If there’s one thing that our recent surreal health crisis has really driven home about the old saw about celebrities being people, too, it’s been watching the famouses of Planet Earth kind of vaguely flail around over the last week or two, clearly unsure of what to do with themselves now that the constant influx of activity and attention that keeps them functioning has suddenly dried up. Sometimes, that loose energy ends up producing some actual good, as with Project Runway’s Christian Siriano and his efforts to help New York keep up with its desperate need for medical masks. And sometimes it turns into Gal Gadot leading an internet singalong about how nice it would be if everybody was nice.
But, of course, not all “Celebrities sing semi-awkwardly into their phone’s camera” videos are created equal, something that the R.E.M. Twitter account has made abundantly clear over the last few days. The account has now posted two videos of Michael Stipe serenading fans with a mixture of classics (“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” and “Underneath The Bunker,” fittingly enough) and reminders about the importance of self-isolation in this time of crisis. And yes, it’s slightly awkward, but at least it’s genuinely awkward, with that sort of well-meaning earnestness Stipe has always made his stock in trade. (Also, as pointed out by fan Edgar Wright online, you can actually make out most of the lyrics, for once.)
Stipe is not the only celebrity doing his best to redeem the iPhone PSA at the moment, though; Parks And Recreation’s Jim O’Heir also hopped on the camera this weekend, reprising the role of Garry/Terry/Jerry Gergich for a cute little video that emphasizes the importance of family togetherness and also making sure your dog’s anus gets enough cream. Also acceptable, while we’re running down celebrity videos about happy assholes: Liam Gallagher singing “Wonderwash” and “Champagne Soapernova” to his fans, then calling Noel boring in the replies. God bless you, petty-ass Gallagher brothers. Please never change.