If You Haven’t Done The Harlem Shake, Where The Hell Have You Been?

February 17, 2013

The Internet is a dangerous place, ladies and gentlemen. I was innocently surfing through YouTube on my phone a couple of weekends ago, when I came across this:

Take that! Lolcats. Begone! Psy. There’s a new meme in town and it’s called the Harlem Shake. Using a 30 second clip of the track Harlem Shake by music producer Baauer, everyone from office workers to news anchors, babies to grannies, have been uploading videos, just like the firemen above. Here’s a father and son version. This is a man who’s up for anything. What a top dad.

The original Harlem Shake started in… err… Harlem, in 1981. Apparently, it’s based on an Ethiopian dance style called Eskista. This is a 2006 clip of the original and proper Harlem Shake. No thrusting goons in this vid.

Now you know the background to this phenomenomenom, it is my duty to put before you a small selection of – and at 12,000 plus I’m not joking! – Harlem Shake videos. Because they’re 30-second clips, the joy (or pain) will be short lived. You watch them at your own risk…

Synchronised swimming will now be laid to rest, because this is what we’ll be watching when the Olympic circus comes to Rio in 2016.

There are many college versions and most of them are awful, but I like this one. The random guy on a toy cycle trundling across the front of the screen is particularly poetic.

I don’t know who Matt and Kim are, but thank you, Harlem Shake, for bringing them to my attention. A most excellent audience participation. The box suits you, sir.

Here’s one that spans the generations. We have a young man with his much older relatives. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old to (insert activity here). Fair play to them for giving it a go.

The foil lined hallway and the shaking of a stack of pancakes like it’s a percussion instrument tells us these brothers are from another planet. The baby is an absolute joy to watch. Good job he hadn’t just finished breakfast.

Inanimate objects are bringing something to the Harlem Shake party. You would’ve been in your bedroom playing with your soft toys just like this when you were a child and now you’re part of an Internet meme. Never give up on your dreams!

I was going to finish this post with the Harlem Shake Beanie Babies edition above, but something happened on Friday night. I was part of the TV audience for Channel 4’s The Last Leg… and we did the Harlem Shake!

Only winning the lottery could’ve made me happier that night. Pie’s now part of an Internet meme – Ooooh, yeah!



  1. Ha ha… I liked the guy riding a kid bike too!

    I had a giggle looking at the clips but considering how excessively addicted Little Mr is to Gangnam Style, I think I’ll be hiding these from his view…

    …I don’t think I could handle 24/7 of BOTH of these meme’s!

    • I think you’ve made the right decision regarding Little Mr, Kiwi. If he ever got hold of this one, you’d never sleep again!

  2. […] If You Haven’t Done The Harlem Shake, Where The Hell Have You Been? (pienbiscuits.wordpress.com) […]

  3. I’m fond of the Jeff Gordon version.

  4. If I find a video of Psy doing the Harlem Shake with a stupid cat, I’ll know the intellectualist culture is over.

    • What? You mean you haven’t found that one yet…?

      The intellectualist culture was toast as soon as we got The X Factor, American Idol, Jersey Shore, The Only Way Is Essex (also known as TOWIE) and Big Brother, to name a few.

      Thanks for popping in and commenting. You’re more than welcome to say something on any of the nonsense I post here.

      • And you are welcome to say something over at my blog. (zenithedition.wordpress.com)

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