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A lot has happened in the 15 years since a daft video of me getting punched in the face went viral. I’ve been remixed and sampled by EDM musicians; quoted endlessly by YouTubers, podcasters and streamers alike; featured in an Instagram post by Will Smith; and ended up attaining meme notoriety in the process.
Watch the author’s original “I can’t believe you’ve done this” video in all its glory, below. Please note that it features the f-word. You know the one.
A decade and a half later, all of that was topped this week when it came to light that Oscar Isaac was a fan of my meme – and that it directly influenced a scene in Marvel’s current TV series, Moon Knight.
Writing that sentence in and of itself feels patently absurd. And yet it transpires that the actor actually fought with Disney to crowbar an explicit nod to said meme into an episode of Moon Knight. (Specifically, episode four, ‘The Tomb’.) There’s even footage of him saying my words on camera in an interview with Screen Rant. (Which you can watch in the embed below, which also contains that same f-word.)
I’m still not sure why or how this has happened. This is Oscar Isaac we’re talking about. He’s Llewyn Davis. He’s the guy who had the shit beaten out of him in Drive. He’s Poe Dameron in Star Wars. He’s Timothée Chalamet’s Dad in Dune. How has he seen a stupid video I uploaded to the internet in 2007? Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. None of this makes any sense.
For the uninitiated, the video in question consists of me getting punched in the face after I pushed my pal Tim off a chair. That detail isn’t included in the clip that’s done the rounds online since 4chan first picked it up in November 2007, but my attempt at adlibbing something vaguely funny before Tim decided to lamp me is, as is my very real oft-quoted response: “Ah f*ck, I can’t believe you’ve done this.”
The internet’s changed a lot in the past 15 years. When the clip first went viral, the YouTube comments section was the sort of place where people wouldn’t think twice about pinging you a casual death threat or claiming that they were going to hack you. This was sort of funny to me at the time, but also enough to make me not really want to engage with any of it for the best part of a decade.
Fast forward to the mid-2010s and people seemed to be a lot more inclusive of memedom. Today it feels like half of the people who engage with this stuff weren’t even born when the video was first uploaded, which is sobering to say the least.
Short-form video formats like Vine and TikTok have played no small part in boosting the video’s notoriety. Others are still fascinated by its lack of context, which has kept people asking what we were actually trying to do before a punch derailed the whole thing. I’ll get around to explaining it all one day, but today I’m quite content with the bizarre legacy it’s left behind.
Related: watch this making of an incredible Moon Knight mask…
Quite how Oscar Isaac came to stumble upon it is another thing entirely, but to say that I was thrilled to hear him quoting it is something of an understatement. It’s one thing to see myself popping up in meme compilations from time to time and occasionally having to explain the clip to someone at the pub. It’s another thing entirely to see an actor that you genuinely love and admire quoting you verbatim and confessing that he’d tried to cram a homage to you into a Marvel TV series because he and his brother are fans. That doesn’t happen. That’s absurd.
He also seems to think I was rapping, which is amazing. I emphatically was not rapping. Does Oscar Isaac want me to rap?
According to Isaac himself, he shot multiple takes of the scene in episode four where his character punches himself in the face and repeats the phrase in question. (A friend of mine even cut Oscar’s impression of me into the clip in question, which looks a lot like the embedded tweet below.)
Being a TV series, he’d hoped that Marvel would okay the inclusion of its first F-bomb, but it didn’t make the cut. The fact that I now know that footage exists of Oscar Isaac paying homage to a video that 16-year-old Paul shot in his parents’ house on the set of a multi-million-dollar Marvel property will likely haunt me forever.
I’m not really sure how you go about persuading Disney into releasing rushes from the cutting room floor, but I can honestly say that I’ve never wanted to see anything more in my life.
Alternatively, I'd like to become Oscar Isaac’s best mate. How do we make that happen? #releasetheahfuckcut? Internet, please help make it happen.
Follow the author on Twitter at @Twotafkap
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