Sunday, May 4, 2008


You ever wonder whether the internets are gonna lead to a cultural Golden Age? Or bring down the flaming wrath of Jehovah God?

There’s a viral-video phenomenon happening called “Unforgivable.” It began with a series of improvisational clips from two guys called Hodge-Stansson Productions.

The first clip was uploaded in August of 2006. To date, the first four “Unforgivable” videos – added together – have been viewed more than 21 million times on YouTube.

And all it is is a black dude – played by Gunnar Fritz Stansson (if that is his real name) – telling outlandish tales of vulgarity, violence and sexual abuse... ending with the word “unforgivable.”

Director Logan Hodge (white guy) cracks up laughing behind the camera. Stansson can hardly keep a straight face himself.

They have triggered a flood of other “Unforgivable” videos, all mimicking Stansson’s hard-ass ghetto attitude and bizarre tales.

What trips me out is... a lot of the tribute videos are by girls. Which is weird because the original “Unforgivable” series is loaded with the B-word, the P-word... and even the C-word. Not to mention the N-word.

I kinda get it... I guess. Structurally, it’s like the notorious “Aristocrats” joke. It’s all about shock value... all about transgression.

But the scale of “Unforgivable” as an Internet sensation seems way out of proportion to its comedic merit.

Or maybe I’m just an old prude. You can judge for yourself. Embedded below is Hodge and Stansson’s “Unforgivable #1” followed by three female variations on the theme.

(Y’all gonna be begging for more “YouTube Shakespeare” after you get an earful of this wildness.)

UPDATE (05/04/08): Evidently “Gunnar Fritz Stansson” is the dude’s real name. He says he’s half Algerian, half Swedish. Stansson and Hodge were interviewed last year for the student newspaper at SUNY.

(Yep, the cult of “Unforgivable” is centered on college campuses.)


Phelps said...

Okay, I couldn't stop laughing about waffle fries. But I know why -- I'm a sick evil person. What about the rest of the world?

onefinemess said...

I guess I'm just getting old; I feel stupider for having watched those. Actually, I could only sit through two :P.

Then again, it's not as bad as when I decided to click on "what other people are watching" a few times the other day. I don't think I'll ever do that again.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Apparently this is big with the college crowd.

Michael Fisher said...

Yeah, well, white folks love themselves a coon. Lot's of black folks, too. Unfortunately.

Kiril said...

It's not the misogyny. It's just how ludicrous the level of hostility is. Just random phrases seem so unacceptable to him that he's just forcing them out through clenched teeth. In a way, it's a comment about how silly are some people's ideas about how it's cool to be hard, and the harder people are, the cooler they are.

But it's also a game. The game is, you describe some ridiculously mundane thing, like going to the mall, with as much hostility as you can manage. You don't even have to put it the hardcore stuff if you don't want. See how long you can maintain that level of barely controlled rage without laughing.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Interesting.

tanyetta said...

She pushed her out the wheelchair?

I'm done.

kenn said...

I feel like such a prude coming away from watching a couple of those. I get the idea of shock value but the length of the joke makes me think beyond comedy and just settle in the realm of "mean-spirited and evil."

Oh well, I guess 37 is the new 57.

The Obenson Report said...

This was an absolute waste of time! I didn't even watch the whole thing. Nothing about it is funny. It doesn't warrant any sort of examination or analysis. I watched it shaking my head and sighing the entire time, getting annoyed, and skipped to the end hoping for some kind of pay-off to all that drivel, which obviously never came. I can't believe it's gone viral. Urrrgh! I feel foolish for having just added to its number of views!

The Obenson Report said...

And one more thing... don't be surprised if we soon hear that the schmucks in front and behind the camera have signed a multi-picture deal with Lions Gate Entertainment, to adapt their little pointless project into a feature-length film... then they'll be labeled geniuses, of course!

eeaster said...

You pegged it. Similar in spirit to The Aristocrats where the delivery is the joke not the content. Except nobody's delivery is really worth shit in these examples. Clearly unless you're Gilbert Gottfried, forget doing a joke like this.

Could be funny after a Popeye's two piece, a blunt and a 40 of Olde English - like 25 years ago. Sober and at work in 2008, it's just stupid.

Anonymous said...

As weak and degrading as that shit was, I must say, ...that is was funnier than a motha focker!

Dan said...

How funny it is to see those who were born before the "internet revolution" try to dissect something like this!

Videos like this are this generation's Month Python: absurd, over-the-top, and sometimes offensive reflections on the culture at large. It's funny because it's so over the top (think "dead baby" jokes), but also because it pokes fun at the ghetto culture's attempt at being "hard".

crash said...

Yeah, it's satire.

James said...

The Unforgivable videos are satirical in nature.

They feed upon the outlandishness of 'the thug mentality,' which as an ideology defeats all human principles when fully extended.

In propelling this ideology of thugism to its bounds, the Unforgivable videos hypothesize a thuglike character so hard he eliminates for himself any meaningful human experiences: he cannot truly communicate with others because he must dominate every social situation; he cannot have friends because in doing so he would have to rescind his command of others; and he cannot love because he would then appear powerless under the authority of his own emotions.

So, what is intriguing about the character (his name is Ricky, by the way) is his blatant yearning for these meaningful human experiences which his rough demeanor precludes. He goes on dates, spends time with cronies and intrudes on vulnerable social situations (in the short pieces, "The Long Afternoon" and "The Visitor"), all in an ever-failing quest to act human.

Also, notice his not-so-suppressed intellectualism, often protruding from his crude dialogue: "I brought over a couple of DVD's: Doctor Zhivago, Brief Encounter, and The Bridge on the River Kwai--A LEAN NIGHT." (There, of course, a reference to great British filmmaker David Lean.)

Such a prospect as this character is so sickening as to become somehow humorous--the antithesis of a human being, entranced and enslaved by his own cultural affiliation.

Anonymous said...

i think its hilarious. this guys intellect is probably higher than anyone who has posted a comment on this page. all he's doing is pickin' on all the thug ass wannabe punks u see at the "mall" and in general public. he's proven that he is educated.

i enjoyed the take James had on these films. its easy to dismiss these as "stupid" or a "waste of time" when u cant see past the act of it and find the humor. unforgivable is about to order a shirt...ya cunts.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm a 21-year-old and think those of you trying to analyze this need to get a life. It's funny. Stop dissecting it and go to work.

James said...

Well, when the minds behind the series are producing a work such as "Florence" (, it's apparent that the videos are to be analyzed, dissected, and discussed.

Who the fuck cares if you're 21?

Anonymous said...

Bravo, James. If only there were more substantive comments such as these on all videos, perhaps people would open their minds a bit.

I first saw the Unforgivable Series when I was twenty and thought they were ridiculously priceless forms of satire. Now, three years later, I still feel the same!