Monkey With Rizz
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Monkey With Rizz, also known as Smiling Monkey or Monkey Smiling at Camera, refers to a monkey that smiles and looks at the camera, likened to be him flirting with the meme's viewer, meaning that he has Rizz and is trying to "rizz up" the meme's viewer akin to the Lightskin Stare. The "Monkey With Rizz" became an exploitable, greenscreen, CapCut template on TikTok in early 2023, often paired with a remix of the song "No Guidance" by Chris Brown. The "Monkey With Rizz" monkey is similar to the primate in the Monkey Selfie meme. The original video was uploaded to YouTube in mid-2022.
On May 17th, 2022, the YouTube channel Funny Animals TV uploaded a video titled, "Black Macaque Looking At Camera And Smiling" which showed a black macaque monkey looking directly into the camera and smiling. The video gained roughly 5,400 views in 11 months (shown below). The footage was originally taken by videographer Ami Bornstein who uploaded the video to the stock footage website Motion Array.
Despite a 2022 origin, the video wasn't used in memes until early 2023. Currently, the first discovered meme to use the monkey video was posted by Instagram user @milkshake.mp3 on February 1st, 2023, and had a top caption reading, "people in 14th century watching a man getting skinned alive." Over the course of two months, the video gained roughly 11,400 views and 4,100 likes (shown below).
Later on in the month, on February 25th, 2023, TikToker @111_monkey uploaded a video that used the smiling monkey, inserting the monkey into an indoor setting, adding flashing lights and adding a remix of the song "No Guidance" by Chris Brown as the video's audio. In the video's caption, it read, "#monkey #rizz," and over the course of two months, the video gained roughly 51.2 million plays and 8.3 million likes (shown below, left). After the video's upload, more on TikTok used the meme, such as TikToker @arabian.monkey on March 5th, 2023, who placed the monkey into an Omegle call, gaining roughly 1.5 million plays and 169,900 likes in one month (shown below, right).
@111_monkey #monkey #rizz ♬ original sound – .
@arabian.monkey She want my arabian monkey ah🙄🥰 #rizz #rizzler ♬ original sound – 𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐞𝐦🙉
On April 13th, 2023, CapCut user Ethan Genders uploaded a greenscreen template using the video, naming it "Monkey with rizz" and gaining over 2,500 likes in two weeks. Usage of the template surfaced on TikTok soon after, however, viral iterations didn't surface until a week later. For instance, on April 22nd, 2023, TikToker @mystixverse uploaded a video using the template, making a joke about "rizzing up" another player in Overwatch 2. The video received roughly 49,000 plays and 13,400 likes in five days (shown below).
@mystixverse Gotta help the team out #overwatchme #overwatch2 #overwatchtiktok #foryou #overwatchmeme #overwatchmercy #mercysofine #mercyoiledup #mercyfeet ♬ original sound – bestspedup 2nd acc ! 🏄♂️
Over the course of two weeks, the CapCut template amassed over 7,200 videos that used it.
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7224981626940394794 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7226143581986295086 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7226721807967997227
 YouTube – Black Macaque Looking At Camera And Smiling | 4K | Music
 Motion Array – Macaque Looking At Camera And Smiling
 Instagram – @milkshake.mp3
 TikTok – @111_monkey
 TikTok – @arabian.monkey
 CapCut – Ethan Genders – Monkey with rizz
 TikTok – @average_asian_
 TikTok – @mystixverse
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