No, we haven’t been sucked into a wormhole that has desposited us back in 1987. “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi’s #1 hit from that year, is back on the Billboard Top 100 singles charts.
Welcome to the new world where online memes can turn an old song into a new hit. In this case, the culprit is a 2009 YouTube video that has inexplicably gone viral.
All Things Digital tries to explain:
All I can tell you is that many people on the Web believe the dancer’s name is Jeremy Fry. And that while his lip sync first became a sensation in 2009, there are other clips of him, doing the same outsized moves at Celtics games, in what appears to be the same shirt, from 2008.
I can tell you that while the clip seems to have been periodically discovered, and shared, throughout the last four years, its rocket ride started a few weeks ago. That’s when something called UTrend.TV re-posted it, with a Facebook-friendly headline and sub-hed: “What Happens When You’ve Got One Chance. This man is awesome! Somebody buy the man whatever he is drinking!”
I don’t know who works at or funds UTrend.TV, or why they decided to repost a clip uploaded by a YouTube user who has only posted two videos in the last three years.
But just like the guys at Upworthy, ViralNova and Buzzfeed, whoever works at UTrend.TV has figured out how to repackage old stuff they find on the Web in a way that makes it irresistible to Facebook passers-along. People have shared UTrend’s post on Facebook 1.7 million times so far, and have streamed the YouTube clip more than 12 million times in the last month.