HBO Asked YouTube’s ‘Queen of Shitty Robots’ to Try Her Hand at Making a Westworld Host

Hopefully this one won't become self-aware

The YouTube star partnered with HBO to make a 'lifelike' version of herself.
Simone Giertz

If you could build your own Westworld version of yourself, would you do it? Or, setting aside the moral and philosophical questions, could you do it?

Simone Giertz—scrappy inventor, YouTube personality, famed “Queen of Shitty Robots” and Adweek Creative 100 alumna—decided to give it a shot.

A new 6:30 clip, sponsored by HBO and created with digital studio Portal A, features Giertz hacking a medical doll into a half-baked (OK, barely cooked) version of one of the TV show’s lifelike androids. In it, she binges the first season of the series to prep for the mission, before diving into creating a “sim” (with Simone being “Sim-One,” thus making her creation “Sim-Two”).

Ultimately, the bot doesn’t quite succeed in replicating her exact look—and it certainly falls short of Fred, the pub-going android created to promote Westworld in London. But Giertz brings her signature humor to the process, wryly prodding other popular YouTube genres along the way. “Welcome to Simone’s beauty vlog,” she says, as she dabs makeup onto the mannequin’s cheeks with a brush (complete with broken monologue). “Just a little bit like that. It just gives you so you look a little bit more alive, which is great if you’re a dead plastic doll.”

Overall, it’s a great little targeted promo as the premium network gears up for the launch of the popular show’s second season this Sunday. During the building process, Giertz pokes out a reference to the show’s theme song on a toy piano. And in the end, with the help of a little movie magic, her robot finds its way into pastoral landscape from Season 1—mimicking a scene from the show, complete with existential musings, a white-suited fixer, and a dramatic orchestral score.

For Giertz, whose charmingly absurd projects have made it onto The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, it’s a nice addition to a practice of sponsored content that stay true her own voice—like that time last fall she let a dinner-serving robot throw pumpkin soup at her, with help from Google Home (and then promptly donated the proceeds to disaster relief in Puerto Rico).


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