Opie, Andy and the Fonz show support for Obama

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As the election nears, Ron Howard is getting desperate. In a video posted on Funnyordie.com, the actor-turned-director reprises his role on The Andy Griffith Show as a way to rally support for Barack Obama.

While speaking into the camera, Mr. Howard has his beard shaved, dons a youthful red wig and puts on the kind of outfit he would have worn only as Opie Taylor in the 1960s.

"I've never done this before and I hope never to do it again, but I guess you could say I'm feeling pretty desperate these days," explains Mr. Howard. "So as a demonstration of my sincerity, this is for you America."

Then, in black-and-white, Mr. Howard sits down in the woods to talk to "Pa" -- Andy Griffith. Mr. Griffith advises Opie that he'll be able to vote someday, so long as he eludes the butterfly ballot.

That's not the only old TV show revisited by Mr. Howard, who years ago traded child stardom for directing movies such as A Beautiful Mind and this fall's Frost/Nixon . Another wardrobe change prepares him to step back into Happy Days , the beloved show that ran from 1974-84 in which Mr. Howard played Richie Cunningham.

Standing in front of a vintage car and clad in a leather jacket is Henry Winkler, once again with the unmistakable coif -- and greaser demeanor -- of the Fonz. Mr. Winkler tells Mr. Howard this election is everyone's chance to right a wr-wr-wrong.

Stepping back out of character, Mr. Howard says he, Mr. Griffith and Mr. Winkler returned to their television roots to urge support for Mr. Obama.

The video is the latest clip from FunnyOrDie.com, which has put Hollywood celebrities in funny political videos. The site, founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, has produced popular videos featuring Paris Hilton and Gina Gershon.

Because the videos are produced quickly -- Mr. McKay and company can dispatch a small crew in just hours -- the site can create timely videos related to the news. In another video posted last week, Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones suggest their solution to the economic crisis: "Puppies!"

The video came together after Mr. Howard called Judd Apatow, the director and producer who has frequently collaborated with FunnyOrDie. Mr. Apatow referred him to Mr. McKay, who wrote a draft of the script with Mr. Howard's input. Jake Szymanski, who directed the Hilton video, shot it.

"We were all in TV heaven," Mr. McKay said in an e-mailed statement. "I mean, it's the Fonz and Andy Griffith. Those were my second fathers."

FUNNYORDIE.COM


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