Worst Clip on the Internet: A Blueberry Hill to Die On
Due to popular demand from 1–2 of my friends, I did a second one — there are so many horrible videos! First one on beautiful lunatic Tyra Banks is here.
The first time I saw a clip of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin singing “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino, I was a freshman in college. When my friend John showed it to us and I knew I’d made the best and worst friend of all time! Case in point: John recently gave me a package of Minion-branded Tic Tacs.
Between the psychotic camera work, inexplicable celebrity sightings, and general bonkers premise it is easily one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, especially now that Vlad is increasingly a Super Villain (instead of just a regular villain).
Okay first of all, this video is on the YouTube channel of RT (Russia Today), which is funded by the Russian government. This is the OFFICIAL video the Russian government posted of its leader singing at a children’s charity event. What charity? I have no idea and neither does any news article about it. It’s probably actually a fundraiser for Putin to buy a buff horse.
As the video begins, Putin is sitting alone at a piano, slowly playing the song, like like an 8 year old boy showing off for his parents’ friends as a Christmas party.
After a full minute of that, he walks up to the microphone and we get a bird’s eye view of the audience. They appear to be in a giant warehouse with no more than 20 tables. Each table has no more than six people, but some tables have as few as one person. There is a comical distance between the stage and the closest from row table — may Putin goes too hard on the ‘P’ sounds.
Lest you forget this is a children’s charity event, the backdrop behind the stage is a drawing of children holding hands, only it is the vaguest drawing I’ve ever seen. They’re giant and have no faces or features. There is also a DNA-like ribbon that cuts through the picture, but only over the girl children. It seems eerie and evil, you know like a drawing an evil dictator might use if they had no emotional connection to other humans.
Now at the mic, nervous schoolboy Putin prepares to sing for his friends and family. He’s been practicing in the mirror, in the shower, into a hairbrush. He even shined his shoes for this! If you don’t know, “Blueberry Hill” is famously sung by bluesman Fats Domino, but also by Little Richard and The Beach Boys, and now Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Honestly, the sound of a Russian accent singing this is hilarious on its own (“bloo-barry heel”) but Vlad makes it hilarious in the way that your dad taking his hands off the steering wheel is hilarious.
As close-up shots of the audience begin, we get our first celebrity sighting: very famous French actor Gérard Depardieu. If you took French in high school, and watched insane French movies, you probably saw this man in all of them. I specifically remember him from Jean de Florette, the prequel to a movie where a man sews a girl’s ribbon into his skin. Gérard Depardieu once peed in the aisle of an airplane. Also, he’s officially renounced his French citizenship and got a personal order from Putin granting him Russian citizenship! Ugh, men, amiright?
Wait a minute, is that Goldie Hawn? And Kurt Russell?! Yes, it is, and they’re having such a good time clapping along to no beat. They look like wasted chaperones at prom. I honestly have never seen a Goldie Hawn movie, and every time she comes up in conversation I just say “Goldie Hawn went to my high school,” because she did, but I really have no further information on that. I expected this from human mess Gérard Depardieu, but not you Goldie! Or Kurt, who seems chill but did not go to my high school.
Next up we have…Kevin Costner! In a vest. With a goatee. Standing up and clapping poorly. And chewing gum. I recently watched The Bodyguard for the first time and it sent me into a real Kevin Costner Wormhole. I don’t understand his place in the world. He is in a terrible country rock band called Kevin Costner and the Modern West. He has seven children with three different women. He invested in oil separating machines in the 90s that weren’t profitable until the BP oil spill. He is neither handsome nor a good actor and doesn’t even have good hair. But since I don’t get him, I can’t be disappointed he’s at this event.
I’ve read that Sharon Stone is also in the audience, but I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup if you paid me 50 chicken nuggets. She looks like every famous blonde mashed into one. I’m sorry, Sharon. You seem nice. But you’re also at this event so maybe not.
The camera quality of this concert/fundraiser/hostage situation is only slightly better than that of a potato. A very close up shot of Vlad’s shiny face, followed by a shot so far away that Putin looks no bigger than Polly Pocket. But the guy’s having the time of his life. This is his version of Bush painting dogs.
There are more poorly framed shots of the audience, whoever they are, snapping fingers and clapping but not in any way synced up to the music. The shots and quality differ so drastically it’s like one of those fan-cut videos that splice together different iPhone footage from a concert.
I feel bad for the trumpet player trapped behind Putin, who looks like he didn’t know what the gig was until he got onstage. There are three lady backup singers in Forever 21 dresses. One of them looks like Ivanka.
After one final crash zoom shot on the PM, the climb ends and so does our discomfort (just kidding, that will last forever). Remaining questions include: Is this the only event at this fundraiser? Were their other singers, real ones? Did these celebrities travel to St. Petersburg for this event or did they happen to be in town? Is this Putin’s favorite song? What’s on his iPod? Or does he have a Zune? Where and why does Kevin Costner buy his vests?
Just as a comparison for what our leaders do musically (and maybe as a palette cleanser), there was that time Obama sang Al Green (sheds tear) or that time he sang “Amazing Grace” (patriotically pounds chest with fist while shedding tear) and fuck it here’s a whole video compilation of Barry belting out. There’s also a video of Bill Clinton singing “Imagine” while holding hands with a beautiful young woman, which I actually don’t suggest watching but will lead you to anyway since you read this and obviously love to suffer.