There’s a story in the Wall Street Journal today about the struggles of guys who like founding fathers who are not Alexander Hamilton. The story goes, basically, that because Hamilton has a big play about him nobody wants to talk about the other guys who don’t have plays.
I’m not kidding, look at this shit.
Nerds. NERDS!!! Everyone involved in this story is a nerd. And yet it is art (emphasis mine throughout):
In Philadelphia, crowds line up for a Hamilton exhibit at the National Constitution Center, but a beer-trolley tour led by a Benjamin Franklin impersonator is no longer offered because of lack of interest.
Damn. Owned. Go on...
Warren Royal, the owner of Royal Bobbles in suburban Atlanta, says he produced a run of nonpresidential Founding Father bobbleheads a few years before the musical. He made Hamiltons, Franklins, Thomas Paines, John Hancocks and Sam Adamses.
After the musical hit Broadway, sales of the Hamiltons skyrocketed, outselling all other founders but George Washington. Hamilton is now closing in on Negan, a zombie-apocalypse survivor on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
Mr. Royal discontinued Paine and Hancock. Other founders are foundering, including the nation’s fourth president, James Madison. “He’s no Elvis, I’ll put it that way,” Mr. Royal says.
James Madison... no Elvis, that’s for sure.
Here’s some nerds screaming at an actual historian:
Historian Nancy Isenberg, author of “Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr” and other books on Revolutionary leaders, published a series of essays saying Burr was principled and progressive, not the “stand-for-nothing” sycophant portrayed in the musical. She says she was inundated with emails from “rabid fans with an attachment to an imaginary, invented Hamilton.”
“That’s not history,” she says. “That’s rooting for your favorite team.”
Calm down holy shit lol.
One Philadelphia-area Franklin impersonator, Brian Patrick Mulligan, posted a tongue-in-cheek audition video when casting directors were recruiting for a “Hamilton” national tour. His headshot was the $100 bill. The show’s casting director didn’t reach out, and Franklin remains absent from the show.
Mr. Mulligan has a few gigs lined up as Franklin, including an AARP internet commercial. He supplements his income with appearances as his backup characters, which include Winston Churchill and Uncle Fester from the 1960s sitcom “The Addams Family.”
Here’s these guys:
Descendants and supporters of Burr, who killed Hamilton in an 1804 duel in Weehawken, N.J., have debated how hard to push back on the play’s characterization that Burr dishonorably fired on Hamilton.
The association debated sending a letter of protest to playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. Its members couldn’t agree on whether to take a stand.
A spokesman for Mr. Miranda didn’t respond to requests for comment.
“Some members really leaned on me to make a big stink,” Mr. Johnson says. “We thought it’s going to make the Aaron Burr Association look like a bunch of kooks.”
Some of the group’s 80 or so members complained when the association took no action, and one, the group’s webmaster, quit in protest, a blow since no one else knows how to update the website, Mr. Johnson says.
This is all about a PLAY for the love of GOD.