Bad Lip Reading

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Industry YouTube Channel
Genre Comedy

Bad Lip Reading (abbreviated as BLR) is a YouTube channel, run by an anonymous individual[1] in the music production business, that spoofs clips from films, TV shows, songs, sports, 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] As of April 2015, the Bad Lip Reading YouTube channel had amassed over 4.3 million subscribers and over 474 million views across its videos. The creator declines to identify themself.[2]


The "Bad Lip Reader" behind the channel is an anonymous 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. After airing on Ellen DeGeneres' show, the video was featured by news and media outlets across the United States, leading to a sudden surge in Bad Lip Reading's popularity. Following the Perry spoof, BLR released bad lip-readings of President Obama,[6] Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann,[7] Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.

The channel found even more success in November 2012 when it began overdubbing popular movie and televisions shows. BLR's version of "Twilight" quickly went viral, followed by Bad Lip-Readings of "The Hunger Games", "The Walking Dead", and "Game of Thrones". The videos have been well-received not only by the public, but also by the cast and creators of the properties being spoofed. In her online blog, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Lawrence's co-star in The Hunger Games, said, "Bad Lip Reading is awesome. I was introduced to it by none other than Jennifer Lawrence. Yup - she saw this, people. And she laughed. And so did I. A lot." Lawrence's co-star Josh Hutcherson also praised the video, tweeting it to his fans. The cast and creators of The Walking Dead have publicly praised the Bad Lip Reading "Walking Dead" videos on several occasions.

Expanding his scope yet again, in January 2013 BLR released a "bad lip-reading" of National Football League players, coaches and referees, a video that would go on to become the channel's most popular video. A second NFL video followed in 2014,[8][9] and a third was released in 2015.[10]

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]

In 2013, Bad Lip Reading won the Webby Awards' "People's Choice" Award for Best Comedy Series. In April 2014, BLR won the American Comedy Award for Best Viral video for its "NFL: A Bad Lip Reading" video. Patrick Stewart accepted the award on BLR's behalf during the televised ceremony on NBC.

On June 8, 2014 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.


The following is a list of BLR's song-based spoofs; spoken-word spoofs are not included in the table. The music videos for each song may be found on YouTube.

Artist featuring Original song(s) Release date(s) BLR song Upload date
Rebecca Black "Friday" Mar 14, 2011 "Gang Fight" Mar 21, 2011
Justin Bieber Rascal Flatts "That Should Be Me" Mar 19, 2010 "Asian Baby" Mar 24, 2011
Black Eyed Peas "Boom Boom Pow" Mar 30, 2009 "Everybody Poops" Mar 29, 2011
Miley Cyrus Snoop Dogg "Party in the U.S.A.", "Boom" Aug 11, 2009, March 8, 2011 "Black Umbrella (The Right Stuff)" Apr 7, 2011
Ludacris The Bee Gees "My Chick Bad", "Too Much Heaven" Feb 23, 2010, Oct 24, 1978 "Magic Man" Apr 18, 2011
Justin Bieber Rascal Flatts "That Should Be Me" Mar 19, 2010 "Hot Jumping Beans" May 1, 2011
Taylor Swift "Our Song" Aug 22, 2007 "(Rockin') All Nite Long" May 29, 2011
Michael Bublé "Haven't Met You Yet" Aug 31, 2009 "Russian Unicorn" Jul 11, 2011
Bruno Mars Lady Gaga, Jay-Z "The Lazy Song", "Alejandro", "Empire State of Mind", "Do It Again (Put Ya Hands Up)" Feb 15, 2011, Apr 20, 2010, Oct 20, 2009 "Morning Dew" Aug 8, 2011
Barack Obama N/A N/A "Trick the Bridesmaid" Sep 19, 2011
Nicki Minaj "Check It Out" Sept 3, 2010 "Dirty Spaceman" Oct 1, 2011
James Blunt "You're Beautiful" May 30, 2005 "Beard with Glue" Oct 28, 2011
Gotye Kimbra "Somebody That I Used to Know" Jul 5, 2011 "Kicked Your Monkey" May 3, 2012
Double Take "Hot Problems" Apr 15, 2012 "Time to Rock" May 16, 2012
Coldplay "In My Place" Aug 5, 2002 "Yeti" Jul 24, 2012
One Direction "Gotta Be You" Nov 11, 2011 "SHADOW PICO Trailer" Dec 27, 2012
Beyoncé "The Star-Spangled Banner" Jan 21, 2013 "La Fway" Jan 26, 2013
Carl Grimes N/A N/A "Carl Poppa" Oct 2, 2014

