This month, the viral videos that caused us to click most were the ones that made us look twice. It was all about that pesky bait-and-switch principle — terrible at your bank or with your cell phone company, but as it turns out, not so bad on the Internet.
Let’s start with the height of pop culture: British band Mumford & Sons is understandably busy embarking on a largely sold-out world tour and crafting their third album. But what band worth its multiplatinum records would outsource their music video? Fans were shocked when the folk-rocking Londoners didn’t appear in their latest video for “Hopeless Wanderer” — though their replacements were quite possibly even better than the band. That’s because a team of Hollywood heavy-hitters took the stage instead: Ed Helms (The Hangover), Jason Bateman (‘Arrested Development’), Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis (both of Saturday Night Live fame) donned their country best and rocked out at a down-home hoedown, banjos in hand (of which Helms actually does play). But if you were expecting a straightforward music video starring four funnymen, think again.
Such an unexpected twist is just as effective in live situations, as proven by journalist Jamie Kirchick, who joined a roundtable discussion about Bradley Manning on Russia’s state-funded international TV network. But he wasn’t interested in talking about the WikiLeaks trial, instead using his screen time for a two-minute tirade about Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda laws.
Or the Russian Army choir that almost drove a morning show panel to tears with their stirring, heartfelt, bass-heavy rendition of Adele’s “Skyfall” from the newest James Bond film.
Or even those typically vacuous college convocation speeches — Georgia Tech freshmen didn’t know what to think when their speaker, Nick Selby, launched into a motivational epic, bolstered by the soundtrack from 2001: A Space Odyssey and including quotes from Sir Isaac Newton.
And those are just some of our favorite viral videos of August. Take a look at the rest above.