Bad Lip Reading

Bad_Lip_Reading_logoby Olivia Billbrough

In 2011 the now infamous song “Friday” circled the internet and plagued Friday nights. Then, something amazing happened. A new song, with an interesting twist rose from the depths of YouTube to shatter the malaise of Rebecca Black’s so called song. “Gang Fight” was released in March of 2011 and was a parody of the original song by Black. However, this parody was like no other, for it was a complete dub with strange lyrics. And thus, Bad Lip Reading was brought to the attention of YouTubers and iTunes.

Created in 2011 by a mysterious, texas-based music and video producer who, to this day, remains anonymous, the Youtube channel Bad Lip Reading (BLR) has 3,380,462 subscribers and over 40 videos on its channel. But what is it that makes these videos so unique? It’s the fact that, like the name implies, they videos are comical re-dubs of the original with a “bad lip reading” by the artist.

A song or video has the sound taken out, and then a new video is created with a BLR overdub and new music. The person behind BLR does all of the singing and says that he started this after his mother lost her hearing and started lip reading. However, when he tried to lip read, he discovered that he was terrible at it, but could come up with some funny lines and soon after BLR was born.

One of my favorite BLR music videos is “Russian Unicorn,” which is a bad lip reading of Michael Bublé’s, “Haven’t Met You Yet.” Though, it doesn’t have the most views (The BLR music video with the highest viewers is still Gang Fight with over 9 million), it did receive a nod from Michael Bublé himself.

Though BLR got its start doing music videos, the channel has branched out to include BLR of movies, like Twilight and the Hunger Games, political speeches, like ones by Mitt Romney and President Obama, television shows like Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, and even clips from NFL games.

Another personal favorite of BLR, is a video called Shadow Pico, which is based on a music video by One Directions “Gotta Be You” but with the BLR treatment, becomes a trailer for an art-house, foreign language film. It turns the warm and friendly boy-band into shadowy cultish figures.

One of the great things about BLR is that some of the songs are just really good. Michael Bublé’s praise of “Russian Unicorn” is totally warranted as the song is just so much fun and catchy. With lyrics like “I wanna shave that mustache/ and then have gellato,” and “I gotta a porcupine named zazoom/ he leaves his scent on people’s graves,” it’s impossible not to laugh and go “what?” especially when the strange lyrics match up perfectly with the singers mouth. BLRings songs are available on itunes and I defiantly recommend checking them all out, as well as the videos on the Youtube channel, for laughs and to find some genuinely good tunes.


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