The Harlem Shake Awards

Harlem_Shake_snowAccording to Wikipedia, a meme can be defined as “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

We now live in a world that is not only connected through email, Facebook, and Twitter, but also extremely specific inside jokes. The fact that I could chance upon an unknown peer at Temple University and have a fairly nuanced discussion on a series of 30-second YouTube videos is an odd but undeniably present part of living in 2013. Memes may be just a phase, but I doubt that their presence and occasional dominance of culture is ending any time soon; people enjoy being on the the inside of an inside joke, especially if it is a good one.

The Harlem Shake is a pretty good (and maybe more importantly quick) joke. Even if a video didn’t take you to a state of ROFL, it only took 30 seconds of your time. Further, if you enjoy the Harlem Shake, you can gather a lot of different opinions on what makes an entertaining video in a fairly quick amount of time.

I enjoy The Harlem Shake. I do not enjoy it as much as the real Harlem Shake, or actual people from Harlem commenting on the Harlem Shake, but regardless I am happy that the meme exists. And since I sense that this meme is on its tail end of relevance, I figured it was time to hand out some awards recognizing those who presented innovative ideas to meme culture and made the most entertaining and creative Harlem Shakes.

Normally, this is where I would say something qualifying my opinions on a topic, implying that while I am not an expert in a certain field, I have enough experience to hand out fictional awards for the purposes of the article. But who am I kidding- I am as close to having a Doctorate in Harlem Shake videos as anyone else on the planet.

Award for Commitment to the Craft of Creating Harlem Shake Videos

The group did a great job, but this award is for the individual who is killing it in the sleeping bag on the left. Twerking out in a sleeping bag has been a staple of many Harlem Shake videos, and this kid answered the call of duty, sacrificing his camping supplies for the greater good of becoming meme-famous.

Most Impressively Large Harlem Shake

I think this Harlem Shake should be an example to students in colleges all across the country- If you desire some attention for your school, find whatever the meme of the day is and execute one really well. Maybe some day you’ll end up on some random college kid’s blog and all of your dreams will come true, just as they did for University of Texas – Austin here today.

Awards for Excellence in Harlem Shake Cuteness

It was a tie.

Best Mocking of the Harlem Shake While Employing the Harlem Shake

I see what you did there.

Award for Excellence in Absurdity

It’s hard to stand out as especially absurd when analyzing a joke that is fairly absurd to begin with. But I can’t remember a time in my life where I saw a guy in a Banana Suit and thought “Oh yeah, that totally makes sense.”

So congratulations?

Best “Found Footage” Harlem Shake

We didn’t know it at the time, but Snoopy has been waiting for the Harlem Shake to become a thing for at least two decades now. That dog loves to dance.

Scariest Harlem Shake

If Slender Man doesn’t scare you yet, you don’t know enough about Slender Man.

Group of Professionals That I Am Most Concerned Are Spending Their Time on Making Harlem Shake Videos As Opposed to Their Real Profession

What would’ve really impressed me is if they made a Harlem Shake video while there was a fire blazing out of control behind them.

Award for Excellence in Meme-ception

So they Rick Rolled a bunch of kids that were friendly enough to help them make a Harlem Shake video.

And end up still making a pretty successful Harlem Shake video.

A meme within a meme. That is some advanced level trolling.

Best Inanimate Object Harlem Shake


Harlem Shake That I Wish I Was In the Most

Matt and Kim are really cool.

Award for Defeating Duke University While Making a Harlem Shake Video

There is no doubt in my mind that had the Terps forgone the Harlem Shake at halftime, Duke would have won the game.

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2 Responses to The Harlem Shake Awards

  1. Alli says:

    Hey, This is Ray’s sister, Alli. I felt compelled to comment on:
    a. your excellent and hilarious writing
    b. your ability to have me sit here for 15 minutes watching Harlem shake videos

    I applaud your award decisions (especially The Peanuts one). Keep writing and I’ll see you at firefly this summer 🙂

  2. Pingback: 20 Lists of 13 to Celebrate 2013 | Shitty Banter

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