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Bad Lip Reading is a YouTube channel created and run by an anonymous producer who intentionally poorly lip-reads video clips for comedic effect. Rolling Stone described the channel as "the breakout hit" of the 2012 United States presidential cycle.[1] As of May 2019, the channel had amassed over 7.4 million subscribers and over a billion video views.[2]

Bad Lip Reading
BLR channel logo black.jpg
YouTube information
Years active2011–present
Subscribers7.4 million
Total views1.1 billion
Updated May 26, 2019


The "Bad Lip Reader" behind the channel is an anonymous music and video producer based in Los Angeles.[3] The first Bad Lip Reading video released was a spoof of Rebecca Black's song "Friday", entitled "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[4] 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"[5] and "one of the coolest things I've ever seen".[6]

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 The 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,[7] Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann,[8] 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 television shows. BLR's version of Twilight quickly went viral, followed by parodies 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.[citation needed]

Expanding his scope yet again, in January 2013 BLR released a bad lip reading of National Football League players, coaches, and referees, which became the channel's most popular video. A second NFL video followed in 2014,[9][10] and a third was released in 2015.[11] The NFL Bad Lip Reading video became an annual event for the channel, with each video being released shortly before the Super Bowl.

In December of 2015, Bad Lip Reading simultaneously released three new videos, one for each of the three films in the original Star Wars trilogy. These videos used guest voices for the first time, featuring Jack Black as Darth Vader, Maya Rudolph as Princess Leia, and Bill Hader in multiple roles.[12] The Empire Strikes Back BLR video featured a scene of Yoda singing to Luke Skywalker about an unfortunate encounter with a seagull on the beach. BLR later expanded this scene into a full-length standalone song known as "Seagulls! (Stop It Now)", which was released in November 2016 (eventually hitting #1 on the Billboard Comedy Digital Tracks chart[13].) As of December 2018, the "Seagulls!" video is Bad Lip Reading's most viewed YouTube upload and most popular musical production. In the song, Yoda sings to Luke Skywalker about the dangers posed by vicious seagulls if one dares to go to the beach. Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films, publicly praised "Seagulls!" (and Bad Lip Reading in general) while speaking at Star Wars Celebration in 2017: "I love them, and I showed Carrie [Fisher] the Yoda one… we were dying. I showed it to her in her trailer. She loved it. I retweeted it… and [BLR] contacted me and said ‘Do you want to do Bad Lip Reading?’ And I said, ‘I’d love to…’”. Hamill and Bad Lip Reading collaborated on Bad Lip Reading's version of The Force Awakens, with Hamill providing the voice of Han Solo.[14]

The Star Wars Trilogy Bad Lip Reading videos also spawned a second musical number titled "Bushes of Love", which featured Ben Kenobi singing to Luke Skywalker about the perils of love. The song hit #2 on the Billboard Comedy Digital Tracks chart.[15] Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda described the song as "THE summer jam of 2017".[16]

In January 2017, BLR released a Bad Lip Reading of Donald Trump's inauguration, which quickly went viral, amassing over 36 million views in 2017 alone. YouTube ranked the video at #7 on its list of the Top Ten Trending Videos of 2017.[17]

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 Voice Award for "Comedy: Long Form or 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.[18]

A Bad Lip Reading of the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical premiered as a half-hour special on July 11, 2016 on Disney XD. Similarly, a half-hour Bad Lip Reading version of "Disney Descendants" aired in November of 2017.

In May 2018, BLR released "Royal Wedding", a Bad Lip Reading of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The video quickly went viral, amassing millions of hits. When YouTube revealed the top trending videos of 2018, "Royal Wedding" ranked third in the UK, just behind the actual wedding itself.

In March 2019, BLR released "Chocolate Lagoon", a Bad Lip Reading of the live performance of "Shallow" by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga at the 91st Academy Awards ceremony.[19][20]

Copyright disputeEdit

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.[21] 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. BLR's parody of "Hot Problems", "Time to Rock", was also taken down.


