Alternative rockers Weezer pay homage to a bunch of familiar YouTube personalities in the new music video Pork & Beans and, in the process, have created a viral hit of their own.
Alternative rockers Weezer pay homage to a bunch of familiar YouTube personalities in the new music video Pork & Beans and, in the process, have created a viral hit of their own. With more than 4 million views (and 21,000 comments) already, the video has been the website’s most popular since premiering there Friday. “We saw it shoot up to 500,000 (hits) in six hours,” says YouTube’s Michele Flannery. More than two dozen YouTube stars appear, including Lauren Caitlin Upton (the beauty queen who flubbed a geography question), Judson Laipply (who showcased five decades of booty-shaking in Evolution of Dance), Chris Crocker (the weepy “Leave Britney Alone!” fan) and Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz (the Mentos-and-Diet Coke mixing scientists). The song’s non-conformist message (“I’m ‘a do the things that I want to do/I ain’t got a thing to prove to you”) made video director Mathew Cullen think of YouTube. “I was fascinated with this idea of having this video about being yourself,” he says, “and at the same time being an anthem about the creativity and individuality that’s expressed through the Internet.” For the band, Cullen’s proposal “just clicked,” says drummer Pat Wilson. “This is an important part of modern culture that hadn’t been addressed.” Cullen rounded up as many YouTube celebs as he could, convening them with the band at a Los Angeles hotel to make the video over four days. “When I walked in there, I just started laughing,” says Laipply, whose Evolution has had more than 86 million hits since being posted in 2006. “It was more of a celebration of YouTube vs. a mockery.” The video begins with the band in what appears to be the bedroom of guitarist Funtwo. Appearances follow by lip-syncing Numa Numa singer Gary Brolsma, the Dramatic Prairie Dog and the Afro Ninja (Mark Hicks). Cullen liked the idea of giving those who were embarrassed on YouTube a shot at “redemption. It was important to me.” Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo wrote the song — which appears on the album Weezer, out Tuesday — after label Geffen suggested that the collection lacked an obvious single. The band knew the video was something special. “You can tell when the people behind the camera are smiling,” Wilson says. But the traffic for Pork & Beans “is just crazy.” “We have completely blown the idea of people making a video like this again because there are no more famous people (left) on YouTube.”