YouTube Poop is an unusual Internet meme. It’s a recycling of videos from YouTube, often consisting of nostalgic pop culture footage and other video memes — chopped, screwed, de-molecularized, and manhandled into a goulash of video nonsense. Content is often borrowed from old video game-based television shows such as either of the two ’90s Sonic the Hedgehog shows, Super Mario World, or Mega Man, as well as animation from within video games like the notoriously bad Phillips CD-i Zelda and Mario games. Spoken phrases are hashed into new contexts, new sentences, or nonsense. Videos are polarized and inverted, sped up and slowed down. In pop art terms, it’s video collage in a new venue exclusively on the low-brow end of things. It’s the sort of mind-bending, head-scratching, audio-visual experience you might expect from 1940s dadaist films or early ’80s experimental cable programming.
One of the most common traits among YouTube Poop videos, or Poops, if you will, is that they’re not particularly good. Most of them are downright brain rot, inexcusably bad, totally unfunny, and chock-full of needless repetition. Maybe there will be one or two cheap laughs, but by and large the experience is seldom what you’d hope for in the “funny Internet video” department. The driving force of Poop mediocrity is that any 12-year-old with a computer can make them, and since they think all crazy shit on the Internet is hilarious, YouTube is over-saturated with almost as many lackluster Poops as there are anime music videos… Well, maybe not quite that many.
If YouTube Poops are so lousy, why then am I wasting your precious time telling you about them? And what do they have to do with music anyway? This is a music blog isn’t it?
Hold your horses, smarty-pants. I’m getting to that. There are brilliant Poops out there, but you’ll have to set sail on a sticky sea of bullshit to find them. Allow me to share with you two of my personal favorites.
“What is Spaghetti?” by Jeff Lindblom is a terrific example of how fun YouTube Poop can be. The Poop’s footage is taken exclusively from the terrible animation of the aforementioned Phillips CD-i Nintendo games, particularly the Zelda titles. Every key editing trait of YouTube Poop is exhibited herein and executed to the fullest of its comedic power. Nintendo characters cuss at each other, creepy things happen, and as a final grand crescendo, the Poop turns into a music video for Haddaway’s “What is Love?”
While “What is Spaghetti?” is a perfect Poop, perhaps the most endearing Poop I’ve come across is “Mama Luigi is a Nuclear Weapon” by The Electric Cheese. The video consists mostly of footage from the Super Mario World Saturday morning cartoon show from the early ’90s. The show was terrible, had little to nothing to do with the video game, and lasted a merciful thirteen episodes. Electric Cheese’s video retools the show’s inadequacies into hilarity. At a whopping eight and a half minutes, there is a certain amount of Poop drudgery you have to wade through to get to the best parts, but they’re worth it.
The most surprising element of “Mama Luigi” is the two original remixes it contains. Every episode of the “Mario World” show had a different, positively wretched song in it. In “Mama Luigi”, one of these awful songs is hilariously reworked into a full-blown house track. The second remix is constructed from a bunch of random sound bytes from the show. It turns out Electric Cheese, aka mrSimon, is an electronica artist and VG remixer in his spare time with almost 50 tracks of weird, dance-y whatnot on Last.fm.
Don’t have the patience to watch the whole thing? Skip to 3:00 and 3:50 for the best parts.