Based on songsEdit

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; Mar 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; Dec 14, 1999 "Morning Dew" Aug 8, 2011
Barack Obama N/A N/A "Trick the Bridesmaid" Sept 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
Obsidiots (Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark) N/A N/A Obsidiots: Live From District 11
Song Title: "Choo Choo Go"
Nov 27, 2014
Obi-Wan Kenobi Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 N/A N/A "Bushes of Love" Jan 1, 2016
N/A Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Chewbacca, R2-D2 N/A N/A "Not The Future" Feb 9, 2016
Yoda Luke Skywalker, R2-D2 N/A N/A "SEAGULLS! (Stop It Now)" Nov 25, 2016
Luke Skywalker General Veers, Wedge Antilles, Zev Senesca N/A N/A "Hostiles on the Hill" Dec 18, 2017
Grand Moff Tarkin Leia Organa, Obi-Wan Kenobi, General Tagge, Admiral Motti, Saw Gerrera, Luke Skywalker N/A N/A "It's Not A Moon" Mar 12, 2018
Donald Trump "The Star-Spangled Banner" Jan 8, 2018 "Trump Anthem" Jan 9, 2018
Fergie "The Star-Spangled Banner" Feb 18, 2018 "Nobody Wants My Bread" Jul 4, 2018
BTS "Idol" Aug 24, 2018 "Sample of My Pasta" Sept 14, 2018
Lady Gaga Bradley Cooper "Shallow" Sept 27, 2018 "Chocolate Lagoon" Mar 19, 2019

Based on movies and TV showsEdit

Film/TV show Release date BLR title(s) Upload date(s)
High School Jun 1, 2012 A BLR of a scene from "High School" May 30, 2012
Veep Apr 22, 2012 Selina Meyer- A BLR Sound Bite from "Veep" Jun 4, 2012
Jeff, Who Lives at Home Mar 16, 2012 Jeff, Who Lives at Home Jul 6, 2012
Twilight Nov 28, 2008 Edward and Bella Sept 4, 2012
The Hunger Games Mar 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 Jul 3, 2012 Peter and Gwen Mar 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 Apr 17, 2011 Medieval Land Fun-Time World — Extended Trailer Oct 16, 2013
Bonus and Extended Scenes — Medieval Land Fun-Time World Oct 22, 2013
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Jun 24, 2010 Twilight III Apr 24, 2014
American Idol Jun 11, 2002 Sing-Song Contest of America May 22, 2014
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Nov 22, 2013 More Hunger Games Nov 27, 2014
The Avengers May 4, 2012 Redneck Avengers: Tulsa Nights May 23, 2015
Star Wars May 25, 1977 Star Wars: A Bad Lip Reading Dec 16, 2015
The Empire Strikes Back May 21, 1980 The Empire Strikes Back: A Bad Lip Reading Dec 16, 2015
Return of the Jedi May 25, 1983 Return of the Jedi: A Bad Lip Reading Dec 16, 2015
High School Musical Jan 20, 2006 High School Musical: A Bad Lip Reading Jul 11, 2016
The Force Awakens Dec 18, 2015 The Force Awakens: A Bad Lip Reading (Featuring Mark Hamill as Han Solo) Apr 6, 2017
Narcos Aug 28, 2015 Soy Pablo Extended Trailer Sept 13, 2017
Descendants Jul 31, 2015 Bad Lip Reading Presents: Descendants Nov 18, 2017
Stranger Things Jul 15, 2016 Stranger Things: A Bad Lip Reading Dec 9, 2017

