Every year, like clockwork, the media wrings its collective hands at the perverse sacrifice at the altar of consumerism that Black Friday has become. The day after Thanksgiving, marking the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season, is bemoaned as an irrational, dangerous, and possibly money-losing exercise that doesn’t even technically start on Thanksgiving anymore.
In this respect, Black Friday is a lot like the weather: everyone loves to complain, but (almost) no one ever does anything about it.
But this Black Friday, social news site Reddit is unveiling its own effort to combat the insanity: a limited-time-only special home shopping network livestreamed straight from Reddit’s YouTube channel directly into the homes of people too lazy (or too rational) to even consider braving the lines at Best Buy.
"It will be a combination of everything that is great about Reddit," Redditgifts marketing manager Kaela Gardner told the Daily Dot last month, "We're going to have a lot of celebrities and other notable persons stopping by to sing, do product demos, have live AMA sessions, and generally goof off. We'll also feature some of our favorite subreddits and have some audience interactions."
In a post detailing the broadcast, the site made clear that the Redditgifts Shopping Network is probably going to be a good bit more fun than watching QVC in your underpants. ‟It's going to be part home-shopping-network, part old-school-holiday-variety-show, part fundraiser telethon, and part Muppets Take Manhattan,” Reddit explained. ‟We're going to be featuring amazing small merchants from the redditgifts marketplace, dynamite musical acts, hilarious comedians, appearances from celebrity redditors, and of course a Hoffman's two-toed sloth.”
In accordance with American tradition, the Redditgifts Shopping Network will simultaneously mock America’s obsession for holiday shopping while also facilitating it by highlighting deals from Bitcoin Black Friday.
The event, proceeds from which will be donated to the education nonprofit DonorsChoose.org, is hosted by a team of New York- and Toronto-based comedians with help from beloved Dirty Jobs host (and former QVC pitchman) Mike Rowe, Pee-Wee Herman and some random Reddit user who goes by handle u/GovSchwarzenegger.
Since being officially acquired by Reddit in 2011, Redditgifts has already pioneered new ground in the world of holiday gift-giving. For the past two years running, it has set world records for hosting the largest ever secret Santa present exchange.
Basketball/hip hop/acting/video game great Shaquille O'Neal has announced his participation in this year’s exchange. So, if you ever wanted to have a one in 60,000 chance of buying Shaq a new blender, this is totally your chance.
Photo by StormKatt/Flickr