‘Hi Stranger’, a Relaxing Yet Unnerving Claymation Video

[dropcap]A[/dropcap] butt-naked humanoid creep is the internet’s worst new viral star. The main character in a video known only as “Hi Stranger” has been described as “the creepiest thing ever,” “exceptionally weird,” and “bizarre”. But mostly they just called it “creepy.” While the internet’s reaction has been fairly consistent, what’s not clear is what, exactly, makes this dewy-skinned sweet talker so creepy. And according to one psychological theory, that vagueness is exactly what creeps us out.

First, a bit about our slippery friend: Hi Stranger lies bare-assed, flat on its stomach on what appears to be a smear of mayonnaise. Its skin is only slightly less pale and is similarly glossy. In its perfectly round head are two widely spaced, black-rimmed eyes, and a black curved mouth — nothing else. When it opens, the mouth issues a soft, slightly nasal male voice that caresses the viewer with compliments. Sometimes, its eyes grow heavy-lidded. Those bedroom eyes rarely stop making contact with yours. Together, these characteristics make a forcefully creepy impression.




Hi Stranger is the work of LA-based animator Kirsten Lepore, who has worked on Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. The character in Hello Stranger is based on a figured doodled onto a Post It note by Adventure Time head writer Kent Osborne.

Ms Lepore told Skwigly she got the idea for the short when she found the Post It in an old sketch book: “Immediately when I got to it this character just came to life for me and I had all these ideas,” she said.

“So I emailed Kent to be like ‘Hey I have this whole idea for a film based on this Post-It note you gave me, is it cool if I adapt this character?’ and he was totally cool with it. So I changed to design a little bit and messed with it and sort of created a personality for this simple doodle that was just on a Post-It note.”

The character is voiced by Garrett Michael Davis. Ms Lepore said: “I knew that he could tackle the tone that I was going for and the sort of weirdly intimate, weirdly creepy kind of gender-ambiguous voice I was going for, and he really nailed it.”



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