Other videosEdit

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, Olga Kurylenko, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth Feb 26, 2013
More NFL Jan 24, 2014
NFL 2015 Highlights from the 2014 NFL season 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
First Democratic Debate Highlights: 2015 Anderson Cooper, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Lincoln Chafee Oct 28, 2015
NFL 2016: Part One Highlights from the 2015 NFL season Feb 2, 2016
NFL 2016: Part Two Feb 5, 2016
Ted Cruz Ted Cruz Mar 1, 2016
Bernie & Hillary Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Wolf Blitzer Apr 21, 2016
Cruz Talks Trump[22] Ted Cruz Jul 25, 2016
Democratic National Convention Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys Aug 19, 2016
Debate Night! Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Lester Holt Oct 6, 2016
Presidential Poetry Slam Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Anderson Cooper, Martha Raddatz Oct 21, 2016
Inauguration Day Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Mike Pence, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump, Hillary Clinton, Karen Pence Jan 25, 2017
NFL 2017 Highlights from the 2016 NFL season Feb 1, 2017
Mayweather vs. McGregor Floyd Mayweather, Conor McGregor Jul 14, 2017
Christmas is Here! Donald Trump, Melania Trump, Donald Trump animatronic Dec 27, 2017
NFL 2018 Feb 3, 2018
Interrogating Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Nelson, Chuck Grassley, Roy Blunt, Gary Peters, Maria Cantwell, Patrick Leahy, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Jon Tester, Ben Sasse, Sheldon Whitehouse, John Kennedy, Tom Udall, Dan Sullivan Apr 24, 2018
Royal Wedding Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Michael Curry May 22, 2018
The NBA Jun 11, 2018
Trump-Kim Summit Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un Jun 20, 2018
White House Press Briefing Sarah Huckabee Sanders Aug 23, 2018
Hillary Stories Hillary Clinton Sept 26, 2018
MLB: A Bad Lip Reading Oct 29, 2018
Apple Product Launch Tim Cook, Craig Federighi Dec 21, 2018
NFL 2019 Feb 1, 2019
State of the Union Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, Paul D. Irving, Doug LaMalfa, Brett Kavanaugh, Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey, Melania Trump Feb 12, 2019
Trump in Asia Donald Trump, Shinzō Abe, Ivanka Trump, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mohammad bin Salman, Moon Jae-in Jul 10, 2019


  1. ^ a b c d Dickinson, Tim (October 7, 2011). "Exclusive: The Bad Lip Reader Speaks". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 13, 2011. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
  2. ^ . YouTube Retrieved 26 May 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Pinto, Nick. "Bad Lip Reading: An Interview With the Man Behind The Beautiful Nonsense". Village Voice. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  4. ^ "Bad Lip Reading Translates Rick Perry, Gets It About Right". The Huffington Post. September 27, 2011. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  5. ^ "Michael Bublé Live On Ustream". Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  6. ^ Bublé, Michael (July 21, 2011). "Michael Bublé Video Reply: Russian Unicorn". YouTube. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Frauenfelder, Mark (October 4, 2011). "Michele Bachmann honored by Bad Lip Reading". Boing Boing. Retrieved October 13, 2011.
  9. ^ "Bad Lip Reading: The NFL Like You've Never Heard It". MTV. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  10. ^ "'The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading' stars Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady and more (VIDEO)". Sporting News. 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  11. ^ "Check out the latest edition of NFL Bad Lip Reading". Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Bad Lip Reading Facebook".
  13. ^ "Billboard Comedy Digital Tracks Sales 12-17-2016".
  14. ^ Parker, Ryan (April 6, 2017). "Mark Hamill Does an Outstanding Han Solo in 'Bad Lip Reading' Installment". Hollywood Reporter.
  15. ^ "Billboard Comedy Digital Tracks January 23, 2016".
  16. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel. "Lin-Manuel Miranda Twitter".
  17. ^ "YouTube Reveals 2017 Top Viral and Music Videos". Variety.
  18. ^ "Bad Lip Reading - A lot of people have asked about the... | Facebook". Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  19. ^ Bruner, Raisa (March 21, 2019). "The Bad Lip Reading of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga Singing 'Shallow' Goes Off the Deep End". Time. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  20. ^ ""CHOCOLATE LAGOON" — A Bad Lip Reading of "Shallow" (video)". Bad Lip Reading. March 19, 2019. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  21. ^ Masnick, Mike. "Universal Uses Copyright To Censor Bad Lip Reading Parody; Why Not Embrace It?". techdirt. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  22. ^ "CRUZ TALKS TRUMP" — A Bad Lip Reading of Ted Cruz on YouTube

External linksEdit