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The Swish Center has never seen a game as bad as the one in Katy Perry‘s video for “Swish Swish.” After a week of teases, the meme-filled clip for the latest single from Perry’s Witness album finally dropped on Thursday morning (Aug. 24), and the epic showdown between Perry’s squad (The Tigers) and fierce opponents The Sheep (led by Game of Thrones star Hafþor Julius “Thor” Bjornsson) is truly one for the ages. Watch out Harlem Globetrotters: Perry’s coming for your clowny hard-court crown.
The mess, called by announcers Bill Walton (an NBA legend) and NFL Network reporter Rich Eisen, opens with a rundown of Perry’s team, which does not look promising. Teammate Gaten “Tragic Johnson” Matarazzo (Stranger Things) comes in with the dubious record of being blocked 955 times, while Jenna “The Rainmaker” Ushkowitz (Glee) is simply unable to stop sweating profusely despite 12 surgeries on her glands. The rest of Perry’s squad are not much better, rounded out by viral video star Christine “Shaquille O’Meal” Sydelko, clueless dancer Dexter “Hair Jordan” Mayfield and least valuable player Russell “Pack-Man” Horning (aka Backpack Kid).
The Dave Meyers-directed video opens with Perry sitting atop a towering pyramid of basketballs in a sparkly red jumpsuit looking fierce, right up until the moment when it collapses and she comes crashing down in a heap to the delight of a lone fan who yucks it up at her misfortune. The music eventually kicks in, and Perry faces off against Bjornsson and his crew, which includes 10-time Ms. Olympia champion bodybuilder Iris Kyle. Perry’s coach, Saturday Night Live vet Molly Shannon, is no help as The Tigers prove to be a hapless crew on the court, while The Sheep’s coach, a wig-wearing Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) can’t keep his cool even when his team is up.
The whole thing seems made to be meme’d, as it features scenes of Perry floating in the air during a jump ball, flying into space for no reason, getting several balls to the face and pulling off tricks even the Globetrotters might struggle with, with plenty of secret cameos in the crowd from the likes of hot-dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, New England Patriots icon Rob Gronkowski and viral doggie stars Nugget and Doug the Pub.
Luckily, the whole mess is saved by a fiery halftime performance by Nicki Minaj, who shows up wearing dark oversized shades and a shiny Thierry Mugler-style leather corset with handlebars, bearing the advice “Get it together, Katy.” Then it’s on.
Perry will host Sunday’s (Aug. 27) 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, which will air live from the Forum in Inglewood, California, at 8 p.m. ET.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
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