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Jordan Morris Burns MTV
April 10, 2008 10:00 PM   Subscribe

In 2003, Jordan Morris was bored. So, he did what any normal college graduate would do to entertain himself -- he made up a complicated and absurd story in order to prank a prank show, MTV's Burned. Particularly enjoyable: Jordan's absurd flopping about when the "burn" is "revealed." Jordan Morris is the co-host of Jordan, Jesse, GO! and friend-of-MetaFilter The Sound of Young America (previously here, and elsewhere.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner (72 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think I just got pranked into watching half an episode of MTV's Burned.
posted by Galvatron at 10:17 PM on April 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


IIR, Borat gave this prank two goats up.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:34 PM on April 10, 2008


Go Jordan, Go Jesse, Go! (Note:Jordan, Jesse, GO! is probably my favorite radio thing ever for the last few months at least).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:46 PM on April 10, 2008


Screw you for making me watch that. No more or less fake than any. other. piece. of. reality. garbage. And not even funny and/or clever, even as a prank on the prank. If anything, they made some schmuck story editor's job easier and saved viacom some money. WTG dudes! Stick it to mtv!
posted by SassHat at 10:59 PM on April 10, 2008


Particularly enjoyable: stabbing everyone involved in the eye repeatedly.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:05 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


No more or less fake than any. other. piece. of. reality. garbage.

Amen.

It was really stupid, not even a funny prank. I was expecting something really clever, and was disappointed to realize that they just pretended their friend was a "player" and pretended to "prank" him. Lame.

The Dave Eggers-looking dude who concocted the thing apparently doesn't realize that people have been faking their way onto reality shows since before he was born.
posted by jayder at 11:15 PM on April 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, I watched that and it reached an epic amount of lame. They pranked a prank show in a way that looked totally believable, resulting in absolutely 0 effect. How retarded.
posted by !Jim at 11:15 PM on April 10, 2008


he made up a complicated and absurd story in order to prank a prank show
posted by theiconoclast31 at 11:23 PM on April 10, 2008


I can't believe I kept a straight face this long, but dude, World War II? That was totally me! I faked the whole thing. Hitler was my roommate Stan! I can't believe you didn't recognize him, especially after he did that moustache thing at Jessica's party!

Yeah, we really did kill six million Jews, and nuke Japan and all that, but you wouldn't have bought it otherwise, right?
posted by Naberius at 11:27 PM on April 10, 2008


What a prank! Providing free writing and acting to a television network that probably really doesn't care if your story is true or not, as long as they can spit out an endless stream of lower-than-common-denominator reality show, and why? Because shows like that are really cheap to make. And why? Because you don't really have to pay writers or actors for them.

MAJOR BURN.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:33 PM on April 10, 2008


Wow, I like The Sound Of Young America so much, and, like I said, the Jordan Jesse Go! show so much, mostly because I really feel like I'd like to be friends with those guys, that it kinda feels like you people are attacking actual friends of mine with your snarkiness and your excellent internet scorn.

I mean, hell, I loathe MTV just as much as the next guy and you'd have to tie me up and tie me down to watch it, all Alex-in-Clockwork-Orange'd up, but I'm feeling kinda sad and weirdly resentful at the moment. Then again, I haven't even watched the video (I'm at work at the moment), so I don't know, maybe it's not as amusing as all that. Or maybe it requires the context of actually being familiar with the guys and the radio programs to appreciate.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:44 PM on April 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm with you, stavros. About to hit the sack, so can't watch it right now, but... but... LEAVE JORDAN ALONE!
posted by brundlefly at 12:05 AM on April 11, 2008


Jordan is the new messiah, why would anyone argue otherwise?
posted by owillis at 12:14 AM on April 11, 2008


Flagged as uninspired, cut and paste, 0 context, unenjoyability. Opened a couple of links and found nothing that resembled anything that I wanted to see or know.

Boo.
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:54 AM on April 11, 2008


OK, I still love Jordan and Jesse too, but I couldn't watch more than 5 minutes of that, even though I know that the people involved were doing it to make fun of MTV.

Get the fuck off my lawn, Youth Of Today (some exceptions apply, see within for details)!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:59 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, I pop back to Mefi after a hiatus and this is the first thing I read? This post sucks. Rich American teenagers taking the piss out of other rich American teenagers. YAWN.
posted by handee at 2:02 AM on April 11, 2008


I kept waiting for the prank to happen. The prank never happened. Where's my prank? I want my prank.
posted by Elmore at 2:29 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that shows quite well why it's really impossible to prank a reality show. If you're in, that means you fit their standards and are barely distinguishable from the rest of the human cattle intended for the show.

