By virtue of his participation in such projects as Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, nattily attired British thespian Benedict Cumberbatch has achieved the rarefied status of deity among pop culture nerds. It is only appropriate, then, that there should be hymns in his honor, musical hosannas to the power and the glory that is Cumberbatch. One such hymn has arrived in the form of Insane Ian’s “Benedict Cumberbatch,” a triumphant tune that has lately been topping the request lists on the online-only Dr. Demento Show. Against a triumphant musical accompaniment, Insane Ian gives listeners a thumbnail history of Mr. Cumberbatch’s life and career, including his upbringing and his most memorable roles. So far, so good. Things take a turn, however, when the background singers start mangling the actor’s name in a variety of ways (including, memorably, “Burger King Chicken Fries”), and the factual accuracy of the lyrics becomes more and more dubious with each succeeding verse (such as a claim that the actor is “the true ruler of the kingdom of the Land of Oz”).
“I wrote the song based on the idea that everyone seemed to have trouble with Benedict’s given name and love of making new ones for him and just ran with it… at his expense,” explains Ian, a nerdcore musician from Baltimore who specializes in “Weird Al”-inspired songs about video games and other geeky pursuits. Ian had been submitting songs to The Dr. Demento Show for eight years, by his estimation, but it took the singular, blue-eyed magic of Benedict Cumberbatch to inspire a composition which truly broke through to the show’s listeners. For those whose curiosity has been piqued by this song, Insane Ian has a Bandcamp page chock-full of ditties about Mario, Batman, Grand Theft Auto, and more. Along with other like-minded musicians, he is also a contributor at The Funny Music Project (FuMP), an online clearinghouse of of nerdcore music.