackson out of touch? Saying Sam Jackson is out of touch because of his Hollywood fame/money, then following that claim with "vote for Romney", now that's entertaining! Mitt represents everything that is wrong with our country as well as within his own party. He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.

    September 27, 2012 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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