Bearded men and stoic folk rock? Check. Sunset scenes in a country field, and a rowboat in a pond? Check and check. Jason Sudeikis? Uh ....
Mumford & Sons pulled a fast one on all of us Sunday when they released their latest music video, for the 2012 single "Hopeless Wanderer," in which Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Will Forte, and Ed Helms replace the actual members of the band. Sudeikis stars as front man Marcus Mumford, and the other comedians adamantly back him up on various instruments. The video seems pretty normal through the first minute, thanks to a series of long shots, and the eerily similar outfits and facial hair donned by the actors, which make it hard, at first, to differentiate them from the quartet. As the song picks up and the bass starts thumping, however, you begin to see what you're in for. The comedians go wild for the final four minutes.
This is perhaps the funniest music video of the year, and the band doesn't even make a single appearance. Well played.
Banjos are smashed, an upright bass is humped, and Sudeikis seductively chews on Forte's fake beard. The fake crying and overdramatic rock poses really sell this thing. An already great song has been made considerably better.
It's only August, but this has already been a big year for Mumford & Sons. The band won a Grammy, and headlined Glastonbury, Lollapalooza and other major concert festivals. (Meanwhile, when the band was on tour in June, bassist Ted Dwane had surgery to remove a blood clot.) As Mumford continues to explode, it's nice to see that these guys have kept their sense of humor intact.
It's encouraging to see that a high-profile band can make fun of itself and not take itself too seriously. Ours is a time of colossal music festivals, devoted fans who live and die by any word muttered by their favorite performers, and albums marketed like precious treasures. By allowing themselves to be mocked, Mumford & Sons make themselves look like more than a successful band. These dudes are real people, and they're pretty damn funny. Just imagine how tough it would be to convince Jay-Z to pull something like this.
Enjoy the video below, and let me know what you think in the comments.