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Drinking Out of Cups is a viral video featuring a standoffish lizard ranting aimlessly in a thick Long Island accent. The title stems from one of many memorable quotes in the video (which can be heard at 1:00). Since debuting on YouTube in 2006, the CGI reptile monologue has spawned a series of parodies and response videos on the web.
The audio track was originally recorded in 2003 as a class project by the American musician Dan Deacon, just talking about random things on TV channels in character of a stereotypical Long Islander. It was also featured on his 2003 release Meetle Mice. Years later in 2006, musician and M/V director Liam Lynch contacted Deacon and put together a short animation to go with it. The video was uploaded on October 11th, 2006 and has gained over 15 million views as of October 11th, 2011.
The popularity of “Drinking Out of Cups” also eclipsed with Dan Deacon’s rise to prominence in the indie music scene, beginning with his first commercial release “Spiderman of the Rings” in May 2007. Throughout 2007 and 2008, the video became even more prominent through mentions on music blogs like Pitchfork Media as well as referrals via Facebook, MySpace and other social networking sites. As of October 2011, the official Facebook page “Drinking Out of Cups” has over 77,000 likes. The video was also featured by a number of notable Internet humor blogs, including eBaumsworld, BuzzFeed, FunnyOrDie and CollegeHumor.
Dan Deacon’s Response
As the video spread across other venues like blogs and social networking sites, a rumor surfaced alleging that Deacon’s monologue was recorded inside of a closet while hallucinating on LSD. When the video came under the MSM spotlight circa June 2009, Deacon released a statement addressing the false rumor via his Myspace page:
In 2002 i recorded myself watching television with the sound off doing a character that was meant to embody long island culture (where i grew up). I was NOT on acid when I made this piece. I have NEVER DONE ACID.
While I have no problem with psychedelics and think that they are important to human culture, I do want it to be known that i was not on any psychedelics or any drugs while making this piece. it was all stream of conscience, reacting to watching the TV, changing the channels, with the sound of, talking to it as if it were a person communicating back to me.
The original YouTube video has inspired a noteworthy collection of spin offs and parodies.