Perfect moments of comedy are few and far between.
For every FawltyTowers, there is a Mrs. Brown’s Boys and for every The Office there’s a David Brent: Life on the Road. Such is life and it is why we ought to savour the few flawless bits of shtick we are privileged enough to encounter in a lifetime.
On 17th December 2017, Elisabeth Jakovenko took to the dearly departed Vine video hosting service. Vine was an art form in and of itself, allowing people to post videos of just six seconds of content.
If Ernest Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn” is the archetypal example of flash fiction, Jakovenko’s effort is its video counterpart, a six second masterpiece that stands as a genuine work of genius amidst the oceans of pornography and Nazi apologism that make up much of the internet.
On that fateful December day, the erstwhile Viner of the year nominee (yes, really), posted a video accompanied by the simple words:
The girl who pretends she doesn't LOVE being asked to sing Mariah Carey.
In the accompanying Vine, a Christmas favourite to rival It's a Wonderful Life in terms of rewatchability, Jakovenko, backed by the opening of 'All I Want for Christmas Is You', can be seen addressing an off-screen presence with the words:
Why are you making me sing? I hate singing. Where do I even come in? I don’t…
After a brief chuckle, she perfectly launches into Mariah’s opening notes with absolute conviction and no little panache. That’s it. That’s the Vine.
The idea, execution and performance are all of such a high calibre that they might as well draw a white line around anyone who is not amused by this bit of content.
What’s even more remarkable is that the song is already a glorious work of art beloved by millions so it would seem a dangerous game to attempt to add anything to the conversation.
However, like The Godfather Part II, this honours the original while functioning as a masterpiece in its own right.
Vine no longer exists. Elisabeth Jakovenko is not the household name she so clearly deserves to have become. Mariah is doing crisp adverts.
But for one beautiful moment before Brexit, Trump and the death of most of our idols, two queens and a platform came together to produce something truly spectacular.