On its surface, the video for "Hopeless Wanderer", the latest single off of Mumford & Sons' Babel, looks like any other of the Brit band's videos: There are banjos, accordions, and upright basses; vests and suspenders; work boots and denim; artfully scruffy facial hair; and plenty of raucous drinking. It's O Brother, Where Art Thou filtered through a 21st century British sensibility (which is to say, hardly filtered at all - this video looks like an outtake from that Coen Brothers hillbilly classic.) However! Just when you think the Grammy-winning foursome couldn't get any more twee and clichéd, you realize…"Wait, that's not Marcus Mumford on guitar at all! It's Jason Sudeikis! And isn't that Ed Helms on piano? You're telling me Jason Bateman can play banjo? And could that really be Will Forte under all those whiskers?" News flash: Mumford & Sons have a sense of humor!
The video is so chock-a-block full of worn bluegrass stereotypes that you can't help but laugh (the fact the song rocks is a bonus.) And with their long history together, the faux-Mumfords are clearly having a blast. Sudeikis and Helms costar in the week's We're the Millers. Bateman and Sudeikis costarred in Horrible Bosses. Helms appeared with Bateman in Arrested Development. And Forte and Sudeikis spent years as cast mates on Saturday Night Live, which both Helms and Bateman have hosted. In short, they're pretty damn convincing together.
All that aside, we can't for the life of us figure out why Helms isn't on banjo.