Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Arnold Schwarzenegger disguises himself, badly, as used car salesman

Illustration for article titled Arnold Schwarzenegger disguises himself, badly, as used car salesman
Screenshot: Arnold Schwarzenegger (YouTube)

Arnold Schwarzenegger seems, by all accounts, to be enjoying his current position as a mostly retired movie star and former politician. When he’s not dropping guest verses on inspirational rap songs, sharing stories from the making of Commando, or posting videos of himself chasing a miniature pony around his yard on a bicycle, he’s keeping himself busy by doing stuff like throwing on a terrible fake mustache and ponytail to pose as a used car salesman...to help raise awareness about electric cars.

In a video from non-profit electric car advocacy group Veloz, Arnold puts on a bad wig and Hawaiian shirt to become “Howard Kleiner.” This character—played with aplomb by the veteran thespian—is an incorrigible salesman determined to make gas-burning automobiles look bad by pretending to be a doofus trying to get people to buy them instead of the more environmentally-friendly option.


“Kicking Gas” sees Arnold/Kleiner tell buyers shopping for electric cars that they’re making a mistake by not supporting a vehicle that’s louder, stinkier, and requires fuel supplied by oil companies. “Do you want a tax credit or do you want to have street credit?” he tells a couple before sharing his environmental agenda of combating overpopulation by killing off part of the planet by contributing to automotive pollution.

Arnold drops catchphrases and references aplenty from his storied career, telling a mystified elderly couple that “the pump is sometimes more satisfying than sex” alongside the obligatory “I’ll be back.” The first couple he talks to immediately recognize him, the guy laughing as soon as Arnold announces his presence with a familiarly accented “Looking for a car?” It’s less clear if his crumby disguise tricks the others. Whether they know who Kleiner really is or not hardly matters: most of them just seem annoyed that some weirdo in a fake mustache and drooping wig, celebrity or not, is fucking with them when they’re trying to make a big, important purchase.

Eventually, a few people ask for Arnold’s supervisor and the clip ends with him coming back out in a blond toupee and aviators as “Harry The Sales Manager.” It’s a good, stupid joke, but it pales in comparison to the real joy of the video: hearing Arnold’s baritone giggle as he capers caper around in a shitty costume to help raise awareness for a worthwhile cause.

Send Great Job, Internet tips to gji@theonion.com

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.