As the chief antagonist of the Harry Potter franchise, both in books and films, Lord Voldemort may be an evil wizard with no nose and a nasty track record of murder, but that doesn’t necessarily make him a soulless monster. If his YouTube followers want him to whisper and make low-volume noises in order to trigger ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) reactions, he’s more than happy to oblige. Or, at least, he tries to. His inherent creepiness kind of gets in the way, as does his tendency to skulk around in the shadows with a menacing expression. That’s the premise of “Voldemort’s First ASMR,” a sketch from Cruel Children, a NYC-based web series devoted to “jerks and dummies.” Voldemort, played by Gianmarco Soresi, seems to fall under the “jerks” category.
To be fair to He Who Must Not Be Named, the bald-pated baddie does make an honest attempt at putting together an ASMR video that his fans will enjoy. Toward that end, he whispers and makes various tapping and clacking sounds for about nine whole minutes. He even taps his wand on his hairless head a few times. (Best not to ask about the patronus-based percussion, however.) The trouble is, he can’t keep that pesky temper of his under control. Several times during the video, he lashes out at various people and animals who are distracting him, Severus Snape among them. The video begins with instructions, written in that unmistakable Harry Potter font: “Put your headphones on…” That’s good advice, as the Dark Lord keeps up the stream-of-conscious chatter for the entire video, but it’s practically inaudible without headphones. At one point, he channels Dr. Seuss and gives away some vital plot details:
One fish. Two fish. Red fish. I have two wands. My wand and Dumbledore’s wand. Dumbledore is dead. Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Dumbledore is dead. Dumbledore is gay. Did you know that? I had no idea. I was shocked.
Overall, the video has the effect of humanizing You Know Who and making him more sympathetic. The viewer gets the sense that, in his spare time, Voldemort really is trying to build up a following on YouTube, but he’s not getting the hang of it.