The Harlem Shake: A '00s Classic, Having Another Moment (BUT WHY?)

The Harlem Shake has been around for almost 30 years, but you could say it reached peak popularity around 2001. That's when Jadakiss, Cam'ron andother rappers featured the dance in their videos, and, soon, everyone in the country wanted to try it out. (Even the white kids, who would do it first in front of a mirror, then maybe in front of a friend and then in public, where a concerned onlooker would inevitably rush over to ensure he wasn't suffering from an epileptic seizure.) It was a magical time.

Save a few recent Tweets from nostalgia master Frank Ocean, though, the Harlem Shake has been out of the modern public consciousness. This isn't exactly surprising. Fad dances tend to have a very short shelf life. (See: Dougie, Bernie, Stanky Legg.) But then last year, "it DJ" Baauer released the banger "Harlem Shake," which featured maybe the most incredible bass line of any song of 2012:

This week, the song spurred a weeeeeird series of viral videos. And they've had everyone in the office dying. The best I could tell, the craze all started with the below clip, which is probably the weakest of the series so don't get mad at me if you choose the watch the whole thing:

A format soon was established. They all feature, at first, a guy in a motorcyle helmet dancing solo, then the bass line will drop, and there's a jump cut to everyone else in the room joining in.

And it's all led to today's video, the "college version"—undeniably the "Canadian Old School" of the "Harlem Shake" craze. It comes to you from Medway-Sydenham Hall, a residence for about 613 students located at the University of Western Ontario.

This is what the Internet is all about, people. A killer song, a stupid meme, a nostalgic throwback to 2001 and, most importantly, bites of dumb hilarity that come in 30-second bursts. Well done all around.

This article is reprinted with permission from

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