Back in July, Ted Leo caused a minor stir when he suggested that everyone would “see some changes” in the next year—so when he followed that up last week with a lengthy (seriously lengthy) blog on his website regarding his “MAJORLY MASSIVE CAREER TRAJECTORY NEWS,” it’s safe to say he had his fans’ attention. But while most of his musing on why the ongoing struggle of being an independent musician can probably be accepted at face value, the whole thing led up to Leo’s announcement that he was now intent on shaking things up by pursuing musical theater with the help of a mysterious producer named Reginald VanVoorst—and today that’s all been revealed as a joke.
But hey, at least it’s a funny one: The new video for Ted Leo And The Pharmacists’ “Bottled In Cork” features Paul F. Tompkins as the blustery VanVoorst, who puts the band through a choreography crash course so it can stage its own overblown Broadway musical. And while Leo has said it was “inspired by Julie Taymor’s Beatles show, Julie Taymor’s Bon Jovi show, and the ineffable genius of the Green Day extravaganza,” it’s pretty obvious after watching it that it’s mostly an extended riff on the latter’s American Idiot. To make this even more of a “Friends of The A.V. Club” clusterfuck, WFMU host Tom Scharpling directs and John Hodgman drops by as stuffy theater critic. You’ll also see cameos from Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles as a crying audience member and recently HBO-minted author Julie Klausner, who took time out from sleeping with emotionally stunted hipsters to play a dance instructor.