September 27th, 2012
11:05 AM ET
10 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. Larry in Houston

    well samuel – LOL – you may be a good actor or comedian – but you really need to get out there and tell that stuff to the 18 to 30 yr. olds, because IF they don't get out there & Vote like they did in 08, your guy is in trouble. I'm talking about those people that make under 40Kper yr. ( unlike the millions You make) Most of those people out there most likely are Not Going to Vote. why ? because they already know that they are going to go to work the very next day, so it doesn't matter who gets to be our next prez. I'm talking about people that work in restaurants / fast foods / hospitals / board of education / city / county / state workers / & Malls all over this country, not to mention all the secretarial Jobs. I'm Voting democrat, because the "other guy" isn't any better, and at least we already know what the current one is doing in office. But trying to elect one that you don't know much about, such as romney. I mean, Who knows what this guy will end up doing to this country if Romney is elected. It's already a shambles, thanks to Bush for 8 years, where he put us in such a hole, it's going to take at Least 8 yrs. to dig ourselves out of. In 2008 my 401K was blasted to smithereens !! the stocks under the Bush, was at 6,000 !!
    With Romney – I honestly think he's gonna set the "womens issues" on the back burner, not to mention that he will take the women's issues back about 35 yrs. As far as the Affordable Health Care act goes, Romney's been sayin that he's gonna "repeal it" I think he's gonna flpi-flop on that one, once he's in office. I think he's going to more or less "tweak it" instead of repealing it. I hope that's one of the questions that the moderator asks romney, during their first debate.
    Vote Democrat – 2012

    September 27, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Linda

    President Obama has the coolest people endorsing him----4 MORE YEARS!

    September 27, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  3. James

    Hilarious that people try to say "obama raised the debt by blah blah blah" and blame it on things like the stimulus. Bush raised the debt by 5 trillion be getting embroiled in two wars that were unpaid for, then screwed up the economy and set it up so Obama had to implement the stimulus – don't forget TARP was already in the works before the 08 election. The debt keeps climbing BECAUSE of the wars, still unpaid for, that Obama has to figure out how to get out of without leaving a gaping hole int he middle east and without endangering the troops. It's amazing that people can blame the guy for these things when Bush did much worse – I shudder to think what a Romney presidency would be like... more of the same old Bush BS no doubt. Good thing there is little chance of Romney getting elected.

    September 27, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. JoAnn

    You are such a disapointment to me Mr. Jackson. I admired you so much as an actor but this is so wrong of you to post such a statement. Just look around with your eyes open and see the harm being done to our beloved country by Obama and his political cronies. So sorry we just cannot continue like we are going now. Our children and grandchildren will suffer. I am getting along in age as you are also, so it won't matter much to us, but our precious grandchildren will suffer.

    September 27, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  5. usa

    Do these celebrities really think we are going to do what they say??? And especially with offensive language in our faces? I like Samuel Jackson as an actor, but he's in hollywood fantasy land – he's not hurting financially like many of us. Face it – the president is not doing his job – he's been campaigning for four years and his agenda is destructive – he has planted the seed of class warfare, deliberately weakened our standing in the world with his apologies, and increased the deficit beyond belief – our people need jobs, our flags are being burned, our ambassadors are being murdered – he's taking this country down – and there are many of us out here who know new leadership is needed now –

    September 27, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  6. panola

    In addition to profound bigotry, what the "Jewish Council" ads suggest is the desperation of Obama supporters in Washington and Hollywood. The Jackson ad suggests that Democrats fear and know that their supporters are less motivated to vote today than in 2008. It repeats several outright lies about Romney–i.e. that he does not believe in any kind of safety net–and in the end resorts to profanity, not only from Jackson but from a child.

    September 27, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. andy

    What class. Not. The President doesn't need this kind of vulgar endorsement.

    September 27, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    If they DID wake up Jackson they would find massive unemployment and an economy stuck in neutral, going nowhere, thanks to Obama and the leftist Democrats.

    But I do agree, WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Get RID of the clown in the Whitehouse and get somebody COMPETENT in there!!

    September 27, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Early voting in 6 days

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 27, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Jen

    way to go Mr Jackson. I cannot believe that there are people still "undecided" at this point. Where were they..... sleeping under a rock for the past year! If Mitt wins, we are screwed. Seriously get out there and vote for your future, otherwise the HAVES and HAVE MORES will own us for years to come. Whichever way the debates go, President Obama is the only one who understands the challenges of ALL people, not just the 47%.

    September 27, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Yes of course,
    Vote high unemployment, vote 48 million on food stamps, vote 100 million on some form of government assistance, vote tons of red ink, vote liberal, vote democrat, vote more of the same, vote Obama.

    September 27, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Jake Pica

    You do know that Obama just declared at the UN?: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

    Islam is the most vile religion on the there no group that Obama will not pander to?

    Looks like it is Samuel L. Jackson that needs to wake up.

