Friday, June 20, 2008

OMG, Liam Sullivan!

Of all the YouTube celebrities featured in Weezer's video "Pork and Beans," the one I was happiest to have discovered was Liam Sullivan. The actor-comedian had been struggling to break into mainstream TV with gigs on Alias and Gilmore Girls but it wasn't until the broad shouldered actor made a music video of himself in blonde wig and glasses that his career took off.

"Kelly" is a rebellious, sullen, obsessive girl sporting the punk clothes and attitude of Thora Birch in Ghost World, the hair and glasses of Garth Algar from Wayne's World, the valley girl accent of Moon Unit Zappa, and the stripped leggings and shoe obsession of the Wicked Witch of the East. Here's the video, Shoes, that made Kelly (and Liam) into an internet star:

Kelly reacts to cute boys and shoes with a slack-jawed, catatonic stare of a zombie in heat. On the other hand, bad gifts, stupid boys, "betchy" girls, and putdowns from her conservative parents and twin brother are all greeted in the same way: incredulous stares, open-mouth, lip-curling sneers of disgust, followed by profanity-laced tantrums and the occasional bout of violence.

Shoes came out in 2006 and Sullivan already won a People's Choice Award for user-generated content in 2007, so I'm a latecomer, but I'm making up for lost time.

Lest you think he's a one-note wonder, Sullivan also plays Kelly's father, brother, grandmother, and aunt, each so distinct and hilarious, it's hard to believe you're watching the same guy except that they are all sporting the same gap-toothed smile. Sullivan's also followed on the success of Shoes with videos Let Me Borrow That Top, Text Message Breakup, and No Booty Calls and is currently on tour with comedian Margaret Cho.

His streams of income right now appear to be from downloads of his iTunes videos, Kelly merchandise, advertising off of his site, and touring gigs. I selfishly hope this can keep him going and putting out more videos.

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