If you find yourself in need of a crying jag, a moment to despair at the depths of human gullibility, stay a while. A new video from Late Night Basement, a live late night variety show based in Bushwick, has show host Chris Rose testing people’s knowledge of the extent of the government shutdown. Except nothing he says is real. Get ready for military shrink ray programs, fake government agencies, and tap water coming in unfiltered from in the East River (all hail the high-brow poop joke.)
Filmed on Saturday, the segment comes à la Jimmy Kimmel’s short last week when passersby were asked their opinions on Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act, giving different answers despite the two laws being the same darn thing.
Rose tells Runnin’ Scared that while the initial intent was to get a good laugh, the project also puts on display just how little understanding there really is about the scope of the Federal government.
I think it does showcase how little we know about how our government operates and what our government really does do,” notes Rose in an email. “Also, there was just such a media whirlwind around some of the real things being shutdown (the Panda Cam), that I thought it would be a good opportunity to really go off the deep end with what could be shuttered.”
Some of the gags Rose pulls in the video:
“They’re no longer filtering tap water. It’s just coming in straight from the East River. Is that bad?”
“The military actually stopped production on their shrink-ray gun. You think that’s a problem?”
“[The NSA] is asking us to forward any relevant emails we think they might wanna have a look at.”
“Do you think the government should have cut funding for S.H.I.E.L.D.?”
A YouTube commenter describes the responses thusly:
There’s no telling what people might have believed. “The one I regret not getting in there was that all of the mounted police officers on horses are having to switch to miniature horses,” jokes Rose.
Watch the video below, and get ready to introduce your face to your palm, over and over and over again.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 10, 2013