When Father John Misty promises “Total Entertainment Forever,” he delivers — in the most bizarre way possible.
The Pure Comedy singer-songwriter dropped the video for his new single on Thursday, and it stars Macaulay Culkin as late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who, during the course of the mind-bending three-minute experience, finds himself tied to a cross.
Oh, and Garfield the cat’s owner, Jon, as well as a saxophone-wielding Bill Clinton-like figure (probably?) with monkey feet are also crucified to Culkin’s left and right, respectively.
Let’s back up a bit.
The video STARTS with George Washington (of president fame) popping Viagra pills and putting on a VR (virtuality reality) device, which is where we meet Culkin, as well as Father John Misty — real name Joshua Tillman — who plays essentially the villain of the story.
Misty leads a group of Ronald McDonald-like enforcers, who take Culkin’s Cobain captive and subject him to a variety of punishments, from “flagellation” to the aforementioned crucifixion.
Oh, and at the end, a super adorable little girl puts a bow on George Washington, who is now burnt to a crisp for some reason.
It’s a wild, if not transfixing, video, but trying to explain it is really just an exercise in futility, so watch for yourself below.
Culkin’s involvement goes beyond rock legend impressionism, to be fair. Directing the production was Four Gods and a Baby, a collective involving Culkin, as well as collaborators Adam Green, Thomas Bayne and Toby Goodshank, who also appear in the video.
Green shed some light as to how such a wild video got made, during an interview with Pitchfork, where he revealed that when the group approached Misty with the concept, the 35-year-old rocker was unexpectedly completely game!
“When I first told him the treatment for this video, I was just expecting that the answer would be ‘no,'” Green revealed. “But the answer was instantly like, ‘Sure. Yeah, let’s go make it. Great.’ I was surprised. I think it was two weeks later and the whole video was shot and made.”
As for what didn’t make the video, including the portrayal of the track’s controversial opening line, “Bedding Taylor Swift, every night inside the Oculus Rift,” Green explained that it was a matter of not showing what was already told.
“It was discussed. We vetoed that,” the director revealed. “We were following this philosophy where if you show somebody something that you’re already telling them with the lyrics, you’re kind of telling them twice.”
Well, one thing’s for certain, the video is certainly an attention grabber ahead of Misty’s Pure Comedy tour, which kicks off on May 5 in Toronto, Canada.