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DO YOU WANT TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH AMY POEHLER?!?!
December 21, 2013 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Watch as Billy on the Street's Billy Eichner and his Parks and Recreation pal Amy Poehler terrorize people on the streets of Manhattan by forcibly conscripting them into an ad hoc caroling group.... (Begins at 1:25)
posted by The Whelk (67 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where's Fernando? (Seriously, this is gold)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:29 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


DANCING THROUGH THE NO.
posted by jeather at 1:44 PM on December 21, 2013 [9 favorites]


DANCING THROUGH THE NO.

Yeah, who knew they'd get Grumpy Cat into this video?

I saw this posted a bunch as an Amy Poehler thing and planned to watch it this weekend, but then I saw it was Billy On the Street in this post and was like HOLD PLEASE MUST WATCH NOW.

I laughed so hard I freaked out my cats. Thanks for this post!
posted by sweetkid at 1:57 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


This has all the sociopathic subtext of Improv Everywhere, dumped right into the middle of Christmas.

I guess I now hate Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler. And I hadn't even heard of them before!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:09 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Arrow?! No, no. Not dealing with that bullshit name."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:10 PM on December 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


"You don't know me? You know me!"

I love Amy Poehler channeling her inner OG. Like her Sarah Palin rap.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:13 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess I now hate Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler. And I hadn't even heard of them before!

You know them.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:22 PM on December 21, 2013 [15 favorites]


Poehler's Sarah Palin rap has nothing on her Comedy Bang Bang freestyle raps. Like this amazing one about butter.
posted by painquale at 2:28 PM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does he always just run around and around the the same block? It'd be funnier up town, say 127th and Broadway.
posted by sammyo at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


He just had to snort one more line before he went out, didn't he.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:46 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's always that neighborhood. I saw him once, trailed by a huge staff. One guy said, oh maybe you should go say hello and he could interview you. But I didn't want to be desperate (plus he was already a block away, he really zooms).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:04 PM on December 21, 2013


It's always the area immediately around the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park.
posted by The Whelk at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't think of a single thing that would make me run away faster. Maybe a huge screaming incontinent baby the size of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters.
posted by elizardbits at 3:07 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I was assaulted by a French TV crew leaving a 2nd Ave theatre showing of ratatouille who wanted to know what Americans thought of this homage to French cuisine and I think I made them by very sad by replying in my most formal, stilted French.
posted by The Whelk at 3:11 PM on December 21, 2013 [7 favorites]


I can't believe how many people don't know these simple songs that are blasted into our eardrums non-stop for 8 weeks every single year.
posted by bleep at 3:13 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nor just there, Whelk; I saw him around 23rd and 8th.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:15 PM on December 21, 2013


I think they're just like WTF is happening and can't remember the words because they're only vaguely aware of what's going on. Which is part of what makes these things funny to me and I guess 'sociopathic' to others.
posted by sweetkid at 3:15 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I imagine it is pretty difficult to think on the spot when some dude is looming over you and screaming in your face while a camera crew films the entire thing. The one video I've seen of his previously is when he shrieks at people NAME A WOMAN and some of the people, women themselves, can't even manage to remember that they themselves are women.

Then again I guess it doesn't make for entertaining clips if half the people say ME I'M A FUCKING WOMAN WHY ARE YOU SCREAMING IN MY FACE ASSBAG.
posted by elizardbits at 3:19 PM on December 21, 2013


Actual Christmas cheer! Thanks for this :)
posted by billiebee at 3:50 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


It'd be funnier up town, say 127th and Broadway.

That would be funny because there is no such intersection. ;)
posted by plastic_animals at 4:00 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I think they're just like WTF is happening and can't remember the words because they're only vaguely aware of what's going on.

