Pirate with Radio
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Pirate with Radio refers to an animated GIF of a 3D dancing pirate with a radio. The character was originally referenced in 1700s Sea Shanties and Bowling Alley Screen When You Get a Strike memes in 2018. In early 2023, the Pirate with Radio became well-known on TikTok within videos that gave him captions or object labeled him, all while set to the sea shanty song "Drunken Sailor" ("What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?"). Many of the TikTok videos followed the phrasal template, "X or Pirate with Radio?"
On November 5th, 2006, an animated GIF of a 3D pirate dancing next to a boombox was added to the GIF archive Animoteca (shown below).
On June 4th, 2018, Tumblr user hustlerose posted the GIF, writing, "me listening to modern pop music: arrr……. no good…. me listening to 1700s sea shanties," with the post gaining over 35,700 notes in five years (shown below).
In the following month, the screenshot of the post was widely circulated online. On June 6th, Redditor j_c_h88 posted the image to /r/me_irl, where it gained over 1,200 upvotes. On June 23rd, iFunny user Nytris reposted it, gaining over 57,700 smiles in two years.
On August 4th, 2018, YouTube user Dew posted a video in which the GIF was set to an accordion cover of the sea shanty "Drunken Sailor" (shown below, left); the cover version was composed by Okko Bekker for SpongeBob SquarePants and first appears in the 1999 episode "Squeaky Boots." The video received over 2.2 million views in two years. On April 5th, 2019, YouTube user KeyZ posted a 1-hour version of the meme (shown below, right) that received over 1.3 million views, with a 10-hour version, posted on May 6th, 2019, gaining over 1 million views.
In the following years, the joke maintained notable popularity online, often being referenced in jokes in a similar vein to Mongolian Throat Singing.
Starting in late March 2023, TikTokers started to use the Pirate with Radio GIF and the "Drunken Sailor" song in their video content, notarizing him as the "Pirate with Radio." The trend started on March 27th, 2023, when German-speaking TikToker @gimy_chayas posted a video that posed a scenario in which they were asked, "10million€ or a pirate with a radio." The video received roughly 850,700 plays and 116,200 likes in 17 days (shown below, left). Soon after, on April 1st, 2023, English-speaking TikToker @kakhetian.mapper.1762_ posted a similar video with an "X or Pirate with Radio?" decision, gaining roughly 210,500 plays and 44,900 likes in 12 days (shown below, right).
@kakhetian.mapper.1762_ ♬ original sound – Follower of Christ
Going into April 2023, multiple TikTokers started to use a TikTok sound that was created on April 4th, 2023, to post their viral "X or Pirate with Radio?" videos. The memes became more absurd in the days that followed, as gimmick accounts surfaced that were dedicated to only Pirate with Radio content. For instance, on April 9th, 2023, TikToker @daily.random.stuff64 posted a video showing three Pirate with Radio GIFs faced sideways, earning roughly 174,700 plays and 43,900 likes in four days (shown below).
@daily.random.stuff64 #daily #pirate #viral ♬ original sound – BarbequeSauceBilly
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7219645149654076677 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7220943931754712326 https://www.tiktok.com/embed/7220140283936247045
 Internet Archive – animoteca
 Tumblr – hustlerose
 YouTube – me listening to 1700 sea shanties
 YouTube – SpongeBob SquarePants Production Music – What Shall We Do with the Drunken Sailor
 Encyclopedia SpongeBobia – Squeaky Boots
 TikTok – @gimy_chayas
 TikTok – @kakhetian.mapper.1762_
 Tikok – původní zvuk – Česká hokejová reprezentace
 TikTok – @daily.random.stuff64
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