MIT Gangnam Style

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MIT Gangnam Style[1] (also known as Chomsky Style), is a parody of the K-pop viral video, "Gangnam Style". The lighthearted satirical video was directed by Eddie Ha '13 and produced by Ingwon Chae '14 of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[2] The video, which has been called the "Best Gangnam Style Parody Yet" by The Huffington Post, stars MIT student Richard Yoon '13 and features cameo appearances by MIT professors Noam Chomsky, Eric Lander, and Donald Sadoway, as well as hundreds of MIT students.[3]

Release and reaction[edit]

The video was released on YouTube on the morning of October 27, 2012, and had nearly 1.5 million views by October 30.[4] The day after its release, the video was listed on YouTube's "Most Popular in Entertainment" playlist. That week, it was listed as the number 1 most popular video in Entertainment, and number 6 overall. One week after its release, on Saturday, November 3, the video had nearly 4 million views. As of March 10, 2013, the video had over 4.7 million views.

Soon after the video's release, The Huffington Post published an article with the headline "MIT 'Chomsky Style' Best Gangnam Parody Yet? Noted Intellectual Steals The Wacky Show".[3]

On October 30, author Paulo Coelho, tweeted the video, along with the line "Et tu, Noam Chomsky?".[5]

On November 3, Psy re-tweeted a post by his manager, Scooter Braun, that read "sorry Harvard Business School but MIT GANGNAM STYLE was killer! acapella part was awesome."[6]

The MIT Admissions Office student blog commented on the video, showing both the original and the parody versions.[7]

Production details[edit]

The parody video was a major student-run project that involved coordinating hundreds of people and over 25 different student organizations.[8] The music video closely follows the original version, and includes cameo appearances by MIT professors Donald Sadoway, recognized by Time Magazine in 2012 as one of the "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World", Eric Lander, who is co-chairman of President Barack Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and Noam Chomsky, a pioneer of modern linguistics.

The entire production took only 7 weeks from conception to filming to editing and release.[8] The project was organized by MIT student Eddie Ha, with help from fellow members of the MIT Korean Student Association, and many others recruited from other student groups.[8]

A highlight of the video occurs when Professor Eric Lander is interrupted while teaching (in MIT's largest lecture hall, 26-100), and he joins the dancer by leaping up onto a lab bench and doing some exuberant dance moves of his own.[8][9]

Throughout the video, the main dancer is often accompanied by two other dancers who wear horse head masks. The MIT mascot, Tim the Beaver makes several cameo appearances, as does a dancer dressed as a panda bear. Two dancing dragons also are glimpsed briefly.

At the end of the video, a sleepy student in a chemical laboratory rubs his face with his gloved hand as he tries to wake up. This scene has been criticized as showing unsafe laboratory procedure.[8]


  1. ^ "MIT Gangnam Style (MIT 강남스타일)". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  2. ^ Webster, C. Noam Chomsky appears in MIT student’s ‘Gangnam Style’ tribute (2012). The Raw Story. Retrieved from:
  3. ^ a b MIT 'Chomsky Style' Best Gangnam Parody Yet? Noted Intellectual Steals The Wacky Show (2012). The Huffington Post. Retrieved from:
  4. ^ The Blaze (2012). "Noam Chomsky Appears in Viral MIT-Themed ‘Gangnam Style’ Video (Yes, Really)". Retrieved from:
  5. ^ "Twitter / paulocoelho: Et tu,Noam Chomsky? Psy in". Retrieved 2012-11-04. 
  6. ^ Retrieved from:
  7. ^ H., Anna. "MIT Gangnam Style". MIT Admissions. MIT. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Pourian, Jessica J. (November 6, 2012). "MIT Gangnam Style: gone viral". The Tech. Retrieved 2013-03-08. 
  9. ^ Landergan, Katherine (October 31, 2012). "Noam Chomsky appears in M.I.T. 'Gangnam Style' parody". Retrieved 9 March 2013.