Laurel and Hardy Dance

One of the more amusing videos circulating on Facebook and elsewhere has Laurel and Hardy doing an adorable little dance that syncs up surprisingly to a track by Santana.

But follow it to YouTube and there’s a dozen or more other mashups of the same dance to other rock songs of the same 4/4 tempo.

And pretty good songs too, from Santana’s “Oye Como Va” to Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up” to M’s “Pop Muzik” to to Nick Lowe’s “Cruel to be Kind” to Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger.” aIt runs from ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.” Most of them seemed to pop up last year, but they all seem to work.

U2’s “Magnificent” uses some black and white of Bono in the studio as well as the dance. The version of  The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” is a bogus one from the Beatles Rockstar game. Dancing to Devo’s “Whip It” makes sense since the wild west ambience echoes the band’s original video.

The R&B versions are expectedly funny, though visually the worse – tending to use the smudgier colorized version of the film, such as one set to The Trammps’ version of “Shout.” Also represented on other videos: “Boogie Oogie Oogie,” “Born to Be Alive,” “Soul Makossa” the Gap Band’s “Party Train,” even “Billy Jean.”

The “Soulja Boy” seems to work pretty well. And there’s one for Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”

The Rolling Stones number selected to accompany the clip, oddly, is the full symphony “Out of Time” though there’s one to the live version of “Goin’ to a Go Go.”

For an obscurity, T. Rex’s “I Love to Boogie” works pretty well.  And there’s “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies and Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.”

How is it possible that this clip could possibly work with such a variety of songs? Because the original clip is so good, set as it was to a simple hillbilly song, “At the Ball, That’s All,” by a group called the Avalon Boys, which featured as yodeler one Chill Wills, who’d make his mark in dozens of cowboy pictures be the voice of Francis the Talking Mule and ride the bomb in Stanley Kubrick’s sardonic “Dr. Strangelove.”

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