So lololong, Mr. Trololo, and thanks for the laughs

If he didn’t put you in stitches, only surgery could.

Russian crooner Eduard Khil, the subject of one of the most popular YouTube memes of recent years, passed away today at age 77, according to the Associated Press.

His gut-splitting 1976 performance of “I Am Glad ‘Cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home” has racked up more than 12 million views since it became widely known on YouTube in 2010, eventually spawning countless parodies.

Khil didn't seem to mind the parodies.

Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET)

He was known online as Mr. Trololo due to the mighty yodeling crescendos of meaningless syllables he sang instead of the song’s original lyrics.

Written by Arkady Ostrovsky, the words evoke images of an American cowboy, a theme that wasn’t appreciated by Soviet censors in the 1970s. So Khil decided to simply vocalize the melody, and parts ended up sounding like “trololo.”

More than the singing itself, though, it was Mr. Trololo’s broad smile, an absolute rictus of delight, plus his bizarre mannerisms and tacky suit, and the accompanying elevator music, that had many viewers gasping for breath from gales of laughter.

I laughed so hard that I cried when I first watched it. My sister’s friend had dubbe… [Read more]

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