Daft Punk and Fatboy Slim Pop's Greatest Dance Crazes


Daft Punk and Fatboy Slim

Dance Master Robert Webb explains the high concept behind the robo-dance video for Daft Punk's Around the World. Plus the stories behind the routines for Hey Mickey and Praise You.


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Transcript


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Hello, I'm TV's Robert Webb, and tonight I'm going to tantalise you

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with just a few of pop's greatest dance crazes.

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Daft Punk Around The World is sort of like a weird modern music box.

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You open up the lid and think, "What the hell is going on here?"

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-It's the most bizarre video in the world.

-Visually, it was amazing.

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It was so simple. Yet there was a lot going on.

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Top pop video director Michel Gondry's vision

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was to make each of the dancers represent the instruments.

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It brought us some pretty crazy choreography.

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So the synchronised swimmers are the high-pitched keyboard synth.

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It's art, go with it.

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What you are watching is the human representation

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of what Daft Punk have created digitally.

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It's an incredibly clever idea.

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The tall B-boys symbolise the ascending and descending bass guitar.

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The mummies are dancing in time with the song's drumbeat.

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The itchy skeletons are the guitars.

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And the astronauts represent the robot voice repeating that

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one famous vocal over and over and over again.

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I used to be able to do the skeleton dance.

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My favourite thing is the random spacemen. Just walk around.

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And then when they get to the front, they all get confused.

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One of them turns back on himself. He's like that and going...

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He goes, no, keep going forward and it's just a really nice little

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ripple of that happening and you sort of think it's gone wrong but it hasn't.

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Daft Punk brought robotics back. Thanks, Daft Punk!

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Robo-dance was popular in the '80s,

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back when a home computer was a Sinclair ZX80 or Commodore 64.

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But if robotic dancers really wanted to mimic computers,

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they should have moved like they were about to print a spreadsheet

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before inexplicably freezing until they are put to sleep.

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I think that the robot is up there with the greatest dance crazes.

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At the point to the robot was revealed to the world,

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I don't know a single human being who didn't then give it a go.

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Oh, Mickey, you're so fine,

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you're so fine you blow my mind, hey, Mickey.

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I love a cheerleader, don't you?

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At 45 in our Top 50 countdown is Mickey by Toni Basil.

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She was a lady, by the way.

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Toni, that is, not Mickey.

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# Oh, Mickey, you're so fine

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# You're so fine you blow my mind

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# Hey Mickey, hey Mickey

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Hey, Mickey, you're so fine,

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you're so fine you blow my mind. Hey Mickey!

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Hey Mickey! Hey, Mickey, you're so fine... Oh, I love that.

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She had a little ra-ra, wasn't it, and with the pom poms.

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They used to fall into splits at the end, of course. Yes, yes. Oh, Mickey Basil.

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Toni Basil, even.

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Whatever. I wasn't interested in her name, just in her skirt.

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Toni Basil was choreographer to the stars before she donned

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her old high school cheerleader outfit and topped the charts

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in 1982 with this high-octane ditty.

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# Hey Mickey

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# You been around all night And that's a little long

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When you think of Hey Mickey,

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you think of high energy, and you think of cheerleading,

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you think of Toni just looking hot.

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I was on the floor with poms poms and mini-skirts, of course I did.

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That's a really stupid question.

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-Ooh, pardon me for asking.

-You know, dating a cheerleader isn't easy.

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If you see those American cheerleaders, what they do,

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it's an art form in itself.

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# Oh, what you do, Mickey do, Mickey

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# Don't break my heart, Mickey... #

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It's actually quite a butch song.

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It's not the most feminine dance.

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It's really graaah!

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# Oh, Mickey, what a pity you don't understand... #

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She just looks a bit deranged throughout the whole dance.

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Oh, Mickey, you're so fine You're so fine you blow my mind Hey, Mickey.

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# Can't you understand... #

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The main bit to remember was the...

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that bit. Very, very, very sharp, jerking movements like that.

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You roll your wrist and you point

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at whoever you want to go home with that night. It's true.

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It's such a macho dance!

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# You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand... #

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But Toni doesn't really mind a bit of butch,

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just take a look at the cheerleaders in her video.

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I think a couple of her dancers are really quite hefty young women,

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but she used a couple of men

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and dressed them up in a couple of cheerleading outfits, because of all the lifting.

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I didn't realise that then.

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Maybe that's why I thought they were quite cute.

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It does answer a lot of questions now, actually.

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Actually, Louis, it doesn't. That's in fact an urban myth.

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The dancers you're drooling over were real cheerleaders

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from Carson High California.

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# What a pity you don't understand... #

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Many of the dancers in our top 50 are about freedom and fun and having what I can only describe

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as a gay old time, and that's fine, there's a place for that.

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But it's not now, because the only way one can successfully perform the

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dance to Fatboy Slim's Praise You is with the solemnity that it deserves.

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I thank you.

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# We've come a long long way together

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# Through the hard times and the good

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Praise you was a guerilla-style

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video featuring the Torrance Community Dance Troupe.

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This genuine-looking footage from 1999 sees them pitching up,

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uninvited, to perform some wacky

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dancing on the street outside an LA cinema.

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It is almost like a drama class. It isn't a dance, it's a drama

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class, but they're expressing themselves through movement.

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Whatever they're taking, can I have some?

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There's a routine of sorts, but it's a routine unlike

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anything that would come out of a professional dance studio.

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The video got everyone talking.

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Was it amateur footage? Who were these people?

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But those with too much time on their hands spotted Norman Cook

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peering into the camera, which kind of gave the game away.

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Turns out that they were professional dancers and the stunt

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was the brainchild of troupe leader Spike Jonze.

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Movie writer, promo director, and co-creator of Jackass.

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We kind of did it like burglar style, so nobody knew that we were filming,

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and even the people in the theatre

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didn't know that we were out there doing, like, these crazy steps.

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# I have to praise you like I should... #

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I think it was the seriousness and how we played it

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which made it even funnier, because we weren't playing it for laughs.

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But you'd have to be pretty dumb to be taken in by this.

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When I watched that video it was 100% real.

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They meant every moment of it.

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So that is genuine expression in that video.

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You know when something's being faked and they were definitely mental.

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I gave every step a funny name, so when we would do, like,

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the broken pony.

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Yeehaw! You're off to go in that broken pony land.

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And then the second step is called the bad fish cos it's swimming in the wrong direction on the river.

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But then another current comes along and you float the

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other way and you're a bad fishie and you're stuck in the current.

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As long as you danced weird, you kind of suited that...

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It was, like, mysterious.

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# Praise you... #

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That's the sort of thing you can see yourself in your own front room.

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I do, any way. Just sort of leaping around

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and doing all that and thinking you're burning off calories.

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It really wasn't a hit at the discos. Not at the time.

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I don't think, if you're going to be in some disco

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and taking you're date out, you're going to just go into a broken pony or do the bad fish, do the bad fish.

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It's just not becoming. It's not style-wise, you know, romantic.

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# I have to praise you... #

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