The video was, of course, not quite what had been advertised (it never is, is it?); it was actually a mashup of clips from the president’s speeches strung along to the instrumental. It boggles the mind why anyone would want to create such a thing (never mind take the time to do so), but the clip was, in fact, pretty amusing. Yet, something about its release felt somehow… suffocating, thanks to what had preceded it. First there was the business card. Then the lip-dubs. The covers. The memes. A profoundly amazing mash-up with Third Eye Blind’s “Semi-Charmed Life.” Type “Call Me Maybe Parody” into YouTube’s search bar, and you run the risk of having your eyes melt out of your face,Raiders of the Lost Ark-style. It had some rightfully crowing, “Enough already.”
Most recently, Jimmy Fallon hosted the 26-year-old ex-Canadian Idol finalist on Late Night last Thursday, and as a little internet-only aside, he, Jepsen and the Roots performed the song using only toy classroom instruments. Again, pretty amusing little video, but there seemed to be a distinct scent of “What the fuck do we do with this thing now?” swirling around that tiny dressing room. I mean, classroom instruments? What could possibly be next? Two xenomorphs jamming to it in the Prometheus cargo bay? Alia Shawkat reprising her Arrested Development role on Funny or Die? It chills the blood.
In the past, the worst thing that could happen to the Song of the Summer was it being played to death. But in the digital age, the pitfalls are boundless. As “Call Me Maybe” is increasingly meme-ified, it runs the risk of becoming completely mummified. This is how the seemingly un-killable is ultimately undone.
Zach Kelly on “Call Me Maybe” and why we can’t have nice things.