Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 10: This Thumbnail is a Butt

"But we should be trying to make content that matters." "Whatever, Ms. Greenpeace, Tom Shoes-wearing NPR totebag."
A few days back I complained about how a CollegeHumor video I really liked had an awful name. That issue is remedied in "This Thumbnail is a Butt." It's just, uh, not as obvious from the get-go.

The whole conceit is that Zac pitches an idea at a pitch meeting that's not really an idea so much as a way to get the job done without thinking about it. The video serves almost as clickbait commentary: we do, quite frankly, get our a** handed over to us in the video, just not in the way that we would presume for our unhealthy click habits.

What really sells the video is Zac just not giving any care throughout the whole video, acting as a drunken mess so detached from the writing process that he proposes an idea that  serves as a cover-up for a lesser sketch. The solution? Hold up a picture of a butt in the video so it's not a complete lie, which he does, leading to hoots from the office.

I always like these sketches where it's just the actors playing demented versions of themselves (the ultimate example being Mitchell and Webb, of course) because there's just this raw, no-reserves feel. It's lazy if done terribly but genuinely brilliant when done right, usually through making the actors themselves look petty and cynical. While the rest of the office workers lacked characterization and were just kind of there to carry on with the proceedings (which is also an issue with the aforementioned video and honestly most others), in between cigarettes and swigs of Jack Daniels, Zac sells it.

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