It’s not like fan-made tributes to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” didn’t exist before the epic, excellent video premiered last week, it’s just that, well, now they’ve been bumped to the forefront.
Over the past few days, our inboxes have been inundated with YouTube clips of Gaga fanatics strutting their stuff in time to the tune, and while not all of them have been particularly great (some are downright unsettling), there have been a handful that have risen to the top — lovingly detailed, expertly choreographed, awesomely costumed efforts that basically back up everything Gaga’s ever said about her “Little Monsters.”
We got so many that we decided to round up the cream of the crop, the fiercest, funniest and most fabulous of the “Telephone” tribute videos. These aren’t necessarily “parodies” (though there are quite a few of those that are pretty good, too, like the bathtub-riffic “Bubbly” and the too-cute “Telemarketer”), more like (somewhat) straightforward love letters to the Lady and her music. Watch, enjoy and pass along to your co-workers, if you haven’t already.
Ryan James Yezak Presents “Telephone”: Sort of the “Citizen Kane” of “Telephone” tribute vids, Yezak — a “filmmaker/blogger” according to his Twitter account — turns in an epic, ambitious thing that features plenty of costumes, choreography and even a special effect or two (check the glowing telephones). Bonus points for the catty showdown between the Gaga and Beyoncé characters, the fact that part of the video looks like it was filmed in a private room at a karaoke bar and overall fierceness. In fact, if “becoming the character” is an essential part of “method” acting, well, then the guy playing Gaga (Scott Nelson) is a regular Daniel Day-Lewis.
BahBah Films’ “Telephone”: Scenes shot in someone’s Zen garden? Check. Gratuitous dancing in a parking garage? Double check. A plotline that involves Gaga giving birth to an actual telephone? You bet. This one’s got it all, and it’s so good that it doesn’t matter that Gaga rocks a pretty impressive 5 o’clock shadow for most of the clip. We also like the homemade “telephone” sunglasses, though we can’t imagine how anyone could see while wearing them.
Mr. Matt Herod’s “Telephone”: Starring a bizarrely Andy Milonakis-ian kid named Jamie Mace as both Gaga and Beyoncé, this one looks like it was made in about five minutes (the green-screened “Grand Central Station” sequence is particularly amazing), but we love it anyway, thanks mostly to Mace’s willingness to paint himself like a geisha, throw on a wig and a bathrobe and prance around the back yard. It’s sort of creepy, but it also sort of makes him look like a member of Wizzard, and we can definitely get behind that.
Fatty Gaga and Buttoncé Present “Telephone”: See, the joke here is that both Gaga and Beyoncé have put on a few pounds, and, well … that’s pretty much it. Set at the hypothetical Haus of Gaga headquarters (which looks oddly like a T.G.I. Friday’s waitress’ apartment), the clip follows the misadventures of the supersize Gaga who punishes the dance floor, downs a plate of hors d’oeuvres (bonus points to whoever made the video for nearly spelling it right), chugs a bottle of booze, then passes out. Oh, and “Buttoncé” shows up and backs that thing up. A lot. The whole video is kind of inspiring, yet strangely insulting at the same time. Also, it presupposes that Gaga drives a PT Cruiser, which, for some reason, we can believe.
Lady Gaga — “Telephone” (Inofficial Fanmade Version): Difficulty with spelling aside, these look like the kinds of kids we used to hang out with in high school. We particularly love the dark-haired girl who dances her heart out in the library. And the bathroom. And the supply closet. She’s got spirit. Someday you’ll be working for her.