The video that inspired the Harlem Shake meme
  • The video that inspired the “Harlem Shake” meme

I’ve never really been into the crowd participation type of memes, from the formerly inescapable planking fad to the more recent and very slightly cleverer “T’eoing,” where men pose with their imaginary girlfriends. In fact I still get douche chills every time I hear Jay-Z rapping about planking on Watch the Throne.

But there’s a new YouTube meme called the “Harlem Shake” that I just discovered through Animal that is lighting up my brain’s happy zones. The formula is extremely basic: The video opens with a static camera shot of a room full of people working, studying, or just standing there. The intro to Baauer’s 2012 underground EDM smash “Harlem Shake” starts up and a lone dancer, often wearing a mask or helmet, dances along in a vaguely raunchy way while the other people continue to do whatever boring thing they’re doing. Then the beat drops and suddenly everyone goes totally bananas.

It’s completely stupid, of course, but I fully support any kind of activity involving people dressing up in costumes and getting as buck wild as possible, with zero fucks given towards trying to look cool. Plus whatever cringey “Check me out I’m doing that thing from the Internet” vibes there might be are fully negated by the un-self-conscious joy of getting mad dumb with a roomful of friends and/or co-workers that these things radiate.

Check out a sample after the jump, and if you’re inspired to do your own wildin’ out to “Harlem Shake” there will be a few tickets available at the door for the otherwise sold out Baauer show at the Mid tonight.