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accountants portrayed in popular culture

death from overwork

accountants' glamorous world

history of accounting
"Sarbanes-Oxley Blues," words and music written by Headwaters Co-Founder & Chairman Dave Maney

evil taxers

U.S. tax history

IRS history

Al Capone, FDR, LBJ, MLK, Watergate

Sex of a Hippopotamus

Tax Court

tax return publicity

famous wealthy people



Videos and Tax Songs

Chapter One of The Sex of a Hippopotamus: A Unique History of Taxes and Accounting details the amusing side to taxes, accountants, and their profession. There's a perception that we are timid number freaks who yearn for a life. This fun page demonstrates that's not true. In fact, accountants are a pretty bright bunch. We are inventive, creative, ambitious and exciting personalities with a great profession.

When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Tax Accountant

“OMG. This is my life with a CPA. Missed dinners, holidays alone, raising kids alone. Why didn't I see this before I married into a taxzilla family! I always joke that during Tax Season I'd keep a picture of my husband on the fridge so the kids could see their Daddy. For the first 10 years of their lives, they grew up thinking their father was a refrigerator! This video is SO true!! Let your children become CPAs if you want to punish them.”

MONTY PYTHON: Accountant Interview

John Cleese interviews Les Dawson for a position with a very exciting accounting firm.

Nightline: The Singing CPA

How's this for an "inventive, creative, ambitious and exciting" accounting personality?
Read more about Steve Zellin in the Wall Street Journal.

MONTY PYTHON: The Vocational Guidance Counselor

John Cleese offers vocational advice.
Monty Python skits frequently picked on accountants.

Uncle Jay Explains April 15

(It comes in the last minute of this video.)
Uncle Jay is Jay Gilbert, a long-time Cincinnati radio personality. He created "Uncle Jay Explains the News" in the mid-90s for an early-morning TV news show, and even won an Emmy. Today, he carries on Uncle Jay's mission thanks to the internet. You can find more Uncle Jay weekly videos at "Uncle Jay Explains The News."

I Paid My Income Tax Today

Irving Berlin wrote a patriotic propaganda song in December 1941 to convince people to accept high World War II income tax withholding. He had trouble writing the lyrics, as explained in Chapter Six of The Sex of a Hippopotamus: A Unique History of Taxes and Accounting. There are several versions of the song. Here is Gene Autry.

The Spirit of '43

Walt Disney made two propaganda cartoons featuring Donald Duck to convince people to accept high World War II income taxes. The New Spirit made in 1942 sought the same goal as Irving Berlin's I Paid My Income Tax Today. When tax rates were raised sharply in 1943, Disney revised the clips into a new The Spirit of '43. The first 2:45 is Spirit of '43 revisions, and the remainder duplicates 1942'sThe New Spirit. There are two slightly different versions of The New Spirit, one was issued on DVD and the other can be seen at The Spy Museum in Washington.

Here is an excerpt from The New Spirit:

Taxman: The Beatles

The Beatles didn't think paying income tax was a patriotic duty.

Enron: The Musical

This unlikely title opened to great critical acclaim on London's West End in November 2009 singing about greed, fear, joy, hope and money. It's complete with lightsaber dances and dinosaurs. Columbia Pictures signed the movie rights. In April 2010, it opened on Broadway and received four Tony Award nominations. It closed after just 15 performances with a loss of $4 million — a lot less than the $11 billion lost by the real Enron.

IRS Gets Al Capone

Eliot Ness wrote The Untouchables, a wonderful book. But Ness didn't get Capone. It was a five-man revenue investigative team, headed by Elmer Irey and Frank Wilson. Here's a great video that tells the story of how they got Capone. It's an orientation video for the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division. Quite informative and entertaining.

The Al Capone video is on the next page.