Created By: Chabal2 on February 23, 2013 Last Edited By: Yongary on October 14, 2013
Troped

Windbag Politician

Politicians make very long speeches.

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A kid-friendlier version of the Sleazy Politician, where the main purpose of elected officials is to bore the audience half to death with rhetoric. Frequently involves malapropers, apologies for their lack of expertise in speaking, and (broken) promises of being short and to the point.

Compare Character Filibuster.

Comic Books
  • Lucky Luke
    • At the end of "Fingers", the mayor wishes to say a few words. Cut to several hours later, where he's still talking.
    • Another has Luke help build a bridge across the Mississippi which isn't completed by the time the opening ceremony comes around. Luke tells the governor to stall for time, which he does by announcing that on this day praise must be given to the Lord, and starts reading from the Bible, page 1. The bridge is finished by the time he gets to Job.
  • Astérix. The Helvetian assembly consists of one chieftain making a speech and every other one sleeping deeply. When they switch out, the new one even says "I will be brief..."
  • Spirou and Fantasio. The mayor of Champignac is widely feared for his entirely improvised and metaphor-breaking digressions.

Film
  • Lincoln. On the day of the vote, the speaker tells the audience they will now briefly recap the proposed amendment. Everyone bursts out laughing on "briefly".
  • The Witches of Eastwick. A newspaper editor is giving a long (multipage) speech which is interrupted when the title witches inadvertently cause a rainstorm.

Jokes
  • Russian Humor: "Is it possible to wrap an elephant in one single Pravda newspaper?" - "Yes, if there's the full text of one of Brezhnev's speeches in it."

Literature
  • Dave Barry once mentioned the real reason Cuban troops were found all over the world in the seventies and eighties was because it was preferable to staying in Cuba, where they have to listen to extremely long speeches.

Live-Action TV
  • One Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch has an interviewed man claim that "as a Conservative, he likes to drone on and on" until he keels over backwards.

Newspaper Comics
  • Senator Snort from George Lichty's Grin And Bear It comics has a reputation for filibusters. One gag had a colleague remark that Senator Snort still has the floor, even though there's a new President in office.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons adventure OA6 Ronin Challenge. During the opening ceremonies of the Kumite tournament the contestants march onto a field and take martial arts stances. A series of long-winded dignitaries then begin to give lengthy welcoming speeches. This is actually a Secret Test: the authorities are trying to weed out unqualified participants. Any of the contestants who moves even slightly during the speeches is immediately disqualified.

Theater
  • Hamlet: Polonius, King Claudius' counselor, is prone to being long winded. Lampshaded when he says "Brevity is the soul of wit," at the end of one of his rambling speeches.

Radio
  • Senator Beauregard Claghorn from The Fred Allen Show.

Real Life
  • Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was infamous for doing this, his longest on record in Cuba clocking up seven hours and 10 minutes at the 1986 Communist Party Congress. Four hours and 29 minutes is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly.
  • In Older Than Radio days, live speeches and debates were a form of public entertainment. In the Lincoln/Douglas debates each candidate spoke for 90 minutes. Also, the now stereotypically bombastic oration was necessary before the invention of loudspeakers.

Western Animation
  • In an episode of King of the Hill, Hank filibusters the city zoning board meeting in opposition to the recently-mandated low-flow toilets, the point being to make the meeting run so long that the other board members will have to use the restrooms and thus find out for themselves how poorly they work. He ends up using Peggy's newspaper columns as his speech.
  • Mayor Fred Jones Sr. on Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated appears to be one of these at first glance, before eventually being revealed to be the more traditional kind of Sleazy Politician.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • February 23, 2013
    StarSword
    May require No Real Life Examples Please.

    Historically the filibuster was performed by having the side opposed to a bill start talking when they got their turn to speak and refusing to stop for hours and hours. Nowadays, though, at least in the US Senate, all it really requires is for the opposed side to threaten to do this.
  • February 23, 2013
    Chabal2
    Well it could be expanded to non-political cases as well, it's just that they're the most common.
  • February 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of King Of The Hill Hank filibusters the city zoning board meeting in opposition to the recently-mandated low-flow toilets, the point being to make the meeting run so long that the other board members will have to use the restrooms and thus find out for themselves how poorly they work. He ends up using Peggy's newspaper columns as his speech.
  • February 24, 2013
    MarkKB
    Compare Character Filibuster (and by extention, Author Filibuster), for when long (and possibly tiresome) speeches are used to convey a character's views on a subject, rather than an impression of the character themselves.

    ^ That's Holding The Floor, isn't it? My impression is that this was a character archetype YKTTW, not that of an event trope.
  • February 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^You right.
  • February 25, 2013
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized the work titles and put the examples under appropriate classifications.

    Film
    • The Witches Of Eastwick. A newspaper editor is giving a long (multipage) speech which is interrupted when the title witches inadvertently cause a rainstorm.

    Tabletop Games
    • Dungeons And Dragons adventure OA6 Ronin Challenge. During the opening ceremonies of the Kumite tournament the contestants march onto a field and take martial arts stances. A series of long-winded dignitaries then begin to give lengthy welcoming speeches. This is actually a Secret Test: the authorities are trying to weed out unqualified participants. Any of the contestants who moves even slightly during the speeches is immediately disqualified.
  • February 25, 2013
    Frank75
    Russian Humor:

    "Is it possible to wrap an elephant in one single Pravda newspaper?" - "Yes, if there's the full text of one of Brezhnev's speeches in it."
  • May 2, 2013
    TheHandle
    Bump.
  • May 2, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In Older Than Radio days, live speeches and debates were a form of public entertainment. In the Lincoln/Douglas debates each candidate spoke for 90 minutes. Also, the now stereotypicaly bombastic oration was necessary before the invention of loudspeakers.
  • May 2, 2013
    Prfnoff
    The Capitol Steps song "Don't Stop Talkin' Until Tomorrow" parodied the Fleetwood Mac song Bill Clinton used in his 1992 campaign.
  • May 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Newspaper Comics
    • Senator Snort from George Lichty's Grin And Bear It comics has a reputation for filibusters. One gag had a colleague remark that Senator Snort still has the floor, even though there's a new President in office.
  • May 3, 2013
    JonnyB
    Radio
    • Probably Senator Beauregard Claghorn from The Fred Allen Show would count.
  • May 3, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Real Life
    • Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro was infamous for doing this, his longest on record in Cuba clocking up seven hours and 10 minutes at the 1986 Communist Party Congress. Four hours and 29 minutes is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest speech in front of the United Nations General Assembly.
  • May 3, 2013
    robybang
    • Hamlet: Polonius, King Claudius' counselor, is prone to being long winded. Lampshaded when he says "Brevity is the soul of wit," at the end of one of his rambling speeches.
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