Gotye performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, London, England, February 29, 2012. (CARSTEN WINDHORST/WENN.COM)
Virtually every popular song released in the last decade has at some point been spoofed, covered, reconstructed and deconstructed online. But Aussie songwriter Gotye and his monster hit Somebody That I Used to Know seem to have hit a special nerve: the tune's enormous popularity and the low-tech approach to the accompanying video have unleashed a tidal wave of covers, remixes and creative parodies.
Since the middle of summer marks the one-year anniversary of the video debut of Somebody That I Used to Know, we look back at the best spoofs it spawned.
A catchy song plus a novel concept for a video - Gotye and New Zealand songstress Kimbra are painted into (or out of) the background in stop-motion as the song progresses - equals instant viral video hit, closing in on 300 million YouTube views.
The definitive cover:
Ontario indie band Walk Off the Earth came up with a very savvy idea, covering Somebody That I Used to Know with all five members of the band playing one guitar, simultaneously. Their cover alone has racked up more than 130 million views.
The spoof of the cover:
The video parody masterminds at The Key of Awesome created a LOL-worthy spoof of the Walk Off the Earth cover of Somebody That I Used to Know. (This is getting kind of Inception here.) Finally we understand why that guy with the beard is in the band.
The College Humor parody:
You know you've done something right when the gang at College Humor riffs on your song. In Some Study That I Used to Know, "Gotye" questions all the useless crap he learned in school, much to the fury of his teacher. Wait, pi has more than three digits?
The Star Wars spoof:
No matter how much time passes, Star Wars fans will never forgive George Lucas for the prequel movies. In this fantastic pop-culture collision dubbed The Star Wars That I Used to Know, Anakin "Darth Vader" Skywalker laments his new lot in life.
A year after Gotye's video debuted, the phenom comes full circle with a video by Eric Schwartz, a.k.a. Smooth-E, which references the College Humor parody, the Star Wars spoof and Walk Off the Earth's cover. We can officially retire this meme forever.