Mr. Trololo (video)

Eduard Khil is Mr. Trololo.


I actually find this video kind of amusing.  It does have that “early era of television” feel to it, though it’s actually from 1976 (then again, it was filmed in the Soviet Union).  I’m posting the sing-along version, with all the lyrics (as it were, there are no words in this song), and it definitely adds to the fun.

Here’s a bit more on Khil’s performance from TIME:

The song’s original lyrics spoke of an idealistic scene in which a cowboy was riding his horse across the prairie, daydreaming of his wife back home knitting stockings, but the lyrics were thought to be too pro-Western for  Soviet censors. While it’s not known if the lyrics were banned outright, Khil and composer Arkady Ostrovsky decided to strip the lyrics in favor of the wordless “vokaliz” style, which led to the catchy rendition so readily available on YouTube, augmented by Khil’s wooden gestures and plastic smile. Needing something to call it, the video clip’s 21st century purveyors settled on “Trololo,” mirroring the yodeling that emerged from Mr. Khil’s mouth (or would have, had he not been lip-synching).

While the song attracted little attention upon its original rendition, the powers of the Internet took over 34 years later to rejuvenate the tune. And now, people across the world are mourning the loss of a Russian singer who faded into obscurity more than 30 years ago.

And fortunately for Mr. Khil, the Internet never forgets.

He clearly had a good voice. And died last year.  But dear Lord, what a video.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

Share This Post

  • John Deever

    I’ve been a lurker on your awesome blog for soooo long. Now waving hand in front of face, breathless … “he talked to me!” (I’m straight btw — just momentarily celebrity-stricken!)

  • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

    And just in case you didn’t think my musical taste was weird enough, here you go:

    And a parody…

    Then there’s

    Finally, just because these are so damned cute:


  • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

    I really love Verka. The guy with the dumbell at the very beginning of the video is Verka out of drag.

    Here’s another of my favorites:

    Maybe, Verka’s cover of Ramstein is the best of all.

    Here’s Ramstein:
    Here’s Verka’s cover:

    (If you’re wondering why I like Ramstein, check this out: )

    Then, there’s Verka’s song “Dolce & Gabbana” which they used for their runway show at Milan (Remember Kinky Boots?)

  • Oh my god. I LOVE that. I have to google her now.

  • Very interesting, just added that link to the story

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I’ve probably watched this 200 times, lost count long ago. Love it. It was a viral hit for a while before Mr. Khil found out, and I think he wasn’t sure whether people were mocking or appreciating him but I think he liked the attention OK. He passed away last year I think.

  • Jim Olson

    Holy crap that’s gay. I need a cigarette, a drink, and a moment to myself.

  • John Deever

    I hope people do learn about the background on Mr. Khil. He was about to sing this song — with its individualistic, lovelorn, supposedly anti-Soviet lyrics — when at the time a censor suddenly said he would not be allowed to. (Re the kitsch — it’s the Lawrence Welk era of TV, people, check out what we were watching back then!) Khil decided his only option was to share the song minus the banned lyrics.

    Just before he died, he managed to understand his Youtube celebrity that arose from a moment he was forced by politics to improvise, despite his considerable talents. It’s only ridiculous if you fail to understand the absurdities the Soviet system forced on its people — obstacles they surmounted despite long odds.

  • bpollen

    Your description didn’t point out the readily apparent rug on his head…

  • Kevin Perez

    I need that hat!! (but he can keep his dentist)

  • Yeah I caught that about halfway through

  • astroworf

    Lawrence Welk anyone?

  • GreenEagle

    And the worst of it is, he appears to be lip-syncing it.

  • This is the new “Rick Roll”.

  • Luigi Proud DemoCat!

    Verka Serduchka is running for parliament from the Ukraine. How about publishing some of her videos to show some support. Putin is not amused.

    Here’s one, but there are many:

  • Thom Allen

    Incredibly bizarre video. With the glazed eyes, rigid face and constant smile, looks like a well-dressed escapee from the St. Petersburg Neuropsychiatric Hospital and Clinic.

    I wonder if he had trouble memorizing the lyrics? I think he forgot a few “lololos” one “ha” and three “yayayahs.”

  • Anonymous

    RIP Trololo guy. He passed away last year

  • Phil

    Here’s a snippet from a documentary from the GDR (East Germany). It’s part of a larger documentary called The Lost World of Communism, but it deals with “entertainment” in the GDR.

  • Good lord, they totally stole Khil’s tune.

    I wonder if he ever saw any royalties…

  • I like that one.

  • OMG how bizarre

  • AngelaChanning

    One more….this is more obvious…

  • AngelaChanning

    Listen closely to this VW ad. LOLs

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