I love Amy Poehler and I did enjoy this segment when I first saw it, but every time I see someone stammering in a Billy Eichner bit, I think "I'd be stammering, too, if some big dude popped into my personal space yelling into a microphone," mostly because I'd be instinctively assessing whether I wanted to – was safe to – interact with this person. Even though I recognize him on TV, I'm not sure my lizard brain would immediately make that connection in person.
posted by Elsa at 4:01 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


What an awful way to make comedy.
posted by davejay at 5:07 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, I laughed.
posted by h00py at 5:24 PM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


This has all the sociopathic subtext of Improv Everywhere, dumped right into the middle of Christmas.

It's a bit. I don't understand why this is any more objectionable than any other "person on the street" silliness. It's about a thousand times less awful than Candid Camera and that style of show, for one thing. Or that show where they create a fake dramatic situation and hide cameras and see how people will react? Now THAT's bad news.

Two comedians giddily running through the streets of Manhattan? Good clean fun as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Sara C. at 5:35 PM on December 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


What an awful way to make comedy.

Oh come on! Startling members of the public with unexpected hi-jinx has been hilarious since the first ape jumped out of a tree onto its sibling's head. You can't argue with evolution.
posted by billiebee at 5:37 PM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't believe how many people don't know these simple songs that are blasted into our eardrums non-stop for 8 weeks every single year.

At least one participant seemed pretty clearly to be Jewish.

New York City contains multitudes.
posted by Sara C. at 5:37 PM on December 21, 2013


Pretty sure I've never listened to a Christmas song on purpose. They're everywhere. And mostly about running around in the snow.
posted by bleep at 5:42 PM on December 21, 2013


"we three kings" can become very threatening sounding when shouted in a an angry and commanding tone.

"CEASING NEVER!"
posted by The Whelk at 5:44 PM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The other day there was a group of about 30 men, women, and children in elaborate costumes, with gaudy props and instruments, singing and dancing in front of City Hall. My best guess is that it was some kind of Indonesian Buddhist-hybrid seasonal religious manifestation.

At first a non-participant (I should have been tipped off by the gold-embroidery peeking out from his down coat,) asked me to take his picture with them, and then he wanted to snap me with the group in the background, and the next thing I knew they had me prancing around in the circle, being coached through the moves by a tiny wizened woman who must have been the dance director.

I was symbolically married under a chuppa-like thingy to a lovely girl in bridal costume in a festive and lively manner, and five minutes later I was right back on my trek to pick up some AA batteries.

All in all, quite a pleasant diversion that didn't even divert me that much from the route I was on. I would symbolically marry that girl again, given the chance. I might even join some Christian carolers if they pulled me in by degrees like that, given how good those Indonesian presumed-Buddhists made me feel.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:47 PM on December 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


I'm jewish and I think I might actually have been born knowing christmas songs somehow. It's some kind of hellish festive osmosis.
posted by elizardbits at 6:46 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think there's some sort of jewish "there's fewer of us but we can beat you at your own game" thing that has resulted in my knowing the lyrics to Adeste Fidelis all the way through in Latin.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:02 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure I've never listened to a Christmas song on purpose. They're everywhere. And mostly about running around in the snow.

Yeah, but New York has Jewish enclaves where, no, you're not necessarily going to get inundated with Christmas carols. It's entirely possible -- even if you're not particularly observant -- to grow up going to Jewish parochial schools (or their Secular Humanist counterparts), live in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, socialize mostly with other Jewish people, eat in kosher restaurants, etc.

There are even pretty much exclusively Jewish businesses you can work in, so a person can theoretically grow up Jewish in New York and basically never have real contact with the gentile hegemony at all. I think it would mostly be very religious Jewish people living that type of lifestyle, but seriously, New York is pretty different from the rest of the US when it comes to the understanding that everybody is de facto Christian and must at least partially assimilate into a Christian world where you know Christmas songs and get candy at Easter and trick or treat at Halloween.

A lot of non-Christians in New York are actively hostile to the EVERYBODY CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS DUH phenomenon. I was repeatedly warned, when I first moved there, to say Happy Holidays and never Merry Christmas. Because people take that shit seriously.
posted by Sara C. at 8:27 PM on December 21, 2013


I totally Merry Christmased people at work this year. People that I know celebrate Christmas, but they still looked at me like "wha?" because it's just not done.
posted by sweetkid at 8:42 PM on December 21, 2013


Now that I'm living in Los Angeles I'm back in the shitty world of "Oh Come On We All Know Its Really Christmas". Ugh. HAPPY HOLIDAYS 4 LYFE BITCHES.

