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If The Wire alum Isiah Whitlock, Jr. ever decides to focus on a side hustle, “marketing genius” might be his new title. The actor, who recently introduced a talking bobblehead of his popular Wire politician Clay Davis via Kickstarter, has campaigned his figure all the way to the White House.
Whitlock, whose project was fully funded on Kickstarter in less than a day, has teamed with his Veep co-star Anna Chlumsky for a new House of Bobbleheads video in which the duo play off their roles in the HBO political comedy to concoct a plan to market the sheeeeeeeeeee-it-talking bobblehead.
As for Washington, D.C., Whitlock is clearly in control of that region, as the sole Isiah Whitlock, Jr. Talking Bobblehead currently in existence, the very prototype used in the Kickstarter campaign, now resides in the White House. And not just in the White House… in the possession of The Wire megafan President Obama.
“I was sitting here in New Zealand about a week ago when I got a call from David Simon, the creator of The Wire. He told me he thought my bobblehead was the funniest thing he’d ever seen,” Whitlock tells Yahoo TV via email. “Then he asked me if I could get one delivered to him immediately.
“I said, ‘David, we’ve only got one! It’s the prototype we’re using for our Kickstarter campaign.’ He said, ‘Well when you hear who I’m going to give it to, you might want to give it up.”
Yep, the POTUS.
“He loved it! According to David, everyone in the room, including President Obama, exploded with laughter when my voice came out of the doll saying ‘sheeeeeeeee-it!’” Whitlock says. “The President told him it would probably save his voice at least five times a day. Then President Obama said, ‘This is less than $300, so I’m keeping it.’”
Whitlock, who’s in New Zealand filming the live-action/CGI remake of the Disney classic Pete’s Dragon, has already made more than five times his original goal for the bobblehead Kickstarter project, with 16 more days to go (which means, yes, there’s still time to secure one of the “stunningly handsome” figures for your own).
“Since The Wire went off the air in 2008, people have been making all kinds of T-shirts and posters and memes saying ‘Clay Davis for President.’ It’s just funny for me to think that old Clay finally found a way to move into the Oval Office.”
Veep Season 4 premieres on April 12 at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.