‘Mr Trololo’ meme star Eduard Khil is celebrated in this retro animated Google Doodle

Eduard Khil, the man behind the hugely popular ‘Mr Trololo’ meme has been honoured in a Google Doodle on what would have been the singer’s 83rd birthday.

Who is Eduard Khil?

Eduard Khil, born on 4 September in 1934, was a Russian performer who rose to fame in his home country during the 1970s. During his career, he was awarded the title of “Honoured Artist of the USSR” in 1968 and “People’s Artist of the USSR” in 1974.

He became a worldwide star 30 years later, though, as part of the infamous “Mr Trololo” meme – and it is this latter achievement honoured in the Google Doodle.

It all began in November 2009 when YouTuber RealPapaPit uploaded a video titled: I am very glad, because I’m finally back home showing a singer, later identified as Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, on a Russian TV show.

Badly lip-synched, the song doesn’t contain any lyrics. Instead, it shows Khil “tro-lo-lo-ing”, performing a series of whistles, “la, la, las” and other eccentric noises and dance moves. The song, which shares the same title as the YouTube video, is an example of a Vokaliz tradition which has been likened to the singing style of American scat from the 1920s.

The animated Google Doodle clip shows Khil walking on stage whistling and singing like he does in the original performance. Khil takes to the stage in a brown suit and mustard-coloured tie and breaks into his signature “tro-lo-lo-ing,” his expressive eyebrows dancing to the beat.

Eduard Khil, meme star

Following the original YouTube upload, the clip was submitted to Reddit and soon featured on BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post and sites globally. It was incredibly popular on social media and was soon being played on TV shows. There were even cover versions posted online.

Dubbed a bait-and-click video, in a similar vein to rickrolling with Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up, the clip went viral. It peaked when it was performed at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

At the time of writing, the original clip has had more than 26 million views. You can add to that tally below:

Eduard Khil died in April 2012 following a stroke in St Petersburg at the age of 77. Russian president Vladimir Putin was reportedly among those who paid their respects to the singer.

“Though famous in his sunset years for the viral YouTube come back clip that tickled Western fans with its melodious “tro-lo-lo-ing,” the Soviet-era singer (aka “Mr. Trololo”) had made his mark decades earlier in his homeland,” said Google in a blog post.

“A round of applause for “Mr. Trololo” on what would have been his 83rd birthday!”

And, just because: 

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