These are dark, dark days. Nate Silver’s latest FiveThirtyEight poll finds Donald Trump leading roughly 57 percent to 43 percent in the polls following Republican National Convention, and many national publication studies have echoed Silver’s forecast. It seems increasingly possible that several battleground states may fall to Trump, unless Hillary and her supporters — reeling from Trump’s pervasive anti-Hillary attacks, backlash from Sanders proponents over a new Clinton e-mail leak, and a VP choice deemed underwhelming by many — manage to shift the tides at the DNC.
Humor may be all that can ease the pain of our present moment, and no one’s managed this better in recent weeks than video-recutter extraordinaire Vic Berger of Super Deluxe.
After posting a number of thoroughly bizarre recuts of notable RNC speeches — Rudy Giuliani’s and Melania Trump’s, most notably — Berger unleashed his full 22-minute special from the convention on Monday, directed by and co-starring Tim Heidecker. The implicit dark humor of the world outside the walls of the convention that Berger and Heidecker explore is offset by absurdist frame concepts – namely, the fact that the perennially awkward Berger seems to have been forced by Heidecker to take center stage as host of the special.
Here are the best moments of the RNC special.
5. A visit to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Heidecker picks Berger up in a van in Berger’s hometown of Bethlehem in central Pennsylvania. While there, Berger interviews his father, who does admirable impressions of both Trump and Austin Powers.
The latter impression generates the #GrrrBaby hashtag used later in the program when Berger interviews Trump supporters outside of the convention.
4. Chubby Checker
One of Berger’s preoccupation is Chubby Checker, the ‘60s singer whose song “The Twist” and its attendant sequels — “Let’s Twist Again,” for one — popularized the dance of the same name. One of the special’s running bits is Berger attempting to get hangers-on outside the convention, including Infowars’s Alex Jones, to admit that “The Twist” is the #1 song in the world.” After not being able to get into the RNC proper, Berger heads to Cleveland’s nearby Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame to argue Checker’s case.
Here’s a past Berger Chubby Checker-themed video, co-starring Mike Huckabee:
3. Tim Heidecker’s Alex Jones impression
Clips have been circulating via Heidecker’s social media ahead of the special, but one of the comedian/director’s chief activities during the RNC was parading through crowds attempting to convince people he is a far-right pundit and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of InfoWars. The impression is dead-on, as Heidecker-Jones touts his own brand of pills and theorizes about the Hillary-pocalypse.
More good Heidecker-Jones material here:
2. The actual Alex Jones rally
As real-life-Adult-Swim-esque as anything you’ll see in RNC footage: Eric Andre’s RNC clip covered the same event.
1. Giuliani “America” recut
Berger layers Giuliani screaming “America!” in his RNC speech into a long, haunting climax for the special. Berger cut shots of a silent, disturbed convention audience into Giuliani’s eerie tirade, integrating other shots of Giuliani’s worst grimaces from the speech and ambient noise to create one of Berger’s masterworks of Tim and Eric, Awesome Show!-like psychedelia.
Berger and Heidecker are at the DNC this week, readying more coverage. No word or indication as to what they are cooking up yet, but stay tuned to Heidecker’s, Berger’s and Super Deluxe’s Twitters for antidotal updates.
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