When Senator Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign released two-and-a-half minutes of video footage featuring him wordlessly smiling, it was most likely hoping to provide a friendly “super PAC’ with high-quality images of Mr. McConnell to use in ads.
Instead, the campaign got a viral video sensation that exploded on the Internet last week, and even spawned its own term — “McConnelling.”
The phenomenon started on Tuesday when the campaign put out a web video filled with genial images of Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader: Mr. McConnell smiling at the camera; Mr. McConnell smiling at his wife; Mr. McConnell walking with voters and, of course, smiling.
Mr. McConnell is perhaps known as much for his dour and jowly appearance as for his political acumen — one campaign ad recently compared his visage to that of a turtle — and the Internet rallied to make him an online star. Videos that edited his smiling face into famous sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s began popping up, with Mr. McConnell making cameos in the opening credits of everything from “The Cosby Show” to “Full House” to “Who’s the Boss?” (In “Full House,” the credits helpfully explain that Mr. McConnell will be appearing as “Uncle Mitchy.”)
This is the best silent movie since Mel Brooks’s classic.