I actually left work last night after telling one of my more obnoxious Christmas Warrior coworkers "HAPPY KWANZAA!"
posted by Sara C. at 8:44 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guess it was just because like, people want me to review things on the 26th even though we have off till Jan 2 and are calling it "after the holiday" and I'm like SAY IT JUST SAY IT NOTHING ELSE IS GOING ON THAT DAY.
posted by sweetkid at 8:46 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


To clarify -- I didn't storm out or anything, it was the end of the work day when this happened.

I don't care about everyone's right to celebrate Yule or Kwanzaa or Movies And Chinese Food or whatever else quite that much.
posted by Sara C. at 8:47 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Next up: "Do you want to sing 'Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein' with me and Frieda Pinto?"
posted by sweetkid at 8:55 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whelk (the), I would not want this verse shouted at me. Or even sung, really;

Myrrh is mine: it's bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.


What the hell is that? I mean, I guess it's meant to be crucifixion foreshadowing, but a holly jolly Xmas it is not.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:02 PM on December 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


Related, but different - Santa Prank: a FREESTYLE PRANK starring UCB's Shockwave & Flytalker
posted by filthy light thief at 9:05 PM on December 21, 2013


The Myrrth is totally a Crucifixion foreshadow, as all the gifts as aspects of the newborn Lord according to some tings I read a million years ago. Which is why We Three Kings is a great thing to scream sing at people cause it's one of those carols ALL ABOUT DEATH.

I mean even Blondie did it.
posted by The Whelk at 9:13 PM on December 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


(from what I remember, Frankensence = Jesus the Son Of God, the scent of ritual and history and prayer. Gold = Jesus The King, wordly power and authority. Myrrh = Jesus The Man, the scent of funerals and death and mortal things cause he is born a man and must die. Thus another Trinity cause FUCK YEAH MOTIFS)
posted by The Whelk at 9:15 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe I am old and sheltered, but this is the first time I saw this cat's act. Meh. Bah humbug or something.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:20 PM on December 21, 2013


The Myrrth sounds like a goth band name from the 90s. Like something from a 90s teen movie, that someone's "dork" brother was in.
posted by sweetkid at 9:21 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Patti Smith's take is pretty fantastic.

For ominous Christmas songs, I always liked O Come O Come Emmanuel. Super dirge-like tune, and you've also got the "ransom captive Israel" line for more giggles. I mean, I know that ransoming captive Israel is a good thing, but all I could think of when we sung this in choir in elementary school was of somebody tied up in a basement and letters with the words made out of magazine clippings.

(Yes, I just linked to some horrible Christian Pop version of that song. I don't think there are really any popular non-religious renditions. It's not really the kind of song that sells cheery sweaters and stocking stuffers.)
posted by Sara C. at 9:22 PM on December 21, 2013


I forgot I totally rewrote the 12 days of Christmas to fit into Hannibal like 3 hours ago
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


O Come O Come Emmanuel is crying for a Sting cover. I'm surprised he hasn't done it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:28 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait ..Hannibal Lecter.

/He knows when you're interesting, he knows when you're rude, so you'd better useful for your own damn sake? You'd better not pout, you'd better not probe, cause you know, that gets you turned into food./

HAPPY CANNIBALMAS EVERYONE
posted by The Whelk at 9:31 PM on December 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


More sad/weird Christmas songs not known to move product:

The Coventry Carol, which I think is supposed to be a sweet lullaby, but has always sounded like keening over a dead baby to me. Maybe because "bye bye" is part of the nonsense lines?

