The lives of producers tasked with finding fluffy upbeat videos to sprinkle into TV newscasts has become a living hell since Jimmy Kimmel punked a whole industry with his Twerk Fail YouTube prank. That’s particularly true for those working under the watchful eye of Matt “Disappointed By The Laziness Of The Media” Lauer at the Today show. This morning, Today dove into the ratings catnip that is Jason Mortensen – star of a funny YouTube video that has nearly as many views as had Kimmel’s funny Twerk Fail before Kimmel revealed it was a prank – 6 million and growing in just one week. In the video, Mortensen is seen allegedly coming out from under anesthesia after surgery, being fed crackers by some very pretty woman who, he discovers, is his wife of several years, which causes him to exclaim, “I hit the jackpot!” and note she has perfect teeth. He withholds judgment on her twerkside, requesting she turn around, but she politely declines — because, of course, she’s documenting their whole renewed acquaintance to post on YouTube, “so he can see how he acts, and so I can show people,” she explained sweetly to the Today on-air panel of non-lazy journalists.
Now, some media outlets, including Slate, Buzzfeed, etc., have expressed skepticism about Mortensen and his video, having interviewed experts who seem dubious about the whole anesthesia-induced wife-forgetting thing. And of course, there’s Jason’s actor/model photos, personal details, and contact information on that alleged audition website someone has been circulating. Today did not shy away from the controversy:
“Well, we loved it here,” Natalie Morales told the Morgensen’s of the video. “There are people, though, who questioned the authenticity of this. As you know, there are a lot of skeptics in the world who say ‘Come on, this seems fake.’ But we talked to your surgeon yesterday who said that, while it’s unusual, some people can have this reaction when you come out of amnesia [sic]. What do you make of all the reaction – the skeptics out there?” she asked.
“I heard on ‘Jimmy Kimmel’ some video was faked – I can understand the skepticism,” Mortensen responded. “But I talked to my doctor yesterday and he says he’s gotten like 150 phone calls, so I finally gave them permission to tell them I had the surgery.”
Watch ‘Today’ interview with Mortensen here: