Dramatic Chipmunk (a.k.a "Dramatic Prairie Dog") is a short video clip featuring a sharp-eyed prairie dog from the Japanese TV Show Hello! Morning. Since its upload via YouTube in June 2007, the animal became most notable for its dramatic expression and theatrical demeanors, in similar vein to OMG cat and Inception cat.
The prairie dog was first introduced in Episode 7 of Hello Morning! show in the segment known as "Mini Moni Chicca" in which a group of J-Pop idols presented a number of cute pet animals like bunnies, turtles among others:
On June 6th, 2007, YouTube user magnets99 uploaded a clip titled "Dramatic Look" featuring the footage of prairie dog from the Japanese TV show, set to a sample audio taken from the score of the 1974 film Young Frankenstein arranged by John Morris.
As of May 2011, this instance alone has over 30 million views. On June 19th, the same clip was re-uploaded by another YouTuber user cregets. As of May 2011, the duplicate video has over 29 million views.
By June 20th, 2007, multiple instances of the same footage were being reblogged all over the web and throughout the rest of June, YouTube underwent an explosion of Dramatic Chipmunk-related videos with dozens of duplicate uploads as well as remix contributions.
The Dramatic Chipmunk video also appeared on College Humor, I Am Bored, BoingBoing and ComedyCentral. In the days following, GigaOm's Mathew Ingram recognized the Dramatic Chipmunk as a meme.
In 2007, People Magazine named the Dramatic Chipmunk as one of The 10 Wildest YouTube Stars of the Year.
Many YouTubers uploaded their own re-enactments of Dramatic Chipmunk, even drawing participation from notable Internet video personalities like iJustin, Veronica Belmont, Drew Olanoff. In February 2010, Funny Or Die presented a re-enactment video by Justin Bieber, which has received over 6 million views as of May 2011.
In addition to re-enactments by YouTubers, the footage has been remixed a number of different ways, including mash-ups with other notable memes like This is Sparta version and Star Wars Kid version (shown below, left and right, respectively) among others.
On YouTube, there are over a dozen of notable spin-off videos with million plus views, portraying various wildlife animals and domesticated pets in the same light with the dramatic music: