Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Will Ferrell as Gerard Butler as The Phantom (and the Question of Artistic Sacrilege)

This short clip from "The Late Show with David Letterman" finds Will Ferrell performing/butchering Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Music of the Night."

[Background: Ferrell and Letterman were discussing "stunt casting" on Broadway and the West End; Ferrell then noted that he had been recently cast as The Phantom.]

It's fairly evident that Ferrell has some real natural singing ability.

Interestingly, several comments express a sense of sacrilege:

• Being the huge Phantom Phan that I am, I enjoyed this. It seemed as though he was mocking Phantom a little but like I said it was still funny (as long as he wasn't putting down Phantom)
• i dont find this funny he totally ruined an amazing song!
• he's funny but he just mess-ed up one of my fav. movie and one of the best song ever...
• I hate it! It completely mocks Michael Crawford and All others who could sing the song, Music of The Night.
• This is INSULTING.... but vaguely funny....
• Ouch. Clearly trying to imitate Michael Crawford and failing mize-- MISERABLY. It... kind of hurts...
• he is surprisingly a good singer but i cant beleive he murder music of the night it is like my second fave song
• Normally...I would be highly offended and wouldn't even have watched this. But uh...I guess I'll give in because it's Will Ferrel. That was funny. But I LOVE the Phantom. He's mine.
• HE RUINED THE SONG!!!! i mean yah its SORTA funny, but still! he ruined the dang song!!
• ...this brings a bad name to Erik... but still kinda funny

Essay question: is there such a thing as artistic sacrilege? That is to say, when an artist creates something of sublime emotional resonance, is it "wrong" to poke fun at their work?

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