Build Date: Sun Apr 21 08:30:07 2024 UTC

So the founder of Men's Wearhouse, Dennis Peron, and the bassist for The Who walk into a bar. They get a frog and two spiders stoned. And then there is a mandrill.
-- Mr. Bad

The Most Epic Video Call Prank Ever

by El Destino

2020-03-27 18:49:57

Celebrity havin' fun -- specifically, Ben Folds. You know him as that guy who sang Rockin' the Suburbs (and then re-recorded it with a spoken word solo by William Shatner) -- plus a lot of other terrific songs that most people have never heard of. But I'll always remember him for this incredible series of epic video phone call pranks...

See, there's a site called ChatRoulette that will connect your web cam (and microphone) to a random stranger. So imagine you're lying next to your bed, but you pull up a video chat where a singer with a vast audience sings, "What are you lying next to the bed for?" And when you type into the chat window "What the fuck?" that man at the piano starts singing it. "What the fuck? What the fuck...."

On the spot, Ben Folds improvised songs about one random stranger after another. A man in a viking hat drinking tequila straight from the bottle makes a peace out symbol. "Peace out," croons the singer with the crowd. "We love you..."

Then he's on to the next stranger, like an unsmiling young man who eventually waves tentatively at the crowd. That vast audience waves back. "Don't be sad," sings the singer. "2,000 people here in Charlotte, are here to cheer you up..."

It was all so creative and surprising, and the smiles Folds provoked were spontaneous and real. Folds gave what may be the greatest mini-concert ever seen -- improvising nothing but songs about random strangers. ("Hello Mr. Shirtless Man. How are you doin' today? Is it hot in there...?")

Apparently it's all from 2010. (See, this other singing piano-player named "Merton" had been making up songs about random video chatters. Reportedly his first video was such a sensation it racked up more 5-star ratings than any video in YouTube history...) So Ben Folds decided to try it for himself...

My favorite was the chatter who hid behind a piece of paper. Gently, and in a song, Ben Folds coaxes him into writing his first name onto a piece of paper. Then Folds sings it, and then leads a crowd of thousands in a musical call-and-response of his name, over and over again. Eventually the young man leans into the camera, an irrepressible smile on his face.

Thanks, Ben Folds, for making random strangers smile.

He's singing again now to entertain us folks who are all sheltering at home. On Saturdays at 3 p.m. PST, you can catch Ben Folds performing free half-hour concerts online.

But they probably won't be as spontaneous as his songs from ChatRoulette...

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

cabin@pigdog.org

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