“This is a bad idea. I’m in,” is probably the oath taken by all YouTubers before breaking the internet. Zac Alsop and Jamie Rawsthorne of The Zac and Jay Show are the latest on the podium with a public stunt involving a 100,000 pound projector on the banks of River Thames.
Let’s rewind back to where it all started. According to a video posted by the YouTube duo on their channel, the idea was suggested by a fan during their podcast on Stereo. “Yo, I think you should sneak into the Houses of Parliament and call Boris a wet wipe,” stated the user, ending with a drawn-out “niceee.” It immediately got the duo thinking. “Something needs to be done,” said Alsop, acknowledging the fact that the user “represents a lot of people right now in the UK.”
However, unlike Americans in broad daylight, the famous YouTube duo were skeptical about breaking into the iconic building. Rawsthorne initially suggested floating a blimp with the text, later banking on the idea of a massive projector across the River Thames. The legalities were not missed out among the brainstorming either. The duo claims to have approached others who have pulled off similar stunts to know if the act would land them a night in a jail cell.
Weighing out the pros and cons, they finalised the idea and took to the streets to find more quotes from the public. “How can we give the men and women of this country a chance to tell Boris Johnson what they really thought of him?” Rawsthorne questioned, rendering the entire act with a sense of purpose. Apart from the in-person opinion collection, they also hosted a Stereo Show dedicated to collecting quotes, eventually gathering immense support from TikTokers like Tommy Moore and Isaac H.P. Alsop and Rawsthorne then booked a projection crew to finally set things in motion.
“If Boris wouldn’t face the music, then we would bring it to him,” the duo said in the video, reporting live from the banks of River Thames moments before the act. The projection included texts and video clips, recording public opinion of Boris Johnson in particular. Responses from interviewees featured on the clips ranged from “Get a new haircut” to “Get your act together” and “Stay away from my nan.” The stunt concluded with the YouTube stars popping up on-screen with their ending statements: “So Boris, on behalf of the British public and us, Zac and Jay, you are a wet wipe. Thank you!”
Well, to be honest, this isn’t the first time Boris Johnson has been equated to a household object. We had ‘Boris Johnson is a sausage roll’ gracing us last Christmas and Alexa’s accidental NSFW Welsh translation of “Boris Johnson carrots 100” the year before.
But when Alsop and Rawsthorne went live with the announcement on Twitter, reactions were mixed. Though most of the comments were positive, praising the stars for “doing god’s work,” there were occasional mentions along the lines of “isn’t this immature and illegal?”. Some even tagged the Metropolitan police, asking them to arrest the stars for violating lockdown rules. On the lighter side, however, some noteworthy mentions include “This has confirmed that ‘Johnson’s Baby Wipes’ are indeed named after Boris” and “I’m sorry but isn’t a wet wipe useful?”.
Zac and Jay’s latest public stunt adds to a list of other pranks increasingly finding themselves backed by a social purpose. For starters, the recent ‘Hollyboob’ stunt—where a bunch of people altered the iconic Hollywood sign in a “bid to raise breast cancer awareness.” Although the act wasn’t categorised as vandalism, the six involved were charged with misdemeanour trespassing. It’s a relief that Zac and Jay did their research and filmed their entire journey behind their ‘expensive joke’…right?