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Mullet Whistler is a video remix series based off a 1980’s talk show clip featuring Ralph “Whistler” Giese whistling the song “Georgia on my Mind,” the official state song of Georgia written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell. Giese is noted for his “mullet,” a 1980s hairstyle that is often the mocked in popular culture.
A video of Giese’s 1984 whistling performance on the WXYZ morning talk show Kelly & Company was first uploaded to YouTube on April 26th, 2010. The remained largely unnoticed, but on November 30th, 2011, it was re-uploaded and titled “Best Talk Show Ever” by YouTuber AndyGattis and managed to accumulate over 1 million views within 2 weeks.
On December 2nd, 2011, the video was posted to Reddit by user hamandbuttsandwiches but did not receive enough up votes to reach the front page. The same day, College Humor posted the video with the title “Talk Show Audience Does Not like Mullet Whistler.” On December 6th, the video reached the front page of Reddit and was subsequently posted on FAIL Blog and BuzzFeed.
The first remix was uploaded to YouTube by user tenminuteparty on December 7th, 2011 and featured nonsense lyrics dubbed over to match the whistler’s lip movements. On December 10th, Ray William Johnson featured the video in an episode of “=3”.
On December 18th, Ralph Giese posted on his public Facebook wall outling how the video went viral: