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

Revisit the Rudy Giuliani performance that earned James Woods an Emmy nomination

Illustration for article titled Revisit the Rudy Giuliani performance that earned James Woods an Emmy nomination
Screenshot: YouTube (Fair Use)

It might be hard for many of us to remember, but there was a time when Rudy Giuliani wasn’t America’s Hobgoblin, but rather America’s Mayor. Long before the man ranted about voter fraud conspiracies behind a podium while hair dye dribbled down his cheeks like petrol tears, there was even a USA Network-produced TV biopic starring conservative cheerleader, James Woods. Even by 2003's basic cable television standards, the redundantly titled Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story is hokey, hagiographic, and ridiculous, but, perhaps due to the nation’s renewed patriotic fervor in the aftermath of 9/11, it somehow earned Woods an Emmy nomination.

A lot (and we mean a lot) has happened since then, including countless instances of Giuliani finding new, ingenious ways to squander America’s good faith, so it’s not too surprising most of us forgot about the existence of Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story. But, as we all should certainly know by now, the internet never forgets.

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Yes, that is James Woods as Giuliani admitting to Penelope Ann Miller’s Donna Hanover that he’s “just not much of a cuddler.” Take heart: If the thought of a moonlight stroll along the beach next to Rudy Giuliani doesn’t just scream “romance” to you, well, you wouldn’t be alone.

We can’t in good conscience recommend checking out the film in its entirety, though you can, as it’s currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Instead, let’s all simply savor the fact that this exists, and ponder what the sequel, Rudy II: Let’s Get This Grand Old Party Started, could possibly entail: Obviously, Woods would reprise the role (you can’t improve on perfection, after all). Would we get another list of Giuliani’s latter-day role models? Might the film explore his rekindled love of cuddling? God, there’s just so much ground to cover—are we entering the realm of a potential trilogy? Hell, why stop there? The prequel is already there, as long as people are okay with a bit of ret-conning...

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).