Welcome to the weird: As we meander our way through the rest of 2020, contending with a second lockdown in eight months and the possible cancellation of Christmas (cue the Kevin McAllister screaming meme), we’re all waiting for something to come along and rescue what’s left of the year. Luckily for you, here at Digital Media Team, we’ve spent far too much time searching for the best, funniest, and downright weird moments of 2020. So grab a quick drink (hot or cold) and dive into a rabbit hole stranger than the contents of Dominic Cummings’ cardboard box.
Weird in Wisconsin: Dancing Trump
One of the most bizarre viral videos we caught ourselves obsessing over this year was the video of the current (and outgoing) U.S. President vibing onstage in Wisconsin to unofficial LGBTQ+ anthem, The Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A’.
Far be it from us to criticise someone having a feel-good bop in front of a large crowd, so we’ll leave that to Victor Willis, the only original member of the Village People group, who begged Trump in June to stop using the songs at his rallies, he’s not the only one either, F.A.O Bruce Springstein.
Viewed well over 8 million times, many who initially baulked at big Don’s dancing were quick to point out how the tone was strikingly different to his more spiteful social media ads we’ve become accustomed to over the last four years. Weird right?
A change that lasted all of 24 hours, big ‘ol yellow was back to honing his usual craft of lies and deceit in no time. Not long to go now though, eh.
Weird With Wildlife: Tiger King ‘Joe Exotic’ & Carole Baskin
Suppose you remember as far back as the fateful first lockdown when life was full of positive naivety; we all thought this ‘covid business’ was bound to last no more than two weeks and that life would return to normal fairly quickly. lol at that one.
Lockdown part one also coincided with the release of Netflix’s long-awaited docuseries ‘Tiger King’. The six-parter told the story of ‘Joe Exotic’, an amateur zoo owner (and Tiger lover, however questionable) from Oklahoma, who was eccentric and dangerous in equal parts.
We all warmed to Joe in the first couple of episodes, until things became unbearably dark. One of his (many) meth-addled husbands shot himself whilst on duty, and another staff member lost a limb in a tiger-related accident. Our feelings towards Joe became somewhat lukewarm when he worried more about his potential financial loss than his staff’s wellbeing.
More twists and turns followed until the series wrapped up with Joe sent to prison for his part in a murder-for-hire plot to kill fellow tiger fanatic Carole Baskin, who is either a very nice lady or batsh*t crazy. We’re waging the latter.
Supersized Strange: Big Baby Gavin
I’m sure you all remember Gavin, the super-sized toddler who nobody could believe actually existed when footage surfaced of him sitting on top of his father, dwarfing him in the process. Many claimed a deepfake; others said it was an older child in a nappy. Gavin’s parents begged to differ.
Gavin was an average-sized baby when he was born at 6 pounds, 15 ounces (3.1kg); however, three years later, the toddler has grown to a weirdly big size. Speaking to the media, Gav’s mother Kat explained that the 3-year-old is now 109.20cm tall and is a happy and healthy kid, whilst always being above the normal growth curve for his age.
After discovering TikTok through one of Gavin’s older siblings, Kat decided to make her son famous and shared these wholesome-but-hilarious videos of Gav ‘mucking’ about.
Mysterious Memes: Bernie Sanders
Everyone’s favourite U.S. politician was back on the campaign trail this year, taking a second shot at the presidency in a heavily crowded Democratic field. Despite a spirited effort, the internal DNC machine and their voters chose a younger, yet more senile, Joe Biden as their man to take on Trump in one of the more weird moments of 2020.
Despite coming second, the 79-year-old Vermont Senator was lauded for his approach to youth outreach and in particular his engagement with voters on social media, a la AOC. One of these videos was proven to be more than ‘memeable’; when money is the subject, it’s something we can all relate to. As they say, the rest is history.
Strange & Scouse: Chanel The African Grey
During the height of the lockdown in April, we were all treated to some super-Scouse content; it came in video form as screaming parrot owner Sandra became visually disturbed after her pet African Grey, Chanel, had flown the nest, or cage in this case.
Sandra filmed herself walking around outside, trying to find Chanel by loudly calling out her name after the bird made its escape. “Please everyone… my parrot’s gone,” she exclaimed in the weird three-minute video.
