Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Favorite Videos of 2016: Day 3: Pokerap

I wrote a bit about Neil Cicierega last year in discussing his Hobbits video, and I bring that up solely because of a desperation for more views. (That's a joke. Just not a good one.)
I think the pattern is in the fact that both videos rely on tampering with the names of source material to invoke delightful convolution, which leads me to an important point that I think is key to all of Neil's work: you don't have to appreciate the source material to appreciate his content to some extent. You don't need but a basic understanding of Harry Potter to understand Harry Potter's Puppet Pals, and you don't need any understanding of the Hobbits at all to enjoy his Hobbits video.

Yes, this video is arguably more reliant on you knowing what the Pokerap is in all of its cheesy glory, but fake names are something that transcend nuance in that they're funny on their own. Seeing Caterpie with "Creamy Pete" superimposed above him is just stupidly funny, as is seeing both versions of Nidoran be called "Nickelback"- even the inevitable name return works.

Sure, this video isn't as surreal as Neil's other videos, but that's because it directly parodies something rather than taking a concept and going broad. There's one beat to it, and if you can'f figure it out, the video's going to suck. Neil, on the other hand, knows how this works and how to drain as much humor from a concept as possible and present at something that is surreal at best or whimsically kitsch at worst.

Jesus, that's a lot of investigation in a video this stupid. What can I say? Calling Aerodactyl "Aaron Sorkin and Geodude "Nudedude" is just funny, simply put. This isn't some avant-garde, cutting-edge masterpiece. It's something that exists for your enjoyment without making you think too hard.

Watch the video here.

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