The following is a list of BLR's movie and TV show based spoofs.

Film/TV Show Release date BLR Title(s) Upload date(s)
High School June 1, 2012 A BLR of a scene from "High School" May 30, 2012
Veep April 22, 2012 Selina Meyer- A BLR Sound Bite from "VEEP" June 4, 2012
Jeff, Who Lives at Home Mar 16, 2012 Jeff, Who Lives at Home July 6, 2012
Twilight Nov 28, 2008 Edward and Bella Sept. 4, 2012
The Hunger Games March 23, 2012 The Hunger Games Sept. 20, 2012
The Campaign Aug 10, 2012 Iraqi Gold Oct 26, 2012
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Nov 20, 2009 More Twilight Nov. 21, 2012
The Amazing Spider-Man July 3, 2012 Peter and Gwen March 4, 2013
The Walking Dead Oct 31, 2010 The Walking (And Talking) Dead May 2, 2013
More Walking (And Talking) Dead: Part 1 Sept 25, 2014
More Walking (And Talking) Dead: Part 2 Oct 10, 2014
Game of Thrones April 17, 2011 Medieval Land Fun-Time World- Extended Trailer Oct 16, 2013
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse June 24, 2010 Twilight III April 24, 2014
American Idol June 11, 2002 Sing-Song Contest of America May 22, 2014
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nov 22, 2013 More Hunger Games Nov 27, 2014
Obsidiots: Live From District 11 Nov 27, 2014
The Avengers May 4, 2012 Redneck Avengers: Tulsa Nights May 23, 2015

The following is a list of BLR spoofs of politicians, athletes, and other videos not previously mentioned.

BLR Title Featuring Upload date
Rick Perry Rick Perry Sept 18, 2011
Michele Bachmann Michele Bachmann Oct 3, 2011
Mitt Romney Mitt Romney Oct 14, 2011
Herman Cain Herman Cain Oct 28, 2011
Ron Paul Ron Paul Dec 5, 2011
Rick Santorum Rick Santorum Jan 31, 2012
Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich Feb 7, 2012
Joe Biden Joe Biden Apr 16, 2012
A Bad Lip Reading of Rick Perry's "Strong" Ad Rick Perry May 22, 2012
Bush & Clinton Bill Clinton, George W. Bush June 28, 2012
More Mitt Mitt Romney Aug 13, 2012
Paul Ryan's Video Diary Paul Ryan Oct 2, 2012
Eye of the Sparrow Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Jim Lehrer Oct 9, 2012
2012 Debate Highlights Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, Martha Raddatz, Bob Schieffer Nov 6, 2012
The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading Jan 15, 2013
Inauguration 2013: A Bad Lip Reading Barack Obama, John Roberts, Beyoncé Jan 24, 2013
2013 Independent Spirit Awards: Best Screenplay Nominees Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth Feb 26, 2013
More NFL Jan 24, 2014
NFL 2015 Jan 22, 2015
First Republican Debate Highlights: 2015 Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Rand Paul Aug 19, 2015


  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. ^ 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. ^
  12. ^ Masnick, Mike. "Universal Uses Copyright To Censor Bad Lip Reading Parody; Why Not Embrace It?". techdirt. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 

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