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Trololo is a video of the nationally-honored Russian singer Eduard Khil (AKA Edward Khill, Edward Hill) performing the Soviet-era pop song “I am Glad, ‘cause I’m Finally Returning Back Home” (Russian: Я очень рад, ведь я, наконец, возвращаюсь домой). The video is often used as a bait-and-switch prank, in similar vein to the practice of Rickrolling.
YouTuber RealPapaPit uploaded a video clip titled “I am very glad, because I’m finally back home” on November 26th, 2009. The performer singing in the video was identified as Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, a Soviet-era vocalist once celebrated as the “Honored Artist of the USSR” in 1968 and “People’s Artist of the USSR” in 1974. As of May 29th, 2012, the video was renamed “Mr. Trololo original upload” and has received over 12 million views.
Since the song is entirely composed of mouth music without any lyrics, and was obviously lip-synched, the video was perceived by many westerners as highly eccentric. The song is an example of the Vokaliz tradition, a style of singing similar to the pantomime and American scat singing of the 1920s.
On December 20th, 2009, an isolated clip of the laughing section from the original video was uploaded by YouTuber KamoKatt. Within three years, the video accumulated over 6.6 million views. On January 27th, 2010, Redditor gn3xu5 submitted the video to the /r/WTF subreddit in a post titled “Trololololololololo”, which received over 580 up votes and 95 comments prior to being archived. On February 19th, the viral content site BuzzFeed published the video in a post titled “Lyrical Genius.” Two days later, The Huffington Post included the video in an article titled “Is This Weird Russian Guy the Best Lyricist of All Time? No.” On February 26th, the single serving site Trololololololololololo was launched, which featured an embed of the original video on autoplay.
On March 4th, YouTuber RayWilliamJohnson featured the video in an episode of his web show Equals Three (shown above, left), in which he suggested the video should be “the next Rickroll.” On August 25th, YouTuber 24KaratGoldFish uploaded a time stretched version of the video titled “Trololo – 800% Hyper Extrended Mix” (shown above, right).
On March 11th, 2010, YouTuber DileSoft uploaded a video of Khil watching several YouTube parody videos of the performance. On March 26th, Khil was interviewed by Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, mentioning that he discovered his video’s Internet fame after hearing his grandson humming the song. Khil’s relatives have made him an official YouTube channel called saitEdHil
On April 13th, 2010, YouTuber Murinskiy uploaded a video titled “Trololo man now”, featuring Khil performing the song on a snow-covered street (shown below, left). On December 22nd, 2011, the video was submitted to the /r/videos subreddit, accumulating over 10,800 up votes and 620 comments prior to being archived. On January 7th, 2012, YouTuber DavidSM123 submitted a video of Khil performing the song at a Russian variety show (shown below, right).
Khil’s Illness and Death
On May 28th, 2012, the world news site Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported that Eduard Khil had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke. The following day, the Russian entertainment news site RT published an article titled “Trololo man in critical health condition”, stating that Khil had suffered irreversible brain damage and was in a coma. The article went on to report that Khil may survive if he underwent immediate surgery, but doctors could not guarantee recovery. On June 4th, Khil died at a hospital in St. Petersburg, Russia, one week after suffering from the stroke. The death was subsequently covered by various news sites including The Washington Post, Ria Novosti and The Huffington Post. The same day, a Reddit post titled “Eduard Khil (‘Trololo Guy’) dies in St. Petersburg, aged 77” reached the front page, accumulating over 18,000 up votes in 11 hours.
Earlier versions of the song have been uploaded to YouTube as well, including performances Valery Obodzinsky (shown top, left), Koós János (shown top, right), Sovie-Azerbaijani singer Muslim Magomaev (shown bottom, left) and another by Eduard Khil (shown bottom, right).
The Huffington Post – Is This Weird Guy the Best Lyricist of All Time? No
Huffington Post – Trololo’ Singer Dead: Viral Star Eduard Khil Passes Away At 77