by Adam Gold
If memory serves, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s tone-deaf gift to the comedy world, “Accidental Racist,” is the greater corporate country machine’s first bona-fide crossover meme. It’s like Mutt Lange producing Shania Twain hits, but racist (arguably) and unlistenable (definitely).
That almost makes it seem plausible how Paisley’s label, Arista Nashville, failed to foresee the viral torrent of Twitter snark and click-bait-y opining and red light the song. No one forgets the first time they make the Internet explode. Just ask Clint Eastwood’s Obama chair. I mean, come on, how many Music Row suits do you think had ever heard of Gawker and Jezebel before last week?
(Did you return just from an Internet blackout zone abroad? Haven’t heard about “Accidental Racist” yet? Salivating for some catch up? Look no further than my CliffsNotes-style annotation of the song at its controversy.)
I can only imagine how the vetting process on the Row is evolving in the “Accidental” aftermath. Are labels like Curb and Big Machine recruiting focus groups full of Grantland readers to appraise the irony/political pitfall potential of tracks on the next Hank Jr. and Rascal Flatts records? Is “Accidental Racist,” in a roundabout way (no pun intended), actually creating jobs on Music Row?
What I’m saying isn’t perfect (at the very least, I should’ve included a nut graph), but I assure you it’s honest, like “Accidental Racist” is according to Paisley. Because believe me, readers. bloggers like yours truly dream of barreling through SEO corkscrews this gnarly the way Patrick Swayze dreamed of surfing Australian death waves of the 50-Year Storm at the end of Point Break.
So, surf’s up, and enjoy them embed above, of SNL’s Jason Sudakeikis and Kenan Thompson appearing as Brad Paisley and LL Cool J on “Weekend Update” — the place where all great memes go to reach full zeitgeist status, or die. While Sudeikis’ Brad Paisley impression is about as convincing as Jerry Sandusky’s proclamations of innocence, Thompson’s LL Cool J is a solid B-plus. (Accidentally racist assessment?) In the clip, the parodied odd couple takes credit for quashing racism and reflects on the accomplishment in song, like a new Trapped in the Closet chapter. It’s a pretty chuckle-worthy post-mortem, as far as SNL sketches circa 2013 go. This is funnier, though.