Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kumail Nanjiani does a chilling Mariah Carey in this recreation of a TRL episode

Paul Scheer is arguably a little too familiar with the world of recreating bygone television for absurdist effect. His Arscheerio Paul re-stagings of old episodes of The Arsenio Hall Show were delightfully weird reenactments, in which he would try to stick to the actual dialogue of the show while his guests aped celebrities’ behavior to increasingly bizarre degrees. It was a slice of TV history and a comedy sketch, all in one hilariously odd-looking package. (The show, not Scheer, unless we’re talking about his Arsenio wig.)

Scheer has now returned with a new series deconstructing the strange world of TV talk shows gone by. This time it’s Scheer-RL, a recreation of the once-mighty MTV video request program Total Request Live! that streams on Jash’s YouTube channel. Hosted by Scheer as unkillable TV superpower Carson Daly, the latest episode finds him walking through the insanity of the infamous TRL installment in which Mariah Carey stopped by. Presumably either drunk or whacked out on painkillers, Carey proceeds to distribute ice cream, take off her shirt, and wander around the stage, much to the befuddlement of a clearly flustered Daly. And while the original version was weird enough (you can watch it here), Kumail Nanjiani’s eerily unsettling Carey impression takes Scheer-RL into much darker territory. Eat your damn ice cream, everyone, because that’s what Mariah needs.

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