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With notable exceptions, I tend to think of most internet comment sections as a kind of hell. In that scheme, YouTube comments would comprise their own circle. But, really, why get angry or upset about YouTube comments when you could simply laugh? Enter … well, YouTube itself, and its new comedy network, Dead Parrot (which I can only assume is named after the legendary Monty Python sketch).

Dead Parrot has teamed up with producer Adrian Bliss to create YouTube Comment Reconstructions. The reconstructions are just that — re-creations of particularly inflamed and idiotic YouTube comment exchanges — except they’re acted out by two well-dressed, middle-aged British men (or men with stellar British accents) who sit in shadowy domestic interiors populated with high-backed armchairs and baroque chandeliers. The skits are done in black and white, with classical music or the ominous sounds of a rainstorm accentuating the verbal spars.

Actors Grahame Edwards and Eryl Lloyd Parry (with occasional appearances by Anthony Sergeant) play up their accents to the point of absurdity, and their old-fashioned, Masterpiece Theater-inflected pronunciations ring out with particular gusto on the word “fuck,” which, as you might expect, gets used a lot — for instance, in explaining that “I fucking love kittens” or in calling the other person “fucktarded.” There are more gems: the careful enunciation of the word “Belieber,” one of the men holding up a glass of brandy and dropping a “win!,” or (my favorite) a third man appearing in the doorway as a spam commenter, earnestly touting the thousands of dollars he earned by “working ten hours a week online! I couldn’t believe it once I tried it!”

If the idea for the series seems a little obvious in retrospect, that doesn’t make it any less hilarious — a welcome reprieve for anyone who spends (as I do) far too much time online.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

4 replies on “Actors Re-Create YouTube Comment Wars”

  1. Enjoy these discussions, because they will now be a thing of the past, along with coherent conversations, either friendly or hostile, thanks to Google forcing the once creative YouTube into the Facebook mold via Google Plus.

    Since last November, YouTube has been stifled by the heavy hand of Google attempting to replace conversation with targeted marketing.
    By making YouTube a social media site, comments now are directed to your friends and acquaintances, and statements made by those who have not built up their “circles” of friends merely languish unread.
    These hilarious arguments between people who would never dream of adding each other to their circles can’t happen because they will not be shown comments except by people who are those circles. In short, everything you do and say is shown to your “friends” and nothing you see comes from anyone else.

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