NEW YORKER: So it feels like a double miracle to come across satire as vital and funny as that of Vic Berger. Berger, a video editor who works for the Web site Super Deluxe and collaborates with the comedy duo Tim & Eric, manipulates found footage to highlight and/or create moments of absurdity. His earliest work targeted a seemingly random cast of celebrities—a septuagenarian Chubby Checker, Emeril Lagasse, and Jimmy Fallon are favorite subjects—re-cutting videos of public appearances to focus on stray utterances, awkward gestures, or facial tics that hint at weird cracks in their seemingly anodyne personas.[…]
In the past months, he has skewered the G.O.P. field in dozens of short video clips on Vine and YouTube; together, the videos have been viewed millions of times. Like many Internet-based cultural phenomena, Berger’s work is at once ubiquitous and enigmatic. Berger’s comedy is impressionistic, conjuring up a mood, rather than offering an explicit critique. In comedy, editing sharpens something that’s already funny, cutting out superfluous material and shaping the rhythm of a performance. Berger’s videos are as unsettling as they are hilarious because, as an editor, he doesn’t appear to be making a joke at all; he is helping the candidates reach their true comedic potential.
Watching Berger’s videos for an hour straight left me disoriented and paranoid, as if I had briefly glimpsed an alternate dimension. In comparison, the clever correctness of John Oliver’s much-discussed #makedonalddrumphagain segment, in which Donald Trump’s foibles are elaborately dismantled by the exasperated comedian, seems as if it belongs to a more innocent era. Berger flips the logic of Oliver’s school of political satire on its head. Rather than cutting down a politician’s most ridiculous characteristics with witty logic, Berger turns unassuming details ridiculous. MORE