What's the point anyway? Reality (television) it's already stranger than fiction.
posted by darkripper at 2:36 AM on April 11, 2008


So are these guys are working under the assumption that everyone else on MTV reality shows are sincere? And they pranked MTV by not being sincere about it?
posted by creasy boy at 2:47 AM on April 11, 2008


I was thinking after he mentioned melted cheese that the prank was for the monologue to become increasingly surreal and unbelievable. The producers would've been astounded that anyone could be considered a 'player' with that sort of material.

"...covered in melted cheese. I put on my robe and wizard hat..."
posted by djgh at 2:56 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought it was funny. I mean, the show itself was lame, as MTV shows always are, but I liked that he thought, "I wonder if I could just make shit up and get on Burned." And then he thought, "I wonder if I get on even if I make it ridiculously obvious it's made up." Most people would stop at that point, but he actually did it. And MTV just ate it up like melted cheese. I dunno, that's funny to me.

Watching it thinking of all of "Hector's" friends knowing they were making things up just made it funnier. And like the page said, I did laugh at how obnoxiously corny Jordan was when the "burn" was revealed. I've always felt like those parts of MTV shows were unbearable because I can't imagine real people acting that way, and he really went for it.

More than anything I saw it as a knock against MTV for airing stupid shows. I'm sure there are people who would still dislike the video regardless (and that's fine) but I wonder if some of the people who didn't like it saw it more like they were trying to make an outrageous episode of Burned rather than have their own private laugh at MTV? I would find it hilarious in their shoes -- Seriously? MTV is filming this? ... Really? -- and since I always had their perspective in mind I guess it made it easier for me to appreciate the humor.
posted by Nattie at 3:05 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, the internet, mass-media in general even, is so big and unwieldy that a tremendous amount of it falls through the cracks. Even if it's done by someone who's other stuff you really like. You just don't get around to seeing it.

That's a feature, not a flaw.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:18 AM on April 11, 2008


I feel ashamed for the people who commissioned this series.
posted by popcassady at 3:24 AM on April 11, 2008


I'm still waiting for the prank here. I've watched my fair share of MTV reality garbage in German while in my Spanish hotel room with no English channels and this was indistinguishable from the rest of it. MTV didn't get "burned" because these guys put in all the effort and preparation to make their job even easier.
posted by liquorice at 4:23 AM on April 11, 2008


I liked that he thought, "I wonder if I could just make shit up and get on Burned." And then he thought, "I wonder if I get on even if I make it ridiculously obvious it's made up." Most people would stop at that point, but he actually did it. And MTV just ate it up like melted cheese. I dunno, that's funny to me.

That's what struck me about it. We all know reality TV isn't. And watching the video is not what I would call "fun." But they were so obvious in their acting that I find it hard to believe that even MTV thought it was worthy of airing.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:57 AM on April 11, 2008


I didn't even see a difference between this and the reality-crap the sometimes makes it across the pond (not "burned" though, never seen that show before). Is that the joke?
posted by dabitch at 5:22 AM on April 11, 2008


The linked material ain't so swell as entertainment, but it is interesting as a lesson about how simulacra are not undermined but bolstered by attempts to deceive it. Falsehood is an earlier phase of representation in the progression from representation to simulation; the image is a false before it is revealed there was never any truth in the first place.

But that Baudrillardian rehearsal really is just an excuse to bulk up before delivering the MeFi tagline we've all been waiting for.

Metafilter: your excellent Internet scorn*

* It may need more musky . . .
posted by mistersquid at 5:34 AM on April 11, 2008


But they were so obvious in their acting that I find it hard to believe that even MTV thought it was worthy of airing.

Have you seen MTV lately? I seriously don't think anyone is actually making programming decisions over there anymore. I think it's just some automated system where programs come in and are simply put into the broadcast queue by automatons.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:36 AM on April 11, 2008


I dunno... I think that shit's pretty fuckin' funny. Sure, it's not particularly "subversive" or whatever, but those people turned in pretty solid performances.

So... Jesse, I know you're lurking out there. Give us some insight into how this all went down. The MTV folks really had no idea? I mean... were the pranksters really 100% in character 'n' stuff?
posted by ph00dz at 5:47 AM on April 11, 2008


Argh. ARGH!!
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:01 AM on April 11, 2008


Have you seen MTV lately? I seriously don't think anyone is actually making programming decisions over there anymore.

