GDP Smackdown

Director – Chris Henchy
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How do we measure the economy?
Two economists settle their differences - in the professional wrestling ring. Watch and cheer as John Maynard Keynes & Friedrich Hayek square off in a testosterone-fueled battle over how to measure the economy.

Directed by Chris Henchy
(in alphabetical order)
M.Joseph Meehan : Tony Hale
JTG: as himself
Simon Kuznets: Thomas Middleditch
Announcer: Rob Riggle
Shad: as himself
Written by Adam Davidson, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay
Produced by Robyn Wholey
Executive Producers: Betsy Koch, Anna Wenger
Music by Orr Rebhun
Sound Design by George Anderson and Tammy Fearing
Production Sound Mixer: Ryan Kaiser
Photography by Matt Sweeney
Animation Produced by Six Point Harness
Executives in Charge of Production: Brendan Burch; Dave Vamos
Animation Producer: Andy Fiedler
Animation Director: Greg Franklin
Editor: Tony Christopherson

Background & Logo Design: Angelo Vilar
Animation Team:
Tony Christopherson
Ryan Samsam
Anthony Denha
Nick Butera
Mac Whiting
Greg Franklin
Additional Photography: Dave Vamos; Andy Fiedler
Stunts: Justin Murphy
3D Modeling: Mike Mangan
Keying and Compositing:
Tony Christopherson
Ryan Samsam
Dave Vamos
Anthony Denha
Greg Franklin
Wardrobe Supervisor: Melissa McNeely
Wardrobe Assistants: Zoe Buck; Julie Swinford
Hair and Makeup by Jenny Osborne
Associate Producers:
Elizabeth Baquet
Sam Fishell
Business Affairs
Peter Morris
Sean Friedland
Special Thanks:
Dick Glover
Alex Riguero
Steve Beslow
Lisa Rodgers
© Funny or Die, Inc. All Right Reserved

Chris Henchy

CHRIS HENCHY runs Gary Sanchez Productions (GSP), co-founded by comedians Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, which partnered with Sequoia Capital to launch He was involved in the creation of the website, and is integral in its ongoing commitment to showcase the best comedy on the web. Henchy has been a writer and producer on such shows as “Entourage,” “Spin City,” “I'm With Her” and GSP’s HBO comedy series “Eastbound and Down.” He wrote the feature films “Land of the Lost” for Universal Pictures, Sony's “The Other Guys” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and “The Campaign” for Warner Brothers, starring Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. He is currently producing the feature film “Get Hard” starring Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Born in New York City, Henchy resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Brooke Shields, and their two daughters.

Director's Note

“GDP. I grew up hearing that phrase on the radio at the top of the hour and 30 minutes after, or as close as the news could get to it. ‘GDP.’ ‘Dow Jones Industrial Average.’ ‘Consumer Price Index.’ ‘Trickle Down.’ Those were all words jumbled together at the end of the news, almost as an afterthought. It signaled to me the news was over and another Journey song was about to come on. I never really paid attention and just hoped the Journey song was not ‘Open Arms.’ 

I was thrilled when Morgan asked me to participate in the WE THE ECONOMY series. I teamed up with Adam Davidson who made GDP exciting and figured this might be an opportunity to enlighten other folks out there about the economy. Hopefully, some kid like myself listening to the radio will now have a better understanding of what the news is talking about between Journey and Katy Perry songs and be able to do something about it.”


When people refer to the “size of the U.S. economy” what statistic are they usually talking about?

  • 5% The physical size of the 50 states
  • 8% How rich everybody is
  • 66% How much Americans spend in a year
  • 21% How many dollars there are
66% of respondents chose the correct answer: How much Americans spend in a year.

The size of the U.S. economy is measured by how much money Americans spend in a year on all goods and services.

What is the primary measure of the overall size of the U.S. economy?

  • 3% Dow Jones Industrial Average
  • 2% S&P 500
  • 88% Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • 6% The Employment rate
88% of respondents chose the correct answer: Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

GDP estimates are commonly used to measure the economic output of a whole country or region, but can also measure the relative contribution of an industry sector.

What, exactly, does the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure?

  • 5% All government spending in a given year
  • 76% All of these
  • 14% All the money spent by citizens of a country in a given year
  • 6% All the investments made by a country’s businesses in a given year
76% of respondents chose the correct answer: All of these.

The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, Private Spending + Government Spending + Business Spending + Exports (minus Imports) = GDP

Did you know?

  • Before the 1930s, economists used very rough measures and had no way to measure the overall health of a country’s economy.

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics uses secret shoppers to check prices on goods to determine the country’s inflation rate.

  • China’s GDP has multiplied tenfold since 1978 compared to a U.S. increase of 7x.

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