For the last 30 years, They Might Be Giants have been known for music videos that are every bit as quirky and inventive as the music they make. That spirit of creativity, it seems, also extends to the group’s ultra-loyal fans. One such acolyte, Ken Pfeiste, has taken the liberty of making his own video for “Good To Be Alive,” a track from TMBG’s 2015 album Glean that features John Flansburgh on lead vocals. The video is a combination of stop-motion and cutout animation and somewhat resembles the very early episodes of South Park, albeit with a much gentler message. Both Flansburgh and his musical cohort John Linnell are depicted as having flapping heads that seem hinged at the jawline (thanks to some visible clothespins), while Linnell has those same telltale dot eyes as every Canadian on South Park.
For the video’s creator, this was truly a labor of love. As he told The A.V. Club, “The TMBG song ‘Good To Be Alive’ helped me through a very difficult time last year. It meant so much to me that I made a video for it using puppets and stop motion animation.” The song, more straightforward than other intentionally obscure They Might Be Giants compositions, is indeed an affirmation of life. Although careful to point out that he is not a motivational speaker, teacher, or preacher, Flansburgh takes the time to salute various body parts, including the hand, the leg, and “the complicated eye.” The video depicts these various limbs and organs attending a “body party” and having a great old time. Says Pfeiste of his creation:
I’ll just say that I was going through a dark time so I made a mixtape full of songs that make me feel better. I listened to that tape every day. By the end, I was convinced that the song is right: It really is good to be alive even though it hurts sometimes. This video is my attempt to pay tribute to one of the artists who helped me.
Those charmed by the animation style of this video are advised to check out in Harmonium, billed as “a psychedelic puppet show on Vine.” Like the “Good To Be Alive” video, the show is “filmed in Clothespinimation.”