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Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson in Mock Promo of The National Play

by Photo of Natalie Sacks

Funny or Die imagines recent documentary ‘Mistaken for Strangers’ as a play.

Zach Galifianakis and Ted Danson in Mock Promo of The National Play

Editor's Note: As someone that loved the HBO show Bored to Death, I was thrilled that Danson and Galifianakis got to work together again. This play needs to actually happen. - Ross

Mistaken For Strangers is a meta music documentary starring acclaimed rock band The National, as well as a hilarious, unusual and moving film about two brothers, Matt and Tom Berninger. Matt, the lead singer of The National, invites his slacker little brother Tom to work for the band as a roadie on their largest tour to date, unaware of Tom's plan to film the entire adventure. Now, Funny or Die has added another level of meta-theatricality to the puzzle.

Starring Ted Danson as Matt and Zach Galifianakis as Tom, the video imagines Mistaken for Strangers: the play. The duo of comedians struggle to portray themselves using lines that "they" had said in the movie, perform absurd theatrics such as moving through the audience by grabbing onto their heads and prove how absurd theater can be.

The video serves both as very effective advertising for the documentary, which is available from iTunes and On Demand and is being screened at film festivals around the world, and an entertaining critique of where theater can sometimes go very wrong. Its comment that plays are usually adapted into movies and this play serves as an opportunity to "reverse the creative process" reminds viewers of such often-mocked musicals based on movies like Shrek, the soon-to-close Rocky and the universally hated Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark. The fact that Galifianakis as Tom is still filming even as he rehearses to play "himself" on stage makes you wonder how many levels this ploy can go to, capitalizing on the success of one creative endeavor to reproduce it in another.

I for one really wish that this play were happening for real. In the era of Kickstarter, anything is possible, right? For now, check out the video here:

And here's the trailer for the actual documentary Mistaken For Strangers below:

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