Tim Harrington, front man for indie rock band Les Savy Fav is as infamous for his stage antics (and tiny red shorts) as he is for his vocals. Tim has recently taken his showmanship to a new level with the PitchforkTV-produced web-show Beardo. Episode one, “Vampiral Dysfunction” (which probably would have been funnier not premiering on Halloween) guest-starred funny lady Kristen Schaal (Daily Show, Flight of the Conchords) and seemed to hold promise as another amusing, weekly online-timewaster. But then ooh…Tim…things got weird.
Things got weird when you hypnotized Kristen and then try to suck her blood…because actually you’re trying to fuck her. That’s the joke, right? Your fangs are limp, just like your dick is limp (rim shot!)
Tim, you’re a funny guy, I get the joke, Kristen gets the joke. But she said you couldn’t come in. Yet you hypnotized her, came in, and fucked her. I can’t imagine I was the only one to feel a wee bit uncomfortable when she was screaming and you were humping her.
Fav fan I am, I wanted to chalk the shades of date-rape up to lazy editing, something that could have easily been avoided with a few concept tweaks here and there, resulting in, God willing, a way to make both the post-punk-hipsters AND the feminists pleased. (We’ll have to save non-exclusivity for another post).
Unfortunately, Harrington’s next episode was similarly uncomfortable and exploitative:
Again, I get the joke—he’s not a licensed masseur (he’s actually a musician! playing at that very festival!), but at the same…he was all up on that girl’s butt. As popular as staged-awkwardness is these days (The Office, Conchords, anything Michael Cera), those interactions still take place in a gendered world, where in my humble opinion, strange men squeezing your ass just doesn’t cut it as humor. And yes, he also approaches men and faux-violates them as well, but the joke there is the worn-out “Isn’t homoeroticism HILARIOUS? Isn’t it a knee-slapper to imagine two men having a sexual connection?”
And as far as installment three of Beardo, my only criticism is that it’s not that funny. I think I prefer watching Zach Galifianakis’ beard. What do you think? Is Harrington offensive? Toeing the line? Or is he drawing attention to what is considered offensive in order to problematize it (à la Sarah Silverman)? Hit me up!