Onetime Amazing Race contestant and YouTube phenom Joey Graceffa, who has two million subscribers, a lot of One Direction knowledge, and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, ranted recently in typical selfie-cam mode about how his Toyota Prius was towed. Graceffa claimed he discovered later that he’d accidentally parked in front of somebody’s driveway, but it was a tiny obstruction able to be driven around.
Well, that was a lie. Turns out comedian Nate Clark had Graceffa’s car towed because it blocked his driveway entirely. He has a photograph proving that Graceffa flagrantly parked where he shouldn’t have. The fact that Graceffa lied to his followers and impishly called the guy who towed him “a slut” (without ever mentioning or even knowing Clark’s name) is annoying. But I actually think Clark’s response, which has been hailed as “brilliant” by a number of different websites, is pretty annoying on its own. Check out Clark’s initial response below.
This starts out funny. I have no problem with Clark announcing Graceffa blocked his driveway and deserved to be towed. That’s an illuminating fact on its own. That makes the point Clark wants to make. Yes, Graceffa subscribers, your overlord has no problem lying to you. Explicitly. Even when it means he’s maligning someone else, and even when he’s acting like your best friend. But champions of Clark’s video are mistaking plain old condescension for actual coolness. Why did Clark have to snipe about Graceffa’s popularity, as if everyone should know he doesn’t deserve his fanbase when — like it or not — Graceffa has posted enough daily vlogs (and appeared on a hugely popular CBS series) to warrant a bit of attention? Because 14-year-old girls should be treated like they’re dumb? Clark’s world of comedy and Graceffa’s world of YouTube mania are, frankly, worlds apart. To pretend like the former realm is inherently cooler than the latter is boringly cheap and resentful, and it has nothing to do with the point Clark is making.
I particularly dislike when Clark reads out Graceffa’s tax information, because — as he puts it — Graceffa’s federal tax forms were left out in his vehicle. What? Why is that pertinent to this video? Getting towed and paying for it is annoying for anybody, even flagrant offenders.
The nuisance here is that Clark is using a legitimate offense to mask pettiness. Joey lied and got caught, but the thrill of the video is ’We all dislike this vain vlogger anyway, so let’s congratulate ourselves about it.” No one is going to spring to Joey’s defense and look cool doing it, and that’s why this video sucks. It’s an excuse to look cool while making fun of someone who posts videos as an excuse to look cool every day.
Clark just posted a followup video responding to random commenters on his first response. Turns out there are some horrible people who say mean things in the comments on YouTube videos! I’ll be.
I don’t doubt Clark’s abilities as a comedian since he clearly has timing and smarts, but I just thought his Graceffa takedown felt cheap. Wish his breakout clip was a funnier enterprise without the mean streak.