Bad Lip Reading

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Industry YouTube Channel
Genre Comedy
Headquarters Texas

Bad Lip Reading (abbreviated as BLR) is a YouTube channel, run by an anonymous individual in the music production business, that spoofs clips from films, TV shows, songs, and political news stories by overdubbing humorous vocal work that matches the lip movements of the targets. Rolling Stone described the channel as "the breakout hit" of the 2012 United States presidential election cycle.[1] The creator declines to identify himself.[2]


The "Bad Lip Reader" behind the channel is an anonymous Texas-based music and video producer. The first Bad Lip Reading video released was a spoof of Rebecca Black's song "Friday", titled "Gang Fight". New music and lyrics were matched to Black's video to make it appear as though she were singing about gang warfare. The "Gang Fight" YouTube video, released in March 2011, earned BLR a million hits and thousands of subscribers.[1]

More spoof videos followed, including interpretations of The Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow" (a viral video[3] called "Everybody Poops"), Taylor Swift's "Our Song" and Michael Bublé's "Haven't Met You Yet". The latter was transformed into the "electronica inspired" "Russian Unicorn",[1] which Bublé himself praised as his "new favorite song"[4] and "one of the coolest things I've ever seen."[5]

In September 2011, BLR branched out from pop singers to politicians with a "bad lip-reading" of Texas governor and US Presidential hopeful Rick Perry. BLR replaced clips of Perry with invented dialogue matched to his lip movements, including "what's good is to get these goats for our computer industry"[6] and "I'm bored by famine. I cannot wait for a medieval cookie, a Cinnabon, hot yellow Kool-Aid, and save a pretzel for the gas jets!"[1] Following the Perry spoof, BLR has released bad lip-readings of President Obama[6] and Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann,[7] Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. In January 2013, BLR released a "bad lip-reading" of National Football League players, coaches and referees.[8][9]

In a Rolling Stone interview, the producer behind the Bad Lip Reading videos said that he first encountered the technique of lip reading when his mother, then in her 40s, lost her hearing due to unknown causes. While she excelled at lip reading, he was unable to pick up the skill despite trying: "I was terrible at it."[1]

On June 8 the BLR Facebook page announced the release of the full version of "Modify" by Kniles, a song that has been used in multiple BLR productions. The fact that this song was used without previous attribution, as well as stylistic similarities to other BLR-produced songs, have prompted speculation that Kniles is another pseudonym for the individual behind Bad Lip Reading. [10]

Copyright dispute[edit]

One of Bad Lip Reading's works, "Dirty Spaceman", a redubbing of "Check It Out" by featuring Nicki Minaj, was taken down due to a claim of copyright infringement. It is unclear if Universal Music issued a formal DMCA takedown request or if YouTube's Content ID Match system detected the work and removed it automatically.[11] Also, in March 2012, the video "Beard With Glue," a bad lip reading of "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt, was taken down by Warner Music Group on a copyright claim. Unlike "Dirty Spaceman", the claim was soon released, and the video was returned. Likewise, "Gang Fight" was taken down in 2011, but returned. UMG has also taken down "Rockin' All Nite Long", the Taylor Swift spoof that also features Wiz Khalifa.


  1. ^ a b c d e Dickinson, Tim (October 7, 2011). "Exclusive: The Bad Lip Reader Speaks". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ Bell, Melissa (October 18, 2011). "Bad Lip Reading: behind the viral videos everyone’s talking about". Washington Post. Retrieved June 9, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bad Lip Reading Translates Rick Perry, Gets It About Right". The Huffington Post. September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Michael Bublé Live On Ustream". Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ Bublé, Michael (July 21, 2011). "Michael Bublé Video Reply: Russian Unicorn". YouTube. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Macarthur, Amber (September 30, 2011). "Why Bad Lip Reading is way more awesome than Auto-Tune The News". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Frauenfelder, Mark (October 4, 2011). "Michele Bachmann honored by Bad Lip Reading". Boing Boing. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Bad Lip Reading: The NFL Like You've Never Heard It". MTV. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  9. ^ "'The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading' stars Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady and more (VIDEO)". Sporting News. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Masnick, Mike. "Universal Uses Copyright To Censor Bad Lip Reading Parody; Why Not Embrace It?". techdirt. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 

External links[edit]