Afghan War Zone Re-Make of Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’ Goes Viral
May 1, 2010
(ChattahBox)—A group of soldiers from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division are stationed in the war-torn hell of Afghanistan—a place where they could easily meet their maker at the next turn on a dusty road, where an unseen roadside bomb or a militant suicide bomber waits to rain down destruction. So, what do they do in their spare time to relieve the stress? Dress up in outlandish costumes, including bare chests and short-shorts and lip-sync to Lady Gaga’s over-the-top “Telephone” video, of course! A fellow soldier videotaped the hilarity, posted “Telephone: The Afghanistan Re-make,” on Facebook and the rest is Internet history. The video has now gone viral, surpassing 200,000 hits.
The Lady Gaga remake was dreamed up, by 24-year-old Aaron Melcher, a married soldier from North Carolina and a graduate of a Christian school. Melcher convinced his buddy Justin Baker, 23, to perform a “Telephone” inspired dance number with him. And later, during the group dance number, Baker is seen wrapped in yellow crime scene tape, as a tribute to Gaga’s jail house dance number. The best part of the video is Melcher and Baker’s pas de deux. Let’s just say the portly Baker doesn’t have a future as a dancer.
The Smoking Gun was intrigued with the Gaga-inspired Afghan video, pronouncing it “the most entertaining music video homage ever shot in a war zone.”
Smoking Gun contacted Melcher, who seemed surprised, that what was meant as a fun spoof to show family and friends back home, has become an Internet sensation. The video was intended to be for “a couple of our friends and family and you can see that it has blown up way more than that…nobody in the video would like any further media coverage,” he said.
When Melcher first posted it on his Facebook page he laughingly referred to it, as “hotness.” “[F]eel free to share it with the world,” he wrote. James Conley, another soldier appearing in the video wearing a cardboard telephone costume, explained on his Facebook page that there isn’t much to do for fun in Afghanistan, so they decided to make their own. “[T]his is what people do with their free time in Afghanistan. Its crazy out here. And yeah im in it too,” he said.
Douglas Lake, the videographer who shot the dancing grunts in a military garage, said he had trouble keeping his attention on the work at hand, because he was laughing so much. He termed the Afghan re-make,”funny as shit,” adding “I couldn’t stop laughing while I recorded it lol.”