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‘Let’s wear a mask’: Mega-viral ‘Shoes’ video gets COVID-19 update

Kelly is back.

Sep 2, 2020, 3:37 pm*

Internet Culture


Cecilia Lenzen

Remember the mega-popular “Shoes” video-turned-meme? Creator Liam Kyle Sullivan is back with a new and updated COVID-19 version: “Masks.”

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Fourteen years ago, “Shoes” was one of the first truly viral videos on the internet. YouTube had debuted a year earlier, and you could finally sign up for a Facebook account.

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Sullivan has made guest appearances on various TV shows but is best known for comedic internet videos where he stars as a sullen, moody teenager named Kelly.

In the "Masks" video, Kelly tunes into an online meeting with her parents, who are “social distancing” from each other in different rooms of the house. She receives two vastly different messages from her parents: a heartwarming apology from her father and slut-shaming insults from her mother. 

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Annoyed, Kelly decides to leave and go shopping, donning a face mask while on the call. Her mother, a classic “Karen,” is disgusted and snaps, “"If I hear another thing about a mask I'm going to lose it.” 

"Just go fuck yourself, mom," Kelly says in reply. She proceeds to strut around town while demonstrating which face masks “rule” and which ones “suck.” 

Pink, sparkly face masks and Black Lives Matter masks that cover your mouth and nose definitely rule. Ripped masks that leave a gaping hole for your mouth obviously suck. 

All the while, Kelly sings, “Let’s wear a mask,” to the electronic rock tune of the original “Shoes” song. 

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The song and outdated dance moves may not receive the same praise that “Shoes” did in 2006. But Kelly brings up an important message amid the pandemic and delivers it in a way that could amuse viewers who need a new take on the same message: Wear a mask. 

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*First Published: Sep 2, 2020, 2:55 pm