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I’m on a Boat is a music video parodying various rap clichés by the comedy group The Lonely Island featuring auto-tuned vocals by rapper T-Pain. Like other music videos by the group, it has inspired the creation of many parodies and spin-offs on YouTube.
The song debuted on the sketch comedy television show Saturday Night Live as a digital short on February 7th, 2009. On June 16th, it was uploaded to the LonelyIslandVevo YouTube channel (shown below), where it received over 24.7 million views and 17,500 comments over the next four years. The video parodied clichés often found in rap music videos, including “Big Pimpin’” by rapper Jay-Z.
Several YouTubers began making parody versions of the video set in a variety of contexts. On May 2nd, 2009, YouTuber CardGamesFTW uploaded a parody titled “I’m on a Blimp,” featuring footage from the animated television series Yu-Gi-Oh (shown below, left). Within the next four years, the video accumulated more than 1.09 million views and 7,000 comments. On September 4th, YouTuber tadpole256 uploaded a video in which sailors lip sync the Lonely Island song while aboard a Navy vessel (shown below, right). Within four years the video received over 231,000 views and 700 comments
On October 19th, YouTuber ej6inmiami uploaded a balloon boy parody of the video (shown below, left), receiving upwards of 900,000 views and 4,500 comments in the coming four years. On December 3rd, the song received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. On December 28th, YouTube pantlessknights submitted an Apple fanboy version of the video (shown below, right), which accumulated over 2.02 million views and 10,000 comments within four years. As of February 2013, a Facebook page titled “I’m on a Boat (ft. T-Pain)” has garnered more than 250,000 likes.