By now you’ve probably seen the “alternate” video for Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” a “WTF?”-worthy clip that features a couple of bearded dudes, a whole lot of farm-related hijinks, gratuitous spitting and absolutely zero Kanye West.
In case you have no idea what we’re talking about, you can check out the vid here, and then join the rest of us in wondering just what the heck is going on here.
Well, it’s all the work of comedian Zach Galifianakis, the hefty and hirsute mastermind behind last year’s karaoke-riffic clip for Fiona Apple’s “Not About Love” (see “If You Think Fiona Grew A Beard, You’re Not Paying Attention” ). And much like that video, his path toward working with West began with a rather chance — and decidedly “Hollywood” — connection.
“Kanye’s trainer, Harley Pasternak, is a friend of mine, and he showed Kanye some of my videos. Then Kanye came to a stand-up show of mine and asked me afterwards if I would produce and perform a video for him,” Galifianakis told MTV News. “I was flying to my farm in North Carolina the next morning [and] I told him that if I could shoot it there, then I would do it. There was no audition. I did whatever I wanted. He told me to just do what I thought would work.”
And apparently “what would work” includes an exploding tractor, some clog dancers and — rather inexplicably — indie folkster (and part-time actor) Will Oldham, who Galifianakis said was just visiting and decided to get in on the action. Basically, the two then took it upon themselves to run around Galifianakis’ farm, doing whatever sprang to mind (one scene, featuring the comedian sporting the words “I Love Turd” on his forehead and clutching a chainsaw, was conceived thusly: “Will and I were drunk in my basement and that is how that came about”).
And though the whole thing was done off-the-cuff, Galifianakis said it was actually pretty difficult work. There was the whole issue of mastering Kanye’s lyrics, piloting a tractor and, well, getting some rather complex air-humping secrets down pat.
“[The song has] lots of words that are quite fast. Plus, my horrible dancing throws off the rhythm inside my head,” he explained. “Also, I cannot give up my air-humping secrets for fear that the Goo Goo Dolls will steal them.”
Though the “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” video has yet to make it further than West’s Web site (where sample comments range from “I can’t say for sure, but I think God produced this video” to “Is that dude Amish?”), Galifianakis has high hopes for the clip. And though he now has two lip-sync performances under his belt, he’s not worried about getting typecast anytime soon.
“I think it will make it on TV. My dream has to be getting it on BET,” he said. “I don’t have a career. So I will make one up for myself.”