Thankfully, Chanel, whose full name is allegedly Chanel Chanellington, was later found, being reunited with Sandra just hours after filming. She thanked the social media community who rallied behind her and her bird, saying: “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have found her.”
The videos were shared by Sandra, who labels herself “Chanel’s mam.” After being watched over 600,000 times, the series of clips have gone down in twitter folklore as one of the more weird moments of 2020.
Absolutely Absurd: Nigel Farage’s Cameo Tour
One of the uber weird 2020 moments; Nigel Farage, a name we’d rather forget, has managed to worm himself back into political discourse, albeit via a campaign of bootlicking and engaging in heated arguments with news anchors on morning television.
Following his strangest appearance yet, onstage at a Donald Trump rally, Farage declared that the now-disgraced leader “is the bravest man I’ve ever met in my life.” What about all those war heroes, Nigel?
Farage later faced the music from everyone’s least favourite TV personality, Piers Morgan, whereas expected, the interview descended into chaos and Farage was heard echoing a guttural noise that’s is now in the running as the official soundtrack to hell.
A Mystifying Moment: Ian Brown, Anti-Vaxxers & The Covidiots
The former Stone Roses frontman was once the voice of his generation, sticking two fingers up at Thatcherism with vicious intent. Though more recently, he has assumed the role of conspiracy theory commander-in-chief, answering only to David Icke in a neu hyperbolic community of informationless fools, making this one of the weird moments of 2020.
Quickly becoming an advert for the effects of cannabis smoking, Brown has waivered his right to tweet about almost anything of societal importance since creating his account in 2009. Silent on Black Lives Matter, the NHS, Tory austerity and everything in-between, the Mancunion instead penned an anti-lockdown number ‘Little Seed, Big Tree’, presumably recorded inside an Adidas-themed end of the world studio.
His best work was warning his followers that the pandemic was an excuse for the government to turn us into ‘digital slaves’ – succinctly tweeted from his iPhone, proving that he’s as enslaved to tech as the rest of us. You can’t make it up, can you?
The Curious Case of The Royals: Meghz & Haz
No, it’s not the name of the latest Love Island influencer couple, but that of the former Royals. Teaching us that keeping it in the family isn’t always the P.O.A for members of the monarchy, Harry decided to go things alone this year, citing the treatment of his late mother, Princess Diana, as a precedent for him and his new wife, actor Meghan Markle, to split from Nan and co.
After feeling the wrath and fury of the British press, the pair emigrated to Canada before moving to L.A. shortly after, enjoying a somewhat quieter life on the other side of the pond than they would have under the watchful eye of the U.K’s gutter press. One of the weird moments of 2020 that will go down in history, for sure.
An Alternative Choice: Kanye 2020
In one of the strangest-yet-predictable events of the last twelve months, the rapper-businessman extraordinaire announced he was running for America’s highest office on a super right-wing conservative agenda, juxtaposing his controversial views with the fun name of his new political entity, ‘The Birthday Party.’
Amassing just over 60,000 votes (current total) out of an estimated 160 million, the musician was delivered his most damning review yet: the American people considered longshots Howie Hawkins (Green Party) and Jo Jorgenson (Libertarian) as more viable candidates, leaving West to pick up the pieces and announce a 2024 run. Weird? No. Worrying? Yes.
More Worrying Than Weird: Tom Hanks Contracts Covid-19
We all felt like we were living in a weird simulation, when Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, became the first celebrities to contract the deadly coronavirus, social media rightly reacted with a level of shock, horror, and worry only rivalled by the eventual death of David Attenborough.
The Forrest Gump star couldn’t run from this one though; he and his wife suffered from different symptoms, telling the Guardian: “My wife lost her sense of taste and smell, she had severe nausea, she had a much higher fever than I did… I was very fatigued all the time and I couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than about 12 minutes.”
Luckily for us, the pair survived their short-lived ordeal and Tom went on to release his long-time passion project, Greyhound, a film about a WW2 ship Captain during The Battle of The Atlantic.
There isn’t much more to look forward to in 2020; it’s been the weirdest year in living memory, and at times has felt like we were living through a wet dream only the likes of Charlie Brooker could fathom. However, with hopes of a vaccine on the horizon, perhaps 2021 will be less Black Mirror and more Happy days.
Sh*t, we forgot about Brexit.