|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||April 22, 2012|
|Written by|| Armando Iannucci|
|Directed by||Armando Iannucci|
|“||I mean, hey, you're the old pro here... you're the pro.||”|
Fundraiser is the series premiere of the HBO original series Veep. It originally aired on April 22, 2012.
VP Selina Meyer wants to make the implementation of a Clean Jobs Commission her main legacy, but then a Tweet from a staffer annoys the plastics industry, she makes an offensive joke at a fundraiser, and her chief of staff forgetfully signs her own name on a condolence card for the wife of a senator who just died.
Still new to the job, Vice President Selina Meyer and her team are off to a rocky start. A tweet sent in her name bragging about the Veep's pet project - the Clean Jobs Commission - and the proliferation of green utensils in Federal buildings upsets the powerful plastics industry. As a result, senators beholden to the plastics' lobbying group skip the Veep's Senate Reform meeting.
In an attempt to get back in the good graces of the plastics industry, the Veep invites the well-connected Senator Barbara Hallowes to join the Clean Jobs commission. Hallowes turns her down flat: "you piss off plastics, you piss of oil," she says. "You don't want to f*ck with those guys because they f*ck in a very unpleasant fashion."
Hallowes suggests that Selina fire the rogue tweeter: "I think that you might have been hoisted by your own ‘retard.' " While leaving Hallowes' office, the Senator's ambitious new spokesman Dan Egan announces that the terminally-ill Sen. Reeves has died. Hallowes recalls "Rape-y" Reeves as one of the most respected perverts in Washington.
Angling for a more prestigious job, Dan, currently dating Sen. Hallowes' daughter and deeply despised by the Veep's Chief of Staff (Amy, whom he once dated), tells Selina what went wrong with her primary campaign.
Jonah, an eager White House aide high on the power of POTUS proximity, informs Selina that President Hughes expects her to attend that evening's fundraiser in his place. The White House doesn't want POTUS to be hit with questions about the Fiscal Responsibility bill.
En route, Selina asks Amy for an assessment of Dan. Amy dismisses him as a massive and total "shit."
At the fundraiser, the Veep's team discovers that the White House has sent Jonah over to "majorly redact" any mention of oil, plastics or corn starch from Selina's speech - leaving her with "hello" and prepositions.
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer
- Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer
- Tony Hale as Gary Walsh
- Matt Walsh as Mike McLintock
- Reid Scott as Dan Egan
- Timothy Simons as Jonah Ryan
- Sufe Bradshaw as Sue Wilson
- Kate Burton as Barbara Hallowes
- Wil Love as Phil Dorsey
- Timothy Hayes Lynch as Mike Dudley
- Michael Mack as Paul Burton
"Fundraiser" received fairly positive reviews from critics, though the response was more lukewarm than compared to later reviews of the series. The A.V. Club gave the episode an A-.
-This episode takes place in 2013, in Selina's first year as VP and Hughes' first year as president.
-Some of the scenes in this episode were filmed in first as a pilot while other parts were rewritten and filmed around episode five. The original scenes of the pilot were filmed March 2011, and scenes were reshot in November 2011.
-During the scene where Selina enters the nearly empty room of Senators, one of the actors passed out. Julia Louis-Dreyfus's step-father, who is a doctor, happened to be on set that day and came to the actor's rescue. Everyone was fine in the end.
-Towards the end of the episode when Amy is being escorted out of the VP's office by Jonah, Amy remarks "Touch me and you'll lose a finger. And a ball." This foreshadows a storyline in the sixth season wherein Jonah has one of his testicle's surgically removed due to testicular cancer.