NEW YORK – Since Proposition 8 passed in California, much of Hollywood has been up in arms. Now, they are singing and dancing, too, in a new Web video called Prop 8: The Musical.The video was posted Wednesday on FunnyOrDie.com, the video site co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. The site has found a niche in getting professional talent to quickly create topical comedy videos.
Prop 8: The Musical may be a 3-minute Internet video, but it has a blockbuster cast – including Jack Black (who plays Jesus), Neil Patrick Harris, John C. Reilly, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Margaret Cho, Rashida Jones and others.
Though Jesus doesn’t bring the two sides together, Harris has better luck. He argues gay marriage could save the economy: “Every time a gay or lesbian finds love at the parade, there’s money to be made.”
The video was conceived and written by Marc Shaiman, the Tony Award-winning composer of Hairspray and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. McKay, who had previously collaborated with Shaiman on the song-and-dance routine Ferrell, Black and Reilly did at the Oscars earlier this year, sent him an e-mail floating the idea of a video.
Shaiman had been involved in a more serious debate over Proposition 8.
After voters approved Proposition 8, which changed the state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, it was revealed that Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento (the state’s largest nonprofit musical theater company) had donated $1,000 to the “Yes on 8” campaign.
Shaiman’s Hairspray had played at the theater and he said he would never allow anything he wrote to play there because of Eckern’s donation. Others protested and Eckern resigned in November.
In an interview Wednesday, Shaiman regretted that it came to Eckern losing his job and said: “It’s a tragedy for everyone involved. You’ll certainly see that no one called for him to resign.”
The video for Funny or Die was a lighter-hearted protest.
Shaiman wrote the piece in a day, recorded it the next and shot it in a single day last week.
“It was like, `Eureka! That’s right, that’s what I do!” said Shaiman of the mini-musical. “If I’m going to stand on the soap box, at least let me sing and dance.