Arts and Culture

Video: Chris Brown publicist skit was a perfectly timed advance for Rihanna breakup/reunion

While most of the world celebrated the resurrection of ol' J.C., there were several weird developments -- both real and satirical -- in an even more implausible resurrection: that of Chris Brown's career. After becoming the most hated man in show business, Breezy has defied logic by continuing to brawl with celebrities and appear in public with the woman whose face he terrorized, while maintaining a stable career in the music industry. Last week, College Humor paid tribute to the man who is (presumably) responsible for this miraculous recovery in a sketch titled Chris Brown's Publicist.

Serendipitously, the video landed only a few days before one L.A. radio station announced Brown's split from Rihanna, which was quickly followed by a series of follow-up interviews that contradicted the breakup news, saying they were together and happier than ever -- all while the public tweeted with wide-eyed speculation. Which ultimately proves that Chris Brown's publicist is a bigger miracle worker than Jesus.

See also: - Fred Savage: Horrible romantic advice from Wonder Years to Ladies Night - When Obama appears as Satan, where's Stephen Colbert? - Rihanna "Birthday Cake (Remix)" with Chris Brown: More like disturbia

The mind-baffling nexus that is the Rihanna/Chris Brown union has tickled the minds of comics ever since their fated limo ride in 2009. Bill Burr did a you-should-never-hit-a-woman-but-there's-always-a-reason-to bit in his 2012 special; in a New Rules segment, Bill Maher riffs on Brown's musical feuds: "Now that he's been in fights with Rihanna, Drake and Frank Ocean, Chris Brown has to tell me if he has plans to beat the shit out of everybody in my iPod. Tell me now, so I can warn Steely Dan." Yet no comic has hit the that's-what-I-was-thinking button quite like Matt McCarthey in this spot-on video.

Anyone who glances at the tabloids at the grocery store has seen the head-shaking surrealness of Chris Brown's unending rage. Everyone seems to agree he's an assjack who doesn't deserve our generation's Tina Turner hanging on his arm. (Yes, that comparison was chosen pedantically because she's a beloved female African-American vocalist who was the victim of domestic abuse. But it also highlights the fact that her victimizer was a once-treasured musician who was never forgiven for his crimes -- unlike Mr. Breezy.) And yet, as the video points out, Chris Brown's records keep selling. He's still invited to perform at award ceremonies. Presumably, his mug is still plastered against the walls of millions of twelve-year-old girls' (and a few hundred boys') bedroom walls.

It was only days before College Humor dropped its comedy video that these contradicting breakup/reunion rumors sent TMZ and Perez Hilton fluttering about like tipsy girls spreading gossip at a sleepover. On the surface, it's a boring story: One radio station exaggerated/lied in a tweet that Brown said he and RiRi had split, and then two fresh interviews with Ryan Seacrest and the Today show cleared everything up.

There was some real spoon-bending wizardry going on in these interviews, though. Here was Chris Brown employing the Tiger Woods/Lance Armstrong tactic of sincere regret, humility in the face of forgiveness, and anecdotes of therapy sessions that really make you wonder: What kind of crackpot genius is pulling the strings behind this woman-beater's comeback?

And that's why College Humor's video is so brilliantly transcendent. This is the kind of comedy gold that most funny men and women often dream about. Having the ability to zero in on a specific subject, at a specific moment, and eloquently say what's on people's minds before they even know it themselves -- that's what made legends like Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks and writer Chuck Klosterman the beloved voices that they are today. Whoever has constructed this rat maze for Chris Brown to run through in order to get the treat of public respect is truly a wizards of sociology, and before we all became too hypnotized by the fireworks, it's a good thing someone came along and hilariously reminded us that it's all just a game.

For more comedy commentary, follow me on Twitter at @JosiahMHesse.

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Josiah M. Hesse
Contact: Josiah M. Hesse

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