Whack Barack: NJ Boardwalk Game Features Moving Obama Target

Knock out the president, win a prize

View Comments ()



    Caricatures of Saddam Hussein, left, and President Barack Obama are seen at a boardwalk game Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010, in Seaside Heights, N.J. The game in the town where the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore" is filmed features a caricature of Obama, depicted with exaggerated ears and smile, as a moving target along with likenesses of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Michael Jackson, The Joker and other characters.

    A boardwalk game in the town where the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore" is filmed features a caricature of President Barack Obama as a moving target along with likenesses of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

    People playing the "Walkin Charlie" game in Seaside Heights can win a prize if they knock a plate out of the turntable targets, which include Obama depicted with exaggerated ears and smile.

    The creator, Tom Whalen, said he added the caricatures of Obama, the Joker, Michael Jackson and others to liven up the tried-but-tired carnival Plate Pitch carnival game.

    "When Jay Leno stands up and makes a crack about Obama or another political person, not everybody claps their hands and cheers," Whalen said Tuesday. "We don't have a bull's-eye on anyone's head or chest. Each caricature is holding a couple of plates, and the object is to break the plates."

    The head of the Obama figure has now been covered up with a paper bag because of all the attention, he said. And his half-brother, who owns the concession, is considering removing it, he said.

    Whalen said he planned to add Sarah Palin, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President George W. Bush.

    The game has incited anger among some who believe it is disrespectful to the president, while other shake it off as another attraction on an amusement pier.

    An eastern Pennsylvania company last week pulled a carnival game in which players shot foam darts at an image resembling Obama.

    Irvin Good Jr. received a complaint from a Massachusetts woman attending a fair in Roseto, about 65 miles north of Philadelphia. Good said his company, Hellertown-based Goodtime Amusements, won't offer the game again.

    "It was just a big, big mistake in judgment, and I feel sorry about it," Good said.

    The game, dubbed "Alien Attack," featured a large, painted image of a black man wearing a belt buckle with the presidential seal and holding a scroll labeled "Health Bill." Players could win prizes including stuffed animals by hitting targets on the image's head and heart.