There isn’t a clear voice of reason this elections season. Despite potential despots and apathetic enthusiasm for overqualified candidates, voters are aimlessly searching for a comforting media item to reflect their thoughts.
Some people find that in Full Frontal With Samantha Bee‘s enthusiastic framing of reality. Some people find that in South Park‘s parody version. Some people find it nowhere, taking comfort in sobs alone. All are justified. They only do so much for me, especially considering the crushing reality is much funnier than impersonating what is darkly humorous already. That’s why Full Frontal crushes—but it’s still missing something.
Super Deluxe is hinting at the missing piece, occupying a territory between reality and surrealism, an appropriate landing place given the absurdity of the 2016 election. Working with Vic Berger, the two have created Internet ready satires of real election moments that carry the weight of our disgusting reality akin to a flaming bowling shirt worn by Guy Fieri.
Berger infuses election moments—from debates to Melania Trump’s Anderson Cooper interview—with the sort of high-low reality that they deserve. Color tinted and zoomed in on with iPhone camera clicks and airhorns stretched into ambient howls, Berger presents mini-tragedies that are so funny because they’re reality framing reality. Moments are stretched and circled to capture the national psyche, the equivalent of a sad trombone arriving to underscore the Debbie Downerness of our today.
Similar to ActualGOP but broadened out to all of politics, Berger and Super Deluxe are creating must-see-Internet-TV reflective of our own collective online anxieties. Berger’s work stretches beyond politics—from Steve Harvey to Chubby Checker—and can be found, distilled to seconds, on his Vine. The bigger videos obviously give him more time and add a greater context to our national dread instead of jumping in and out with a moment.
This election has been so weird and it’s only fitting that the best representation of the time has to be even weirder. Thank the Internet for Berger and Super Deluxe rising to the occasion. What sort of yesteryear mania would we be in if we were subjected to watching SNL‘s schlocky takes alone?