In his day job as a video editor, it’s Vic Berger’s professional obligation to make celebrities and politicians look as pathetic and foolish as possible. But what happens when Berger himself steps in front of the camera? Super Deluxe decides to find out with the two-part video series The Vic Berger Election Special, in which the bespectacled, frizzy-haired editor leaves his home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to visit each of the two major political conventions this summer. The first installment of the series, focusing on the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, has now been posted to YouTube for the enjoyment and enlightenment of all. The 22-minute special is directed and co-written by cringe comedy specialist Tim Heidecker, who also tags along with Berger as a sort of mascot, sidekick, and life coach.
Berger’s humiliation and degradation begin long before he gets to Cleveland. First, Heidecker gives the camera-shy editor an overwhelming amount of direction during the filming of a brief introduction, thoroughly undermining his confidence. Then, Berger’s own father chides him about his weight. Things are no friendlier once Berger and Heidecker reach Cleveland. Lacking any kind of press credentials, the two are unable to get anywhere near the convention floor. That doesn’t stop Berger from making mincemeat of some standard news footage of speeches by Scott Baio, Rudy Giuliani, and others. But, for the most part, Berger is on the outside looking in. He does get to see an outdoor performance by Tiffany Trump, however, as well as a speech by conspiracy theorist and talk show host Alex Jones. This is a great opportunity, incidentally, for Heidecker to break out his own, spot-on impression of Jones. Berger briefly gets to talk to the real Jones, too, but the conversation crashes and burns when the subject turns to Chubby Checker.
Berger’s all-consuming obsession with Checker dominates the video, in fact. The editor can’t understand why this legendary singer has been excluded from Cleveland’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, especially when his song “The Twist” has had such a massive impact on society. But no one seems willing to discuss the matter, not even Jones, and Berger is forbidden from even setting foot in the Hall, which has been reserved for a private event. Oh well. On to Philly.