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Zoolander of EDM: James Van Der Beek in Viceland’s What Would Diplo Do?

James Van Der Beek spoofs EDM and megastar Diplo in What Would Diplo Do? for Viceland

Diplo (played by James Van Der Beek), in the new Viceland comedy What Would Diplo Do? appears to be the Zoolander of the EDM scene. The five-part series is coming to Viceland in August.

Borrowing a bit of premise from both classic comedies Zoolander and This is Spinal Tap, this ripe-for-the-picking world of celebrity DJ’s and EDM (electronic dance music) is the setting for What Would Diplo Do?

Starring James Van Der Beek, the story is a farcical journey of a real superstar DJ that recounts his humble beginnings of selling CDs from the boot of his car to making it big on the neon-bathed ecstasy-lit rave scene and touring massive venues.

Van Der Beek is the executive producer and showrunner. He plays a fictional version of EDM DJ superstar Diplo who commands huge audiences but despite this success, has personal fail after personal fail.

The clip below shows him trying to find “new sounds” by using a blender to grind things up. The succession of items inspires who looks to be his sound engineer or manager saying to Diplo: “Sometimes I think your head is little oven that only bakes bad ideas.”

Diplo lending a violin for “new sounds”

Diplo shares his rags to riches beginnings in the tease as well.

He says: “[They said] you know, living as a DJ was impossible. Going from selling CDs out of the trunk of my Scion, to having a platinum record was impossible!”

Later in the clip, actor Bobby Lee, who plays one of his confidantes,  says to Diplo: “There’s no “I” in team, bro!”

Diplo replies: “Yeah but there’s an “I” in Diplo!”

In a previous interview with Deadline, Van Der Beek praised the megastar DJ Diplo for allowing him to creatively poke a big stick at him, saying: “I’ve enjoyed deconstructing my own image quite a bit over the years, but to have the chance to do it with a global megastar like Diplo who’s letting us do something fun and ridiculous that few people have the balls to allow is crazy.”

The first video released teasing the series reveals the tone:

What Would Diplo Do? premieres August 3 on VICELAND.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
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