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Is it truly a spoof of a viral video if it tries to use the same tropes that it mocks to go viral itself?
It’s a metatextual question indeed, and proof that Joel McHale has been doing a lot of hanging out with his Community showrunner, Dan Harmon.
The leading man of the cult NBC comedy, which so deftly plays with traditional television’s form and approach, has released a new ad made for Nintendo’s hand-held 3DS system. Already a bit of an expert on viral success thanks to his role on clip show The Soup, McHale pokes at the web’s love for sneezing pandas and crotch shots — as well as corporate America’s efforts to astroturf their own viral videos, which are filled with well-groomed stars and plenty of product placement.
Mario and Luigi also make an appearance, racists be damned.
That the commercial may go viral itself adds another layer to its dual condemnation and celebration of the web’s predictable, easy-share tastes, but seeing McHale dressed as the Mushroom King may well be worth it.
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