Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews on YouTube

August 02, 2012

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A new viral series of videos has hit the Web. It’s not a “Call Me Maybe” parody. It’s not a bunch of kittens doing cute things. It’s not a baby biting the finger of another baby.

It’s a video of a real actor reading a Yelp review.

As though Yelp’s facts and figures weren’t enough to demonstrate the increasing impact of user-generated content on the Web, Joe Plummer — an actor in New York — came up with the quite literally entitled “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” video series on YouTube.

The first video, which was uploaded last July 27, has since gotten over 264,000 views. It features another professional actor, Chris Kipiniak, reading a one-star Yelp review of Stratford Diner, written by a Dan B. Take a look:

Speaking to The New York Times on the phone, Kipiniak said, “While it seems sort of absurd, the person left the review with no irony. They didn’t find anything funny about it at all.”

Having actors read reviews isn’t quite the most reliable and effective way of responding to consumer-generated content, but the video series at least encourages business owners to see the lighter side of doing business in today’s Internet age.

“These little slices of our Web experience — social media posts, customer reviews — have become such a part of our daily lives that we can sit back and collectively laugh at the absurd elements of them if they’re presented in the right way,” wrote YouTube Trends manager Kevin Allocca in an E-mail to the NYT.

A second “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” video was uploaded by Mr. Plummer last July 30. It features Mr. Plummer’s sister Therese, an award-winning audio-book narrator and actress, reading a glowing 4-star review of Tamarind of London, written by Yelper Nathan A. The fact that it’s not a bad review doesn’t make this video rendition of it any less funny. Watch the video to see why:

Is your business tracking online reviews? If you happen to have one that you think may strike comedy gold, Mr. Plummer ([email protected]) will be happy to hear from you.

UPDATED (Aug. 16): Two more “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” videos have since been added. Check them out below!

The reading of a Yelp review of a concert venue in Santa Ana, California written by user Garrett M. and performed by veteran actor Brian O’Neill:

The fourth one is performed by Broadway actor Greg Hildreth, who reads a one-star Yelp review originally posted by a Shelley S.

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