Mumford & Sons have got a sense of humor after all … is what you’re supposed to think after watching the video for “Hopeless Wanderer.”
The professional white funnymen Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, Ed Helms and Wil Forte stand in for the band, wearing suspenders and fake beards, hauling their instruments down a dusty lane, playing in a row boat, crying, tasting each other’s tears, and eventually smashing their instruments and at least one of the filament bulbs lighting the barn they’re in.
Because you can’t make a parody these days without taking it over the top, Sudeikis and Forte also share an open-mouthed kiss.
I was more tickled by the smoke coming off Bateman’s hands during his banjo solo. Although the kiss seems less rote when you think of it as underlining the song’s vague references to a young man’s romantic confusion (key line: ”I wrestled long with my youth,” snicker).
Ultimately, though, the clip’s just gently ribbing the band itself, that troupe of inexplicably literal old-timey-folk obsessives.
This is good stuff, make no mistake. But you have to wonder: Why are we letting stars mitigate their own overseriousness now? Shouldn’t we at least make them come on Saturday Night Live and read the cue cards the comedy writers come up with? Or should we just be happy that Mumford & Sons feel compelled to acknowledge their own silliness?