By Joseph Brannigan Lynch
March 09, 2011 at 07:10 PM EST
  • Music

It’s not easy to make an entertaining video when you’re an acclaimed-but-mopey indie band, more known for inducing introspective lethargy than turning frowns upside down. With that in mind, the “Conversation 16” music video from The National, starring Mad Men‘s John Slattery and Daily Show contributor Kristen Schaal, is a real achievement.

It’s also not often that such a self-loathing song (sample lyric: “I tell you miserable things after you are asleep”) is accompanied by visual gags like a female president packing a teddy with a presidential seal on it (and we’re not talking Beanie Babies). Watch it here:

Slattery plays a secret service agent who harbors courtly love for his commander-in-chief, played by Schaal (who also plays the Conchords’ lone stalker on Flight of the Conchords). After all his womanizing on Mad Men, it’s nice to see the face of Roger Sterling pining respectfully for a woman. Even though the object of his affection seems more interested in the contortionist, bear-man-wrestling leader of some Eastern European country.

You can read EW’s review of High Violet—the album “Conversation 16” was taken from—here.

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