    September 27, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. TY

    John Warren

    Damn, is he working for the Republicans or just terminally insensitive. This race is polarizing enough without this kind of language
    I understand why you are saying, however it is what it is..........thinks about this the way the GOPer talked about our President the way they LIE and Lie about this President is a shame. For them to do that and the language they use is wrong too. They have called the President of the US everything but the child of GOD. And one bad word is nothing compare to what they have done for the last four years. I don't like the language too, but I rather hear a few bad words than LIES. What the REP are doing is evil no matter what people say. You just can't continue doing this if you don't respect the man respect the position. Now the GOPer are sending out a movie about him Obama 2016 which is un true. They need to be in the middle east with this kind of behavor and the way they are acting in not got for our wonderful country and the world. People need to wake up. Because if they don't we are in a lot of trouble........

    September 27, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. indyreader

    INFINITELY better, more on-point, more true, and more entertaining than a former-great-but-fading actor blathering at an empty chair. I'd vote for Jackson himself before I'd vote for Romney.

    September 27, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  15. FedUp

    Well, Mr. Jackson, I am awake. I am voting. Just not for the candidate you are demanding I vote for. I don't listen to celebrities. Never have. Never will. Celebrities are too self-centered and their opinions mean nothing to me. I also make sure none of my money goes to any of you as I don't go to the movies. I voted for Obama last time. Won't happen again.

    September 27, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Tate

    Need kids and actors to get elected. What a party!!! Republicans party for grown ups and workers. I look at actors like the Romans just below ditch diggers.

    September 27, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. Bob

    "Do these celebrities really think we are going to do what they say???"

    Bruce Willis, Chuck Norton, Charleton Heston, Fred Thompson, Clint Eastwood.

    You only hate celebs when they tell you the truth.

    September 27, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Borderless

    I think we reached a point where we no longer have to ask whether or nor Obama will be reelected, but what excuses he will have in 2016. When the current hysteria is over and we can finally look back at the Obama administration through the lens of history and see it for what it was, history will not be kind. Obama is to current politics what liesure suits and mullets were to the seventies: a future embarrassment. Only remnants of his sad, die-hard and delusional fans will continue carrying his torch and consider him anything but failed. You will probably win, Obama. Congratulations. You are very good at getting reelected.

    September 27, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. FPSC

    Right on Samuel L!! We gotta wake the f___ up for Obama, esp. if we're Mexican gov't officials who want to make sure that illegal invaders can get amnesty and free health care at U.S. taxpayer expense.

    Wake the f___ up American movie fans and make sure you don't spend good money on anything that Samuel L. Jackson is in.

    September 27, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. CW

    Obama/Burden 2012 – When everything that you have worked hard for in life should go to someone else.

    September 27, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. Tree


    You are such a disapointment to me Mr. Jackson. I admired you so much as an actor but this is so wrong of you to post such a statement. Just look around with your eyes open and see the harm being done to our beloved country by Obama and his political cronies. So sorry we just cannot continue like we are going now. Our children and grandchildren will suffer. I am getting along in age as you are also, so it won't matter much to us, but our precious grandchildren will
    If you care about your grandchildren and i believe that you do, than a vote for Romney is a vote against your grandkids. Romney does not care about anyone. He really don't what to be president, this is his desire to be. And that desire will destory the US. They want to cut education, regulation (clean air) and the big three. So by the time your grandchildren are that age there wll be nothing for them. And what make you think that Romney is for you children? Has he said anything how he going to help, you need to wake up and really think about this. You say that you can not continue like you going, how are you going? You say that you are getting up there in age, will you better hope the Romney and Ryan does not win because you will have nothing to look forward to. WAKE UP

    September 27, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Dang

    Dang. You people repeat that garbage so frequently you must almost believe it's true. Obama did nothing more than react to the depression Bush left him and try to get legislation processed with a just say no congress. How you could possibly think anyone would vote for anyone in your party is really beyond me. The democrats aren't much better, but I'd prefer to vote for someone who endorses what you say your churches should do. But don't.

    September 27, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Don

    Obama the useless has ruined a tanking economy and he will win. He will win because its easier to be a Left Wing Parasite and declare how unfair it is that someone else inst paying for your every need from cradle to grade, as you point your finger at every business. Who the hell would hire a slacker with a demanding attitude anyhow? NO work ethics among your 48 percent of non tax paying food stamp taking beggars. When you have your way, and 4 more years of disastrous policies on every front finally catch up, you will still be blaming the Republicans, and you will all deserve what will be coming your way. Its gong to get ugly when the wheels fall off.

    September 27, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. sam

    for some reason he thinks he's a big man and someone we should listen to, because he swears!!!

    That just puts more of a negative on his message!!!

    September 27, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. 3feathers

    kind of makes me wonder where the morals of the country are really heading? Hollywood actors used to have a little bit of class and pride in America. Wonder what Jimmy Stewart would say to you Mr. Adams?

    September 27, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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