And If Elected

Created by David Peterson
Additional Material by
Fred Alley & Jeffrey Herbst

2012 Fall Show Features Jeffrey Herbst, Jake Endres, and Karen Mal.

This fall, American Folklore Theatre spices up election season with And If Elected, a musical look back at presidential campaign history. This show, which has been performed during every election year since 1992, features facts, jokes, and songs from presidential elections from 1776 to the present.


Compiled by David Peterson, Fred Alley, and Jeffrey Herbst, And If Elected takes a lighthearted, often satirical, and occasionally poignant look at the complete history of the presidential election, telling stories of mudslinging and muck-raking that have surprised and delighted audiences for almost 20 years. The show also unearths the numerous campaign songs that have been used as political tools throughout American history.

The show features AFT performer and Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst, who has performed in each incarnation of the show since 1992. Herbst’s life-long passion for presidential trivia comes alive in the production. Back at AFT is Minneapolis-based performer Jake Endres. Rounding out the three-person cast is Karen Mal.

Produced in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012

2008 Cast Elisa Korenne, Jeffrey Herbst, Jake Endres


Green Bay Press Gazette

AFT puts fun, facts into election season

BY WARREN GERDS - October 10, 2008

FISH CREEK – If opening night of American Folklore Theatre’s “And If Elected” is any indication, interest is high in the presidential election this year.

Gibraltar Town Hall was sold out and the crowd was enthusiastic as the troupe revisited campaign songs, slogans, gouges and gaffes from the first contested election (Thomas Jefferson) to the last notable campaign song (“High Hopes” in 1960 for John F. Kennedy).

American Folklore Theatre does this three-person show each presidential year, revised a bit each time. This edition includes teases Barack Obama for his easy, breezy way of raising campaign funds and John McCain for his calculated choice of Sara Palin as a running mate “because he didn’t want to get CPR from Mitt Romney.”

The show reveals threads of satire and nastiness running through American culture when it comes to the highest office in the land. It also reveals a great deal of respect for that office, especially when director, performer, co-writer and company artistic director Jeffrey Herbst tells about his passion about all things presidential starting in fourth grade.

The office fuels a “belief in the future and the belief in the courage of just one person to lead someone,” Herbst says. Joining him in the colorful collection of material – mostly authentic – are Jake Endres and Elisa Korenne. The three are harmonically strong, and spicy when acting.

The show was created by David Peterson, with additional material from Herbst and the late Fred Alley.

Many of the songs are ditties. “Ma, Ma, Where is My Pa?” is a roast of Grover Cleveland. Seems he had an affair and now his out-of-wedlock baby (Herbst, sucking a pacifier) is wondering where his father is. Answer: The White House.

Some songs are uplifting, as “Emancipation Train” (in the era of Abraham Lincoln) and “Bread and Roses” (before women’s suffrage).

Some songs are double-edged. The trio sweetly sings “Van Buren,” the lyrics of which go for the jugular. Built on short songs, one liners and quick factoids, this red, white and blue show whips by quickly. It’s one of the most entertaining history lessons you’ll find.

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