Point taken. Although I do enjoy True Life when I happen to run across it.

By the way, Burned ran from January to July of 2003, according to tv.com. So, yeah, no reason any of us should have heard of it.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:03 AM on April 11, 2008



Have you seen MTV lately? I seriously don't think anyone is actually making programming decisions over there anymore. I think it's just some automated system where programs come in and are simply put into the broadcast queue by automatons.


So, after the nuclear fallout it's just a war between Metafilter Server and MTV's Automatons? That's an interesting confrontation.
posted by darkripper at 6:11 AM on April 11, 2008


Prank is a funny-sounding word. Just like Grohl. Intrinsic phonetic comedy value.

I think the ultimate in hilarity might just be Dave Grohl pranking somebody. Pranking. Grohl. Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:36 AM on April 11, 2008


Jordan Morris BOOO-urns MTV
posted by spicynuts at 6:37 AM on April 11, 2008


Next thing you guys are going to tell me is Ambre is actually not like totally in love with Brett.
posted by The Straightener at 6:49 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come on... he told MTV that his buddy was always performing parts of his one-man show to pick up girls!

Also: don't be dicks.
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:54 AM on April 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


No one can prove to me that those women don't sincerely love Flavor Flav or Bret Michaels.

No one.
posted by drezdn at 6:55 AM on April 11, 2008


I'm heading out the door (Jordan Jesse Go! live in Amherst at UMass Amherst Comedy Jam Saturday night! Free to all)...

but...

Jordan basically just told them his best friend was always trying to pick up chicks by performing snippets from his one-man show. Then Jordan wrote his friend some snippets from his one-man show and they shot this.

Sorry no time for more details... maybe there's internet at the airport.

Check out Jordan's videos from his TV job on Fuel.
posted by YoungAmerican at 6:58 AM on April 11, 2008


We used to ride, baby
Ride around in limousines
We looked so fine, baby
You in white and me in green
Drinking and dancing
All inside our crazy dream
Well now look at your face now baby
Look at you and look at me
Wooo!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:02 AM on April 11, 2008


I didn't enjoy this at all but it did remind me of a prank that Bruce LaBruce pulled in the early 90s. He'd made a film called No Skin Off My Ass which was a loose interpretation of Altman's "That Cold Day in the Park". He caught some praise and some flack for it.

One day the daytime talk show hosts came calling as they were doing a special on young gay filmmakers or young indie filmmakers or some such thing. I think it was Sally Jesse Raphael but I'm not sure. They invite Bruce on and he doesn't want to go but they keep badgering him so he agrees to appear.

But he doesn't want to appear... so he sends someone else (if I remember correctly it was a transgendered femme) who just pretends to be him and talks bullshit because she doesn't know anything about the actual film or the filmmaker or the making of the film. Because of the gender status of the person, the host/guest of course zero in on how it affects "Bruce" and everything "she" does.

It was pretty amusing to anyone who knew Bruce or anything about his work and had the show done any research whatsoever they would have discovered the ruse.
posted by dobbs at 7:07 AM on April 11, 2008




Was the joke that there has never been a show called "Burned" on MTV, and it was just a satire about how shitty the programming is on that network? If so, it was funny. Otherwise, "Burned" already borders on the self-parodying.

Yeah, the monologue was amusingly over the top... but I think it's one of those things that was more fun to do than to watch.
posted by Horselover Fat at 7:47 AM on April 11, 2008


I think what this is missing is a bunch of kids with camcorders busting into the room at the end, and going all like "Burned, you just got Jesse'd!" Then, as the MTV producers are looking around in shock and slapping their foreheads, Jesse pulls of his fright wig and reveals that he's really Ashton Kutcher, and his friends are all like whaaat? And he's all "you just got Punk'd!" And then his friends are all, "psyche! We knew you were really Ashton all along!" and Allen Funt comes out and puts his hands on Ashton's shoulder and explains how his friends all just pretended to like him for years as part of the set-up, and there is no show called Burned. And Jesse's all like "I thought you were dead, man." And Allen's all like, "You got me!" And he pulls off his mask to reveal that he's really Mal Sharpe, and then he's like, "hey guys, do you smell smoke?" and they realize that the room is on fire and the doors are locked and they find one fireproof suit in the closet with a note attached that says "Gotcha! Love, Andy Kauffman."
posted by designbot at 7:48 AM on April 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


Ok, I watched the videos, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking at.

