Ever since Paul Simon put Chevy Chase in the simple (but now-classic) video for 1987's "You Can Call Me Al," and Bobby McFerrin followed suit the following year by bringing Robin Williams into the clip for "Don't Worry, Be Happy", musicians have been inviting comedians into their music videos. Michael Jackson and Dr. Dre kept the tradition going in the '90s, but there has been a recent slew of stand-up stars showing up in unexpected places again. Here are five notable examples.
"Hopeless Wanderer," Mumford & Sons
Earlier this week, the usually-earnest members of Mumford & Sons proved how smart they were when, in the face of sustained blog hate and weariness from a great many music fans, they released a video full of unexpected hilarity. "Hopeless Wanderer" features Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Ed Helms, and Will Forte playing up to every stereotypical and cliched element of Mumford & Sons, making fun of them mercilessly. The boyband-with-banjos, band-rehearsal-in-a-boat, and crying-in-a-barn scenes made us cry too -- with laughter.
"The Magic Clap," The Coup
Oakland hip-hoppers the Coup enlisted the assistance of funny-man Patton Oswald earlier this summer for a delightfully interpretive rendition of "The Magic Clap", presumably in order to help the world understand the rapid-fire lyrics. "I got this, Kanye," Oswald claims at the start of the video, before breathing fire and applying lip balm for our amusement. Sadly, he in no way assisted us in understanding what a "Magic Clap" is.
"Moves," The New Pornographers
While we're not entirely sure what Paul Rudd and Bill Hader have to do with this video on the whole, we sure are glad that they show up -- seven months pregnant no less -- in the first 10 seconds of it. The rest is a smorgasbord of comedic cameos as well: Horatio Sanz and Wyatt Cenac as coke-abusing band members, Donald Glover as a reporter, John Oliver as an extremely enthusiastic anti-Canadian protester, and John Hodgeman as an annoying record exec. And that's just the comedians -- keep your eyes peeled for Ted Leo and more.
"Night & Day," Hot Chip
Nothing about the space-age video for "Night & Day" makes any sense whatsoever, until the last 20 seconds -- and even then, this thing is crazypants. Appropriately, musical comedian Reggie Watts appears in a space ship zooming through the cosmos, which is apparently controlled (at least partially) by a team of dancing monks, some dudes with horse heads, and legendary British actor Terrence Stamp. Dutch supermodel Lara Stone is also in this. Like we said: batshit crazy.
"10 A.M. Automatic," Black Keys
In the video for "10 A.M. Automatic," the Black Keys play on an Ohio public access television channel for an audience comprised of senior citizens and an unimpressed host/ rabbi played by John Glaser -- who is most likely to be recognized for his role in Parks & Recreation, but also wrote for Late Night With Conan O'Brien for years. The comedy timing at the end is a thing of beauty.