From dressing up in bizarre costumes onstage to “pulling a Kanye” at the Youtube Music Awards, Arcade Fire have truly been exploring their goofy side in 2013. But their wackiest moment of the year could be their appearance on a new episode of Zach Galifianakis’ web series Between Two Ferns, which features the Canadian band delivering a hilarious choral version of the Christmas carol “Little Drummer Boy.”
Naturally, it’s a holiday-themed episode, and Arcade Fire’s performance is the climax (arriving after reliably awkward interviews with actors Samuel L. Jackson and Tobey Maguire). But this is no ordinary version of “Drummer Boy”: Backed by a crew of percussionists (and a set filled with cascading asbestos), various band members take turns on the lead vocal – including a beautiful turn from Richard Reed Parry and a shrill contribution from Régine Chassagne.
The pre-music segment is equally hilarious, with Galifianakis showcasing his notoriously sub-par skills as an interviewer. In the intro, Maguire attempts to lead the count-in, which leads to a horrified response from Galifianakis: “You have to keep your fuckin’ mouth shut,” he whispers to the actor, from behind a piece of paper. Elsewhere, he compares Maguire to Emmanuel Lewis since they “both played Websters” (Maguire’s “webster” being the web-generating Spiderman), tells Jackson he often orders a “Snakes on a Plain Bagel” (which features snakes as a topping) and even dishes out Blu-ray copies of his 2012 film comedy The Campaign. The clip’s true highlight, however, comes at the very end, with Galifianakis offering Jackson a thumbs-up fist-bump and sending him off with a stern “Black Power” salute.