Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The sanitized, dead-eyed milieu of corporate America will never not be a prime subject for satire, as evidenced by the enduring legacy of comedies like The Office and Office Space. Still, no amount of satire can capture the numbing mundanity of the office better than stock photography, which is, like any corporation, a repository of darkness clad in silk ties and bleached smiles. Comedian Ryan Mazer drew upon that darkness in collaboration with Adult Swim, relying almost exclusively on stock videos to create tiny portraits of despair.


In the above clip, for example, a peppy, vacuous tune plays over a diverse array of corporate hopefuls who have no idea the horrors in store for them, whether it be a balloon-headed interviewer or an eternity spent trapped in a revolving door.

And while the shorts are unnerving enough in themselves, the disbelief that accompanies some of this stock is equally enjoyable. Yes, stock footage does exist of a doctor ritualistically pressing his stethoscope against the heads of some corporate drones. And yes, according to Mazer, there also exists stock footage of a decapitated man sitting at his kitchen table as a cat strolls by. See that one below. (UPDATE: That clip’s actually from Hostel: Part 2, but Mazer provided us with a link to it on Getty’s stock footage site.)

Mazer confirms with us that, though he obviously mashed and manipulated the footage in places, Getty most certainly contains a clip of a man in a suit with his head in a giant hedge, which you can see below alongside some of creepiest clapping people in history.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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