The folks who produce the hilarious Key of Awesome series of videos for the Barely Digital network—they’re behind the amazing spoof of Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone” video that came out last month—are busy, busy people. In fact, they’ve got yet another video debuting this afternoon, and EW has it here for you first!
Today’s clip is a slight departure for the geniuses behind Key of Awesome. Why? As you can see from the picture taken from the shoot above, this video doesn’t spoof just one specific artist and video or moment, as has been typical. Instead, an explosion of the Key of Awesome caricature characters were brought together to sing a theme song, “The Origin of Awesome!” for a series theme song: Lady Gaga! Justin Beiber! James Hetfield! Adam Lambert! Obama Girl! Ke$ha!
For a glimpse at the new video—as well as a little bit about the team behind the Key of Awesome—follow the jump.
You may not have realized, but the Key of Awesome is actually a weekly internet series (and not just random videos from enthusiastic fans in their basements) from Barely Digital, which is headed up by the guy who originally brought you Obama Girl. (Barely Digital is one of the networks from Next New Networks.) The behind-the-scenes guys joined the on-screen talent for a photo above: From left is Ben Relles, founder; Tom Small, who directs all the videos; Jake Chudnow, the show’s music producer; Jan Uczkowski, who
plays Justin Bieber; Mark Douglas, who writes all the Key of Awesome music and stars as many characters like, in this photo, Adam Lambert, as well as James Hetfield further above; and Lauren Francesca
, who plays Lady Gaga and several other characters in the series.
The team, with its rotating cast of actors, takes about a week to do each video. “When we originally did this show it wasn’t focused on pop music,” says Relles. “I still thought the episodes were really good, but we did one about kittens on the web, one about Twilight, one about Batman.” But then, in November of last year, they did a spoof of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video, and the series blew up, eventually snagging the Gaga-fest a healthy 8 million views (and counting). “That was the first video where we went directly for a pop star,” Relles says, “and that video did really well. Since then, our biggest hits to date are Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Ke$ha. The show really started taking off when we started playing in that pop world.” (All the Key of Awesome songs are available on iTunes now, too.)
The Ke$ha spoof, which took down her “Tik Tok” music video and played up the idea that the pop star is being paid for her trashy image, is currently the series’ most-viewed clip, with more than 10.5 million plays. “Sometimes they make it easy for you,” says Douglas, who couldn’t help but take down Ke$ha. “I feel like I wrote the Ke$ha one pretty quickly. It came a lot easier than some of the other ones. Her image just doesn’t ring true to me for a second. It’s like, c’mon! Young girls just eat it up. So I had to take it down.”
Speaking of taking things down, here’s the Key of Awesome’s latest episode, which stars Douglas:
Do you all love the Key of Awesome vids as much as we do?
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Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.
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Thom Yorke jams out, road tests new tunes with Atoms for Peace in NYC
Big Boi drops “Shutterbugg”
Rihanna, Ke$ha, and Nicki Minaj will hit the road for Last Girl on Earth tour
Owl City remixes tourmates Lights’ “Saviour”
Erykah Badu charged with disorderly conduct for controversial video