Now I've come into the comments. I'm getting flashbacks to some distant post highschool party that a friend of mine dragged me to, she, a patron of arts, and I, a socially akward gothindustrial kid... as she makes her rounds amongst her friends, I, the sore thumb, grabs a drink and meanders about... I come across two people, arty types, discussing Warhol. I'm vaguely familar with the name, so I hover nearby. One is arguing the wonderous subversive qualities of his works, mocking both the corporate world AND the art community by rendering pedestrian products as fine art, and the other, countering that Warhol's work was lazy, and his biggest selling point was cult of personality. After following this volley I try best I can to contribute to the conversation, which comes out as:

"Uh, so he like, did a painting of a box of Brillo pads?"

The two fell silent and looked at me, not in shock or anger, but almost frozen, as though my words had broken the very world around us. I fidgeted a bit, and scuttled away, hearing their conversation resume slowly, like a record player starting back up, far less heated than before. The rest of the party was pretty nondescript, but I think I spent most of it on the balcony smoking cigarettes with some sullen dude who seemed to harbor contempt for everything in the world but Final Fantasy 7, and those who would discuss it with him.

and I still don't know what I'm supposed to be looking at.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:53 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jordan Jesse Go is very good.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:54 AM on April 11, 2008


Then, as the MTV producers are looking around in shock and slapping their foreheads, Jesse pulls off his fright wig and reveals that he's really Ashton Kutcher, and his friends are all like whaaat?

OK, wait. So Ashton Kutcher is pretneding to be Jesse Thorn pretending to be Jordan Morris?

I'm confused. Even more.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:56 AM on April 11, 2008


I totally made you guys think that I thought Jordan's name was Jesse, and Kaufman was spelled Kauffman.

Burn!
posted by designbot at 7:59 AM on April 11, 2008


And I fell for it! Damn you and your subversive MetaJokery!!!!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:04 AM on April 11, 2008


I once filled a coffee cup half full of instant coffee granules, added enough hot water to just dissolve them, drank the result and went to a party. God, I got so sick.
posted by flabdablet at 8:08 AM on April 11, 2008


So... not a good post, huh, folks?
posted by Wizzle at 8:09 AM on April 11, 2008


Y'all aren't thinking hard enough. The burn was real. This version was made up so that "Hector" could get laid again. With the revealing of this as a "prank on MTV" he turns back from a schmuck into a cool dude again.
posted by spock at 8:28 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


>The burn was real.

Or at least perceived by the moron watchers of the show as "real". Either way, turning everyone involved into prankers makes everyone look better.
posted by spock at 8:30 AM on April 11, 2008


So I take it some of the posters in this thread are friends with this Jordan guy, or something.
Which is cool.

And from some of the comments, it appears the guy has a pretty entertaining podcast.
Fair enough.

This thing that was posted here, however, this "prank"? Was absolute, irredeemable shit.

Plus, I was promised "absurd flopping about when the 'burn' is revealed". Where the fuck was the absurd flopping about?

*fumes*

Wait -- was this post itself the prank? Then congratulations; you have burned me, but good.
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:48 AM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen this before, but like Jordan Jesse Go!, I thought this was hilarious. Hang it up, commenters who didn't.
posted by stvspl at 9:02 AM on April 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think this is one of those things where the act of carrying out the prank is a really awesome, funny story for the people involved, but the actual end result is completely unremarkable to the outside viewer.

(See also: The $40,000 "greatest prank of all time," the payoff of which was apparently this light blue haze displayed on TV for a fraction of a second.)
posted by designbot at 9:04 AM on April 11, 2008


Hang it up, commenters who didn't.

And keep it up, commenters who did!!!!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:58 AM on April 11, 2008


I've never heard of Jordan or Burned before, but this didn't show either in a flattering light. I'll check out this Go show, if I remember, if only to not taint this curly-haired guy from eternal association with this flat prank.

I don't think this prank caused anyone at MTV Corp. to have a V-8 moment (except, possibly the lawyer who's responsible for the waivers signed by the shitbirds who appear on the shows. (if someone signs in a false name, is the waiver legally binding? it opens them up to potential lawsuits (of what nature, I have no idea))). Jordan got girls in low cut tops to babble and guys to grunt 'idiot' in front of the camera. They lost nothing. I expected this to be a post of raw footage from the filming, which would've been useless to MTV because after the 'Burn' was revealed, something, well, PRANKISH happened.

If you think that the burn was real, and this was to clear Hector's path to pussy, I think you're overestimating the quality of people who'd seen the show in the first place.