The Huron Carol, which starts out "Twas in the moon of wintertime, when all the birds had fled." This was my all time favorite Christmas hymn to sing in church choir when I was like six. It's just so intense. And has Latin! Gloria In Excelsis Deo, motherfuckers!
posted by Sara C. at 9:31 PM on December 21, 2013


HAPPY CANNIBALMAS EVERYONE

That's how you get ants! Grr!
posted by sweetkid at 9:32 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


While Sting has not covered O Come O Come Emmanuel, he has covered the slightly more upbeat I Saw Three Ships, which I always liked because it has fuck all to do with Christmas or winter or wassailing or any of it. It's just about, like, hanging out by the docks, I guess?
posted by Sara C. at 9:34 PM on December 21, 2013


Seriously guys if you want ideas for weird ass Christmas songs, just let me know. The 1982 Episcopal Hymnal has some real gems, and I used to get hella bored as an elementary school choirgirl.
posted by Sara C. at 9:36 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)" is a traditional and popular Christmas carol from England. A variant of its parent tune "Greensleeves", the earliest printed version of "I Saw Three Ships" is from the 17th century, possibly Derbyshire, and was also published by William Sandys in 1833.[1][2] The lyrics mention the ships sailing into Bethlehem, but the nearest body of water is the Dead Sea about 20 miles away. The reference to three ships is thought to originate in the three ships that bore the purported relics of the Biblical magi to Cologne Cathedral in the 12th century.[2] Another possible reference is to Wenceslaus II, King of Bohemia, who bore a coat of arms 'Azure three galleys argent'*. Another thought was the three kings that came to baby Jesus.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I always assumed it was just dumb British people who couldn't fathom not living in a waterlogged landscape and assumed the Magi must have come in boats. Like everyone does, duh.
posted by Sara C. at 9:38 PM on December 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish there was a way to sort versions of "Carol Of The Bells" by "most creepy and summoning of elder gods sounding".
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 PM on December 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sting also did Gabriel's Message which is from Basque tradition.
posted by sweetkid at 9:39 PM on December 21, 2013


There's also the old myth of the Virgin Mary and Joseph Of Arimathea coming by boat to Britain to found the first English church at Glastonbury. I don't know why they'd have needed three ships, though, if it was just the two of them.
posted by Sara C. at 9:40 PM on December 21, 2013


Honestly I love the creepy dark Christmas carols. They seem so much more vital. You should do an fpp on just them.
posted by sweetkid at 9:41 PM on December 21, 2013


In reality I think most of them are dark because they're in a minor key.
posted by Sara C. at 9:45 PM on December 21, 2013


seriously, Carol of the bells sounds like you're trying to summon an elder god

CAROL OF THE OLD ONES doesn't change a thing!
posted by The Whelk at 9:47 PM on December 21, 2013


Death to the world! Let every heart prepare for DOOM
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 PM on December 21, 2013


the 1982 episcopal hymnal is not as wacky as the joint united catholic one
posted by PinkMoose at 10:17 PM on December 21, 2013


united anglican, 70s, canadian, sorry.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:24 PM on December 21, 2013


SNL: Carol of Intimacy
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:16 AM on December 22, 2013


All this talk of dark carols but no Unto Us Is Born A Son?

This did Herod sore affray
And grievously bewilder
So he gave the word to slay
And slew the little childer
posted by robcorr at 3:01 AM on December 22, 2013


I don't know the actual tune for that one, but I just sang it to the tune of "Yankee Doodle" and it worked.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:41 AM on December 22, 2013 [5 favorites]


The weirdest song I learned in choir, mebbee Christmas related, maybe not, but we choir people delighted in roaring through the high school halls:

OH ADRACH MESHACH ABENDIGO*** IN THE FIREY FURNACE WERE
TOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSED
EVERYBODY KNEW THE END WAS NEAR
BUT!
THEY HAD FAITH THAT THE LORD ABOVE WOULD FUCKING
SAVE THE DAY

****I don't know my Old Testament and probably never will
posted by angrycat at 5:37 AM on December 22, 2013


This dude is horrific and ridiculous and he should thank the Universe every five seconds for having Amy Poehler agree to do this kind of shit.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:28 AM on December 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


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