Pop Culture

Throw the book at 'em: Beastie Boys' 'Sabotage' video remade with librarians

The 1994 video for the Beastie Boys' song "Sabotage" is regarded as one of the greatest music videos of all time. If you're skeptical that it could be re-imagined with librarians as the central characters, just give it a look.

The spoof video, created at Chicago's Francis W. Parker School, is going viral after after being shared on the New York Public Library Tumblr page, among many other places. The work is the creation of comedians Mike Ferbrache and Duane Freeman. Freeman is a middle school counselor and Ferbrache is a third grade teacher at Parker. The two run a Vimeo page called the Mike and Duane Show.

"We have been doing this for 10 years as part of a variety show and have a lot of parodies that involve administration, faculty, students, and staff," Freeman told TODAY.com on Tuesday.

It all pays respect to the Spike Jonze-directed video in which the hip-hop trio of Mike D, MCA and Ad Rock portray 1970s-era detectives. In that classic, the Beasties sport fake mustaches and aviator shades as they race after bad guys, jump over the hood of their cop car, and eat donuts — among other police-related pursuits.

The remake features real librarians from the Francis W. Parker School giving chase among the bookshelves. It has the same look and feel of the original, and even uses a camera mounted on a book cart to mimic the view from the top of a cop car in the Beastie Boys' version. 

The featured librarians get mock names, too. Anne Duncan is "Story Time," Cathy Connelly is "The Techie," and Stephanie McMurray stars as "Late Fee."

"Sabotage" was nominated for five awards at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards. It lost in every category: three times to Aerosmith's "Cryin," and twice to R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts." MCA, dressed as Nathaniel Hornblower, famously rushed the stage during Michael Stipe's acceptance speech to protest the shutout. In 2009, the video was honored at the VMAs with Best Video (That Should Have Won a Moonman).