Nick Ciarelli and Brad Evans, the people who gave us “Moves Like Bloomberg” and the social media war between Otter Pops and a urinal cake company, have made a smart, funny and brutal parody of super PACs and celebrity political activism. It’s the latest great video from the team that seems to make almost every great internet video, and hey, you should watch it.
Let’s look at the thing before we talk about it. It’s self-explanatory, really, but I don’t know if a post that was nothing but four sentences and a Twitter embed would really fly with the higher-ups around here, so if you’re interested in some completely superfluous commentary and/or analysis, you can find that below. For now click play and enjoy.
Okay. So once again the utter stone-faced seriousness of Evans and Ciarelli is, from a performance standpoint, what makes this video work so well. Their work has frequently gotten confused for the real deal by clueless types online and within the media, and if you weren’t familiar with what Evans and Ciarelli looked like, and were somehow gullible enough to think a show called Boy Fleabag or a sex creep DJ named after an antihistamine could be real, you’d maybe fall for this, too. Beyond that utter commitment to the bit, though, this video immediately works because of the incredibly specific and absurd insults it lobbies towards people who live in Nevada. Florida Man jokes are about as timely and relevant as SNL these days, but Evans and Ciarelli don’t just transport that joke format to a new state—they go deep into the details, with all the big rockabilly cars, percocet-addicted lizards, and rat-sex sleeve tattoos that entails.
Despite those barbs at Nevadans, the real butt of the joke here are corporate politics, the vapid celebrities who support them, super PACs, and the surveillance state. The joke isn’t just the details Evans and Ciarelli pile onto their description of Nevadans, but the fact that a couple of celebrities (and very minor ones, at that) hold the people they’re trying to encourage to vote in such open contempt. Add in the fact that this Blue Up the Vote campaign has no actual beliefs behind it or opinions on any issues, and is an offshoot of a proudly “far center” think tank that is actually a CIA front dedicated to getting you to download surveillance software onto your phone, and you have a perfect encapsulation of the shallowness and misdirection that makes up so much of our political noise today. And if you visit the website that it directs you to, you’ll find out that, in the end, it’s guiding you to make a donation to Bernie Sanders.
Seriously, I hope you just clicked away after watching the tweet.