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Viral Video of the Week: “The Kid from Brooklyn” on Shifty Furriners

Six-foot-six-inch, 400 lb. freelance comedian Michael Caracciolo — stage name: "The Kid from Brooklyn" — filmed a (let's be charitable) comedic monologue on the menace of shifty foreigners (read: Mexicans) coming to America to take our jobs and pervert our … Read More

By / March 17, 2008

Six-foot-six-inch, 400 lb. freelance comedian Michael Caracciolo — stage name: "The Kid from Brooklyn" — filmed a (let's be charitable) comedic monologue on the menace of shifty foreigners (read: Mexicans) coming to America to take our jobs and pervert our language.

The Kid's point of departure is the decision by Geno's Steaks — one of the parties to Philadelphia's Hatfield-McCoy cheesesteak war (the other is Pat's) — to adopt an English-only service policy, and the lawsuit threats that ensued:

This Is AMERICA: "WHEN ORDERING SPEAK ENGLISH."

Never mind the unnecessary punctuation or the fact that Geno's "English-speaking" customers actually place their orders in the American equivalent of Cockney-rhyming slang. This is America (or as Philadelphians call it, "?m?rica"), damnit! As the Kid aptly puts it, "You speak fucking English here or get the fuck out! Get the fuck out! Get the fuck out!"

The border war at Geno's is nearly two years old, but The Kid's nuanced take on cross-cultural fertilization is only now going viral. Why would that be? Sure, he's a goofy guy with a goofy accent behaving goofily. But is there really a larger market for hysterical (in both senses) anti-immigration ranting now than in 2006? Considering that the final three contenders for the Republican presidential nomination were heretics on immigration, and the winner was the worst of the lot for immigration restrictionists, it would appear that the influence of nativism is, if anything, waning.

Conversely, it could be that the audience for scorning crazy nativist rants is on the rise. Somehow I doubt that The Kid cares very much whether his viewers are laughing at or with him. Which suggests a new strategy for broad popular appeal (at least for those concerned exclusively with raw popularity): Instead of trying to please all sides, take the most extreme position possible on a given controversial issue, a position many people share but are afraid to enunciate publicly, and which most others find simply reprehensible, and pound on it as loudly as possible. Love you or hate you, the masses will tune in.

See more of The Kid here.

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