We’ve known for a while that George Clooney would be popping up in some holiday season charity videos featuring the cast of Downton Abbey. With the holidays right around the corner, we have our first look at the charity videos George Clooney is featured in. Check out the oddball sketches in all their glory, below.
We’ve seen sneak peeks of Clooney’s big appearance over the past several weeks, but nothing could have prepared us for the tone of the charity videos, which feature an angel popping up to explain to the real Earl of Grantham what would have happened to his family if he had never been born. The sketch goes full A Christmas Carol walking the Earl through a disparaging life where his staff plays strip poker, his wife and daughters engage with the working class Mr. Selfridge (buying undergarments!), and George Clooney has taken his place as the head of the household. But wait, there’s more.
In the second half of the sketch, we learn that Clooney is a man named George Oceans Gravity, Marquis of Hollywood. He’s married to Cora, but his handsomeness wins over all of the ladies. In one amusing incident, he kisses the Dowager Countess’ hand, causing her to faint!
The whole thing is pretty surreal, and the Earl of Grantham eventually begs to return to a Clooney-less reality, where there is much less drinking and cavorting going on.
The two-part sketch was put together by ITV for the channel’s Text Santa charity, so it won’t have any effect on the Downton Abbey crew moving forward. Which is good, because I’m not sure how well I would take Willy Wonka jokes in the middle of a 1920s period drama on a regular basis. Although, I suppose I’d be fine if the show did this sort of surreal more often, provided George Clooney is involved. Maybe he’ll be back to “text Santa” again next year.
In the meantime, if you live in the UK and are looking forward to more Downton Abbey, the annual Christmas special is expected to hit the schedule on Christmas Day and the show has already been renewed for Season 6. Here in the States, Downton Abbey’s fifth season is expected to hit PBS on Sunday, January 4 at 9 p.m. ET. You can check out the full midseason schedule, here.