Actor Ben Stein—best known on screen as the economics teacher in the hit 1980s comedyFerris Bueller's Day Off—was widely mocked for channeling the character he played to beg former California Republican Representative Devin Nunes to return to Congress.
Nunes resigned from Congress last year to take the helm of Truth Social, former Republican President Donald Trump's personal Twitter clone social media platform.
Nunes was a largely controversial figure for backing Trump from the early days of his administration, when an investigation into Russia's efforts to subvert the electoral process and help Trump win the 2016 general election dominated headlines. He also sued a fictional cow and faced ethics inquiries and speculation about his family farm and taxes.
Stein posted a video to Twitter in which he riffed off his famous "Bueller? Bueller?" lines in his effort to coax Nunes back into the fold.
You can hear what he said below.
“Nunes ... Nunes. We have to have Nunes here because there has to be at least one person who tells the truth."
"Nunes, please come back, wherever you are. We need someone who’s going to tell the truth."
Stein eventually concludes the mercifully short video by wailing Nunes' name, a far cry from his days as the bored economics teacher in the classic film.
Stein's video message did not go over well with social media users.
He was resoundingly mocked for it.
Stein's plea for Nunes to return is particularly controversial given Nunes' past. A hardline conservative, Nunes was one of the Trump's more vigorous defenders.
In 2018, the much-debated Nunes memo, which alleged abuses of covert surveillance powers by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), incited a debate as to whether its contents would vindicate the now ex-President.
Multiple members of Congress, including prominent Republicans, disagreed.
Nunes, who once chaired the House Intelligence Committee, was trolled heavily on social media. The California Republican filed a $250 million lawsuit against Twitter and three of its users in which he accused the tech company of "shadow-banning conservatives," censoring opposing viewpoints and "ignoring" complaints of abusive behavior on the social media platform.
His complaints about the site's users received significant attention after news outlets revealed the lawsuit named users who went by "Devin Nunes’ Mom" and "Devin Nunes' Cow."
According to the complaint, one user was "a person who, with Twitter’s consent, hijacked Nunes’ name, falsely impersonated Nunes’ mother, and created and maintained an account on Twitter (@DevinNunesMom) for the sole purpose of attacking, defaming, disparaging and demeaning Nunes."
The other user, "Devin Nunes' Cow," or @DevinCow, also posted tweets mocking Nunes, including a couple saying Nunes is a "treasonous cowpoke" and an "udder-ly worthless" criminal.
That account is still active.
In June 2020, a Virginia judge threw out Nunes' lawsuit against Twitter. As of December 2021, his lawsuit against the cow was ongoing.