[on preview, what Galvatron said]
posted by Busithoth at 10:42 AM on April 11, 2008


Metafilter community!: You've Been Burned! lolololroflrofl....puke
posted by Xoebe at 11:17 AM on April 11, 2008


So I take it some of the posters in this thread are friends with this Jordan guy, or something.

Personally, he rubs me the wrong way -- looks like a cross between Regis Philbin and Jack Black, topped with Muppet hair.
The editing and self-congratulatory air of the piece reminded me why I swore off reality-tv some time ago.

Listening to the JJG! link however is easier; thanks for linking this since I can listen and spare my eyes.
posted by skyper at 11:32 AM on April 11, 2008


The prank is on Metafilter, apparently.

A prank on MTV would have been "Hector" pulling out a cleaver and burying it in the skull of one of his friends as they did the reveal.

Or. Better yet. "Hector", feigning irreparable shame, should have blown his own brains out right on tape and his family could have sued a long irrelevant MTV out of existence.

Now that would be funny.
posted by tkchrist at 1:39 PM on April 11, 2008


Or maybe it requires the context of actually being familiar with the guys and the radio programs to appreciate.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:44 AM


Yeah, it actually is kinda "inside-jokey." Being familiar with Jordan Morris, Boy Detective, via radio or podcast certainly helps the enjoyment level.

And keep it up, Jesse Thorn, with all that you do to bring hope and joy to literally dozens of people all across the country.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 3:13 PM on April 11, 2008


I am really stunned at how hateful some people are being in this thread.

The intent (speaking for Jordan, from my memory of what he told me) was just to make up something really goofy and see if they would go for it. There is no other buildup besides that wondering what was the silliest shit they could get on TV. It was a dating show, so it had to have a dating angle... performing a one-man show to pick up girls was the silliest thing Jordan could think of.

I mean seriously, "absolute, irredeemable shit"?? Really? Give me a fucking break. "No more or less fake than any other reality piece of crap"? Yeah. No shit. That's the fucking point.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:35 PM on April 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


PS: Thanks to all the people who've said nice things.

PPS: Thanks to folks like Horselover Fat who said things that while maybe weren't nice were not knee-jerk ad-hominem attacks.
posted by YoungAmerican at 10:04 PM on April 11, 2008


I am really stunned at how hateful some people are being in this thread.

Yeah, that's the worst of the ol' Metafilter, sometimes. It doesn't happen all that much, and it's hard to predict when and why. Don't let it put you off.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:18 AM on April 12, 2008


I am in concert with Atom Eyes. Where's the flopping? I expected flopping and got calm, reasonable gesturing. Please understand that the sole reason I watched this was for the flopping.

Could an admin please add a "phoneyflopping" tag?
posted by _aa_ at 6:36 AM on April 12, 2008


that was laaaaaaame.
posted by krautland at 10:33 AM on April 12, 2008


Could an admin please add a "phoneyflopping" tag?

No, but the poster can.

Done! :)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:35 AM on April 12, 2008


Yeah... it's kinda weird that people would take the time to bag on someone who's gotten together with his friends, put a really silly monologue on mtv, and had a good time doing it. I mean... how can you be against that?

Eh. Fuck 'em.

They are enemies of fun.
posted by ph00dz at 1:17 PM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


They are enemies of fun.

Well put.

*sits on whoopie cushion*
posted by brundlefly at 2:36 PM on April 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


They are enemies of fun.

And keep in mind, Jordan and Jesse are all about Maximum Fun, so they are maximum arch enemies.

By the way, I showed my teen daughter the video, without much context, other than the fact that she knows I listen to the podcasts, and that Jordan set this up as a prank. She thought it was hysterical, and for the rest of the night, she kept mimicking Jordan's "flopping about" (which granted, may not be technically flopping about, but is definitely spinning around, hand waving, and head grabbing). So, I guess that means those of us who enjoyed it have at least the sense of humor of a teenaged girl. And, knowing my daughter as I do, that is really not a bad thing at all.

OK, I have to go to a nail-painting and gossip party now.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:35 PM on April 12, 2008


Eh. Fuck 'em. They are enemies of fun.

Yes, how dare you not enjoy or admire something that another person had fun doing!
posted by jayder at 6:20 PM on April 12, 2008


Really, so sorry. My bad. I honestly thought the joke should be funny for those watching too. It isn't, since the burned MTV is never revealed on MTV it just looks like yet-another-reality-show populated by silly people. wtf?

If what designbot said, I might have died laughing. Not a bad way to go.
posted by dabitch at 2:29 AM on April 13, 2008


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