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Cooking by the Book is a song and video meme that originates from the Icelandic children’s show, LazyTown; like another LazyTown song, “You are a Pirate”, the song’s catchy, but odd lyrics attracted numerous duplication in other videos. However, the meme itself expanded further after another video, this mixing the song alongside a highly suggestive Lil Jon video, rose to popularity and created its own set of video parody memes that followed.
LazyTown is a children’s show created in Iceland but translated to many language for worldwide coverage. The show is based on engaging lazy kids of LazyTown to be more active; it was created by a gymnast, Magnús Scheving, who also stars as the main motivator for the kids. The other two primary human actors are Julianna Rose Mauriello, playing Stephanie, the teenage protagonist, and Stefán Karl Stefánsson, who plays Robbie Rotten, the main villain. In addition, there is a cast of puppets (ala Sesame Street) that the human actors interact with. The show has a very distinctive appearance: the humans are given an almost plasticine appearance as to make them appear as puppets; most non-props of the show are otherwise rendered as CGI.
The specific song “Cooking by the Book” comes from the 6th episode of the first season. Here, Stephanie and the other puppets are attempting to cook a cake, but when they try to cook it without following any directions, it goes a bit wacky.
Alternate music videos
Much like You Are A Pirate , the “Cooking by the Book” meme grew from the strangeness of the song coupled with applications to various other shows or works. Most uses of this involve more lighthearted shows, where cake is involved (Thankfully, there does not yet appear to be any overlap with the cake is a lie meme yet).
Some of the more casual examples.
The song/imagery were also popular among YTMND sites, some examples:
The song also became popular to remix into other genres:
The Lil Jon Remix
But then it morphed into something new, with the following video which starts to edge on NSFW territory with overly sexual overtones…
…which remixes the song (both visually and audibly) alongside Lil Jon’s “Step Yo Game Up” very suggestively by “Mastgrr” and “HatPerson”. The original YouTube version of this video has seen its share of takedown notices, but remained up and had garnered over 2 million views, though eventually the account itself was taken down. This itself became another video duplication meme, putting the audio to images from various other shows/media:
But then it morphs even further, in considering the popular blog Cake Wrecks which catalogs photos of designer cakes that have gone horribly wrong. The parody, which use both audio and visual cues from the original song and the Lil Jon remix, was written as an unofficial theme song for Cake Wrecks:
While the original song created some interest, it was the Lil Jon remix that showed a spike near October 2008, when the remix was first posted.
Similar to being Duckroll’d Anonymous have create the “Cakeroll”, where the end user is tricked into seeing either version of the “Cooking by the Book” song (though typically a trimmed version of the Lil Jon remix, as without the lead, one could be surprised by the jarring switch from a children’s song to the hard-edged rap lyrics."