It’s rare that an internet meme dies of anything other than apathy. The Trololo Guy, however, died of a stroke. Rest in peace sir, you gave us more then we ever asked for, and you probably never fully understood.
To put the video in perspective, the original Trololo video must have hit the internet with the force of a thousand exploding suns. Here was a bizarre video of a man “mouth singing” and making odd gestures and an audience eating it up like it was The Rolling Stones. It’s strangely paced, and lip synched and, oh yeah, the guy seems like he’s saying “LOL.” I’m sure the first YouTube audiences must have been so flummoxed by this it was almost like that scene in the Matrix where the cat crosses Neo’s path twice. The whole universe was folding in on itself.
The first time I watched the video I had the strongest sensation that I was getting punk’d. I was ready for the front door of my apartment to slowly open and have Mr. Trololo slowly walk in singing and staring right at me. All the while I would sit there unable to move, blood dripping out of my eyes and nose. It’s like the internet’s version of The Ring.
What kind of culture could create this music? I guess in the former Soviet Union, this was supposed to be the equivalent of scat music, and quite popular. I took a second to search for “The Scat Man” on youtube, and now that I’m reminded of how ludicrous that track was, maybe this isn’t so bad. Oh, and by the way, it turns out that Scat Man John had more than one music video, which surprises me as I always figured after “The Scat Man” he was taken out in the street and shot.
One particularly horrible video called “Scat Man’s World” is so bad (how bad is it?) it’s almost the American Trololo, but then again whatever he’s scatting isn’t Russian for “Rolling on the Floor Laughing”. In case you want to take it in for yourself, here’s a great embarrassment to English speaking countries everywhere...
So as Mr. Trololo passes into the great memetic beyond, we do have one final video of him performing the song that made him famous. I watched this for the first time on the day of his death, and was stunned that the people in this video were often even crazier then the song itself. So I’ve included that video here and following it my reaction notes for each relevant timecode. Watch along with me, and enjoy.
NOTE: While it seems that Russia had caught on to the fame of Mr. Trololo at the point this was filmed, and even the man himself was aware of his internet fame, I like to pretend while I watch this video that everyone involved was still in the dark. Its not hard because nobody seems to have a clue what’s going on.
0:08 - Is it just me or has this guy turned into a scary hybrid of Mister Rogers, Bill Nye, and Ventriloquists Dummy?
0:21 - There are a bunch of Russian celebrities in attendance... these are the ONLY 2 that don’t look insane. I bet these two were eaten by a bear after the show.
0:30 - How old is that keyboard player? He looks like somebody's nephew. Wait... is that fat John Oliver? Anyway it must be hard to play instruments to this lipsync track.
0:40 - This stage is HUGE! Are people still in bread lines in Russia? Because that would make me upset. When do you think Scatman John will see a stage this size? I’ll tell you when: Never. Wait... is he dead too? Crap!
0:47 - Are those people on the bottom getting up to dance to this? God I hope so!
1:11 - Ladies and Gentlemen, its Russian Elizabeth Berkley.
1:14 - This is the point where even if I was Russian and I fully appreciated this cultural art form I would totally check out. This pointing and high squealing part. I’d just close my menu and leave the restaurant. The figurative restaurant that is Russian cultural music.
1:24 - Ladies and Gentlemen, its Russian Fred Armisen-ski... in drag.
1:39 - What’s the house painter from Murphy Brown doing here? Being stupid... that’s what.
1:46 - Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s Russian Alfred Molina-ski.
1:55 - Who’s this asshole? He waving like he’s the one singing here. It’s not about you! This is Tolololo’s time!
2:07 - Just a second ago, Alfred Molina-ski was playing a fake instrument more convincingly than this entire band. ACTING!
2:24 - The best part was every person that wasn’t Mr. Trololo trying to find anything to do when the camera was pointing at them. This is the most awkwardness captured in Russia since somebody made fun of that thing on Gorbachev's head. “Vladmir, come bere, comrade. Bird has made poo-poo on leader’s head.”
So there you have it. Or... do you? Here’s one more bonus video, and it’s Mr. Trololo singing acapella on a russian street. Have fun getting your mind BLOWN!