HBO premiered Terence Nance's new late night comedy show, Random Acts of Flyness, on Friday. The series of sketches aims to tackle cultural topics like the patriarchy, white supremacy, and sensuality – the likes of which Nance is known for tackling from his previous 2012 film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.
Former Mad Men star Jon Hamm played several characters in an infomercial for the show's debut and asked viewers, "Do you suffer from white thoughts?"
In a voiceover, Hamm describes having white thoughts as being a "symptom of an aggressive disease called acute viral perceptive albinitis" over a vignette of himself watching a Black Lives Matter clip on television and thinking "violence isn't the answer."
Magically, a suited version of Hamm manifests - looking very reminiscent of Don Draper – and rubs some black ointment on his doppleganger's temples to erase those white thoughts.
The suited Hamm introduces: "White be Gone," an "All Natural Woke Skin Care Product."
He pitches the product first by setting up the social ills plaguing society that the ointment is designed to combat.
The whiteness virus targets healthy, culturally and ethnically specific cells: Italian, Irish Scandinavian, etc., and what have you. The albinitis attacks and destroys any cultural or ethnic specificity using an arsenal of fake holidays, 17th century aristocratic class warfare, the one drop rule, and Elvis.
‘Random Acts of Flyness’: Terence Nance Makes Avant-Garde TV Entertaining, With a Little Help From Jon Hamm… https://t.co/80Khg3AtzA— Grim Blazer (@Grim Blazer)1533395213.0
The parody morphs into a behind the scenes dispute when Hamm confronts the director by telling him he's not that "white white." The director reassures Hamm that he was hired for the job to help sober the "drunk with whiteness stumbling in their stupor" by using his "bullish sense of sincerity" in his spirit.
The scene shifts back to spokesman Hamm declaring that "I'm not racist' spoken aloud is a white thought," but rubbing the White be Gone into your temples would eradicate the intrusive whiteness away.Rapper Lakeith Stanfield makes a cameo to pitch another product from Dax: Lazercism, which promises to "laser your racial glaucoma away."
Lakeith Stanfield makes a pitch.(HBO/YouTube)
Terence Nance – who created, wrote, and directed Random Acts of Flyness – also makes an appearance in the clip. He's seen corresponding with the first assistant director Annalise Lockhart about the clip's final edits.
Terence Nance editing the clip within the clip.(HBO/YouTube)
The unapologetic video is an interesting commentary on our racially charged society and is an example of a unique way of storytelling from the audacious new HBO show.
Reactions were split, with many claiming the provocative sketch was anti-white.
https://t.co/8W3pdbzUx3 It's actually incredible how much antisemitic and downright actual Nazis are in the comments— Ⓐ🏴 Scott X 🚩☭ (@Ⓐ🏴 Scott X 🚩☭)1533645407.0
They're not even hiding anymore https://t.co/t3GYVDh6GV— Uly (@Uly)1533588380.0
@Slate Oh no! White people are thinking! We have to stop that!!— T Swizzle (@T Swizzle)1533615529.0
But someone offered a simple solution.
@Alba_Risen This is NOT disturbing (At All)!!!! Its a "sketch", if you don't want to watch it TURN THE CHANNEL FROM HBO. #ProblemSolved— JHON F. KENNEDY (@JHON F. KENNEDY)1533643662.0
It's definitely got people talking.
Yoooooo this is the craziest TV show concept I've seen in a minute @HBO https://t.co/lAvL3MqUEp— Michael J. Miraflor (@Michael J. Miraflor)1533497805.0
i'm glad this is making people so angry https://t.co/QcXZu1nUxx— michael 🥉 (@michael 🥉)1533616464.0
This video from Jon Hamm and HBO is on fleek https://t.co/2exs6sZoOO— Post Meritocracy 🌹 (@Post Meritocracy 🌹)1533663485.0
Jon Hamm addressing whiteness in Random Acts of Flyness is brilliant.— Lo (@Lo)1533396310.0
Everyone should be watching Random Acts of Flyness. It's the closest thing to the show I've been wanting to make my… https://t.co/yWumAABgEr— Memo Grajeda! Here We Go Again (@Memo Grajeda! Here We Go Again)1533389795.0
According to a review in Vulture, Random Acts of Flyness is "a rich, endlessly curious work that uses its variety-show model with cunning wit and bravado to constantly rewrite its own parameters."
The show's debut season will continue airing on HBO on Fridays through September 8.