Never throughout the history of the multiverse did I think the hit adult cartoon Rick & Morty would get into American politics, but they did. Not only did they take a stab at ridiculing the American presidency, they directed more shots at former President Barack Obama than President Donald Trump.
In the cartoon’s season 3 finale “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” Rick, the mad scientist and “smartest man in the universe,” and his grandson Morty find themselves at odds with the fictional President of the United States (voiced by Keith David) after he asks the two to defeat a monster under the tunnels of the White House.
Thinking the President has been ungrateful for their efforts to “save the world” upon request, Rick and Morty ditch the President’s order to play Minecraft at home. For those who closely followed former President Obama, the show took shots at some of the greatest stains on his legacy, including a bloody drone war in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as well as the massive intrusion of privacy via the NSA surveillance program.
The President spies on Rick and Morty from the comforts of the Oval Office through a thermal satellite camera. When handed a file from a senior adviser that closely resembles former Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, the President is triggered when finding out that Rick said he’s a “spoiled control freak who thinks he runs the world and orders drone strikes to cope with his insecurity.”
That’s when another aide asks him if he wants to order a drone strike on Rick & Morty, the President shouts, “That would prove them right!”
The President then calls Morty on his cell phone and calls them out on “blowing off America.”
“You lying dicks,” the President yells. “I see your asses playing Minecraft. I got you on satellite!”
Morty attempts to calm the President, saying, “Obviously, this looks bad, Mr. President.”
That’s when Rick chimes in with, “I mean, what doesn’t look bad through an illegal spy satellite.”
As the episode continues, tensions escalate to the point where Rick is fighting the President in the White House.
At one point in the episode, the President says, “I’m president of America, which is basically the world, but you didn’t hear that from me.”
Other publications point out that the show was targeting the American presidency, in general, but with the Rick & Morty President being black and molded into the likeness of Obama, it’s pretty hard to ignore. The same criticisms made of Obama in this episode can be made of former President George W. Bush and even President Trump. At this time, the drone war is still going on and, as far as we know, nothing has stopped the NSA from collecting metadata from private citizens throughout the country.
However, when it comes to how politicized the entertainment industry has gotten after Trump was elected, you have to applaud a show like Rick & Morty to take a less partisan route in critiquing the President of the United States without losing half of its audience.
Watch the whole episode below: