Let’s Revisit the Numa Numa Guy
Online infamy wasn’t something you hid from in 2004; it was something you desperately wanted
Welcome to part eight of our Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at phenomena that captured the imagination and attention of the internet for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. This series looks back at those olden times, and what they told us about the internet, and ourselves. If you have a suggested topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last week, we looked at Keyboard Cat. This week: The Numa Numa Guy.
The story: In 2004, Gary Brolsma was an 18-year-old kid playing around on a video-sharing website called Newgrounds.com. He used Newgrounds.com rather than, say, YouTube.com, because YouTube, in 2004, did not exist. Brolsma was just goofing off, lip-syncing to a song called “Dragostea Din Tei,” by something called O-Zone. This is the O-Zone song:
It is incredibly silly, though no one in O-Zone seems to realize that. But Brolsma did. He knew, even as a teenager, how dumb that song was, and, impressively, how dumb and silly he would look singing such a ridiculous song. So he posted it. Because Brolsma doesn’t look much like a boy-band singer, his lip-syncing looks especially incompatible with the music. That’s why it’s funny. But what’s important is that Brolsma knew that it was funny. Back in 2004, you might have thought you were laughing because That Fat Kid didn’t get the joke. But he absolutely got the joke.
And you know what? I still love it. Even if he’s kidding… his enthusiasm remains absolutely infectious.