Some years ago a young man named Ze created a hilarious website with several mock demonstration videos called “How to Dance Properly.” The story goes that it was meant as a novelty for friends who were attending a private party. But they sent it on to other friends and it — as we say these days — went viral. Ze went on to become an Internet phenom, and, in March 2006, he set up a challenge for himself to do a short video show a day. When I was living in Egypt, The Show with Ze Frank — a 3 to 5-minute piece that springboarded off the news and viewer comments — was my connection to American (and wired) culture. I watched it daily, and shared some episodes with my Egyptian journalism and film students. I loved his punny and sometimes naughty humor, sight gags and manic energy.
One of the great things about my job at TIME is that I have the access and the platform to invite diverse voices to present multimedia pieces for us. Just this week, my friend Brian — who, according to his website, is Earth’s Premier Science Comedian — did a great video (with another of my best friends, David Clair) about Galileo and the Year of Astronomy in 2009, 400 years after Galileo first turned his eyes to the heavens with his telecope.
So a while back, I reached out to Ze Frank to invite him to contribute. Yesterday he came through with an excellent video essay on the showdown in Iran, which features the best explanatory graphic describing the Iranian government system I’ve seen on any news site. I’m really hoping that Ze’s “That Makes Me Think Of…” will be an ongoing — and long-running — series on TIME.com
Have a look for yourself: