On February 2, 2013 two videos were posted to YouTube that featured humorous dancing to the dance track "Harlem Shake" by DJ Baauer who is based in Brooklyn. Within a week the viral videos began generating an explosion of other videos mimicking the originals but adding their own unique style and locations. When the Today Show presented their version on February 13, many claimed they had "killed the meme," but new "Harlem Shake" videos continue to proliferate. The Harlem Shake was originally a dance that originated in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City. Check out more details on the Harlem Shake dance.
1. Matt and Kim Edition
Dance punk duo Matt and Kim instructed the audience at one of their concerts in Troy, New York to go nuts and help create their "Harlem Shake" video. The clip exploded virally so quickly that it had reached one million views in around 30 hours after posting. Matt and Kim are no strangers to viral videos having seen their "Lessons Learned" clip, in which they strip down naked in Times Square, become a viral sensation.
2. Norwegian Army Edition
19 year old Kenneth Hakonsen is responsible for creating the most popular among a wide range of military-themed "Harlem Shake" videos. Seemingly oblivious to the snow, when the beat drops and everyone goes crazy, there is more than a bit of bare flesh showing.
3. Portland Edition
Many advertising agencies have used their commercial filming talents to create "Harlem Shake" videos. The Portland, Oregon offices of Wieden Kennedy put together one of the best. A mild mannered crowd on bleachers suddenly erupt. The man riding his tricycle in the foreground shows an element that has been repeated in a number of other "Harlem Shake" videos.
4. Sunny Coast Skate Edition
Along with the Filthy Frank "Harlem Shake" video below, Australia's Sunny Coast Skate group are given credit for helping kick off the craze. This clip set standard elements like the use of a hood or helmet on the opening dancer and the disinterested bystanders.
5. Filthy Frank Edition
A YouTube personality referring to himself as "Filthy Frank" is given credit for creating the first viral "Harlem Shake" video. It is little more than a small group dancing to the song while decked out in Power Ranger style spandex. The very obvious difference after the beat drops is not present in this clip, but this viral meme had to kick off somewhere.
6. University of Georgia Swim and Dive Edition
Representing the college sports teams that have joined the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon, the University of Georgia Men's Swim and Dive team put together a video that is somewhat elegant in feel due to the slower motion required by filming it underwater. The team created the clip in less than an hour and put together their "Harlem Shake" interpretation in an effort to go a step further than an earlier video posted by the University of Tennessee's Swim team.
7. The Daily Show Edition
In keeping with The Daily Show's broad satire, their "Harlem Shake" video shows a bewildered Jon Stewart when he is abandoned after the beat drops. This clip was the subject of The Daily Show's "Moment Of Zen" for February 14, 2013.
8. Grandma Edition
Elderly people have climbed aboard the "Harlem Shake" express as well. 22 year old Hank Rao, CEO of online underwear marketers theluckypair.com, filmed his version of the "Harlem Shake" with his two grandmothers at a family celebration of Chinese New Year. He says the grandma moves are ones they came up with on their own.
9. Jeff Gordon Edition
It was not long before celebrities got in on the Internet meme as well. NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon jumped in front of the camera with his Hendrick Motorsports team. Reportedly, the team filmed the clip in just two takes. Corporate sponsor Pepsi jumped in and helped distribute the video.
10. Beanie Baby Edition
And, finally, there has to be a cuteness factor in the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon. Professional eater Furious Pete put his collection of beanie babies to good use in a completely non-human version of the "Harlem Shake."