An inspired video doing the rounds online is a brilliant take on one of the strangest celebrity interviews of recent years – possibly ever – which saw the former One Direction star speak utter drivel live on air with Good Morning Britain.
When asked about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, Payne waffled for minutes on end in a baffling accent that veered wildly from American, to his native Wolverhampton, to Welsh(?) and goodness knows where else.
In times like these, confronted with moments as strange as this one, the internet really comes into its own with reactions and memes – and someone who was quick on the pulse after the event was Irish comedian Michael Fry, who uploaded a video shortly after the most-talked about Oscars in years.
While most people looked on aghast after seeing Payne’s interview, Fry quickly got to work. The result was an incredible mickey take in the style of a celtic folk tune, which incorporated lines of gibberish from the original interview.
Fry put on a falsetto to pull off an incredible new rendition, which racked up more than 1.2million views on Twitter alone and brought a spin to one of the most viral clips of the year so far which we didn’t know we needed.
Liam Paynes Oscars interview but it\u2019s Celtic folkpic.twitter.com/UDBMssWL0H
“It’s one of those things where every time I watch it, there's a new line that grabs me,” Fry said about the original interview. “It just reminded me of myself being in a smoking area… the kind of stuff that will come out of my mouth when I'm drunk.
“I kind of felt bad for him that he got caught at the Oscars after having a few drinks,” he added. “I just thought it was so funny. He kind of says absolutely nothing.”
The clip, which is the latest comedy creation of his to go viral, features one of the hookiest choruses we’ve heard in ages (we’ve had “I would rather take the beauty of this situation, that take the pain” running through our head all week) and it turns out the composition was inspired by a gig he’d been to the night before.
Dear Lord What a Sad Little Life Jane but it’s performed by an Indie Bandwww.youtube.com
“I had another, more indie-style song on my laptop and it just wasn't working. So I thought, ‘Okay, well what can I do with it?’ The night before I'd seen an Irish act called Sorcha Richardson. She had a support act whose name is Niamh Regan, who is a traditional kind of Irish folk singer. I thought I’d try something like that. I’d never done it before, so I thought ‘Let's give it a whirl.’"
While he always wanted to make people laugh, it was only when he incorporated music into his sketches that things started clicking and people started really paying attention online.
“I was always messing around with music in the background, but I did not think I’d do anything with it until January last year,” he said. “I decided I'll take a risk and make some real music and see what people think.”
After some early success he thought he “might be onto something”, and he started reacting regularly to big viral moments.
The success of the Liam Payne video showed the benefits of quick reaction times, and Fry says that there’s pressure that comes with viral comedy territory – and also praised the lightning reactions of fellow comedian Munya Chawawa, who regularly posts videos within a 24-hour time period following major political events of the day.
“It's very pressurised,” Fry said. “The turnaround on [Chawawa’s videos] is absolutely insane. I realised with my Jackie Weaver video, that it was kind of irrelevant after a day or two. We consume memes so much faster than it was before. So you really have to get something in within the 24 hours.”
Thankfully, then, he’s able to look back and tackle classic memes and moments in his work every now and then, which don’t require such a speedy turnaround.
“The biggest one was a speech from Come Dine with Me,” he said. “It was the first time I’d really broken into the UK audience. Jackie Weaver was another one.”
Whichever topic he goes after next, we’ll be all ears.
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