This morning was Meredith Vieira’s final appearance on the Today Show. Awwwwww, I guess? Awwwww! Carole King serenaded to her and Abe Vigoda was there for some reason, but the real cap-off to the Goodbye Party was a rousing flash-mob-style lip dub rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’”.* Wait, why? I’m pretty sure Meredith Vieira is a multi-millionaire television star with a long career behind her and her choice of options for what to do next ahead of her. Poor her. Chin up, Meredith Vieira! You just need to hold onto your dream and someday it will come true? While we’re on the subject, and I feel like I have said this before, but can we finally be done with flash mobs now? They were cute when Bill Wasik created them, and they got less cute when Improv Everywhere introduced them to marketing executives that wanted to take T-Mobile “viral,” but they don’t even make any sense anymore. They are neither social experiment nor performance art. They are the city of Grand Rapids trying to prove to the world that it isn’t a “dying city,” as if a full-city lip dub of “American Pie” isn’t incontrovertible proof of that very fact. They are a b-plot on Modern Family! Enough! As a decontextualized illustration of the power of Facebook Event Invitations, or whatever, they are neither interesting, impressive, or even remotely surprising. At this point, if you’re walking through a shopping mall food court and the employees DON’T break out into song it is weird. (You could make a more grandiose argument that Meredith Vieira’s short-lived stint as a replacement for Katie Couric who never really gained her stature or media visibility going out with a flash mob lip dub is particularly representative of this moment in culture where we seem decidedly BETWEEN things and nothing much matters, culturally, but I will leave that to the college nerds, because they’ve got to write their dissertations that no one will ever read [no offense] about SOMETHING am I right?!) The point is: goodbye Meredith Vieira! And hopefully goodbye flash mobs! I’m sure that the people who are still doing flash mobs will definitely read this post and find it very convincing and SEXT each other to agree to all stop it at the same time. Phew. Worth it. The end.

*One could make the argument that flash mobs and lip dubs are not the same thing, but I would counter-argue that zzzzzzz I’m already asleep! But I would counter-argue that lip-dubs are a subset of flash mobs and also that the amount of thinking that goes into these things at this point is so negligible that making any kind of differentiation is way more work than anyone who is actually involved is bothering to do. This is fun to talk about!
Comments (38)
  1. “I hate flash mobs” says the man who sent out a web invitation and magically 300 people showed up at the Bell House on April 7th and then they all laughed at the same time.

    • Correction:

      “I hate flash mobs” says the man who sent out a web invitation and magically 300 people paid ten dollars apiece to hang out with their internet friends.

      I can make fun because they got my ten dollars.

  2. You know what flash mobs are a lot like? Pranks.

  3. I don’t watch Today regularly but it was on in the background as I was getting ready this morning so naturally I dropped everything to sit down and watch the lip-flash-dub-mob thing or whatever and boy was I sorry I did! not only did Jimmy Fallon pop out at the end “playing” his “sweet” ‘lectric guitar, but Hoda and Kathie Lee were on there wearing t-shirts that said “Wine Lovers <3 Meredith." ???? Also, as SOON as it was over, Matt Lauer *literally* said, "Let's what what we just produced," and they played the tape of what they had just shown live. As my husband said, it was like watching kids with a camcorder. And that song! OMG! Stuck in m'head alllllll mornin. RIP, watching the Today Show whilst getting ready!

  4. attending an event is not a flashmob and I know you know that. hugs?

  5. wait. Filipino prison dances are still ok right? right?

  6. i prefer this new york version of flash mobs where people sing and dance to the ones we’re having in chicago where roving packs of teens are beating people up and stealing their stuff…the directions on How To Flash Mob must’ve gotten really jumbled on their way here. like a bad game of telephone.

  7. I saw this today and, if I can make a separate appeal, can we as a collective, as a nation, as a society, as the human race retire the use of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey?

    I don’t know what it is about this song, but it just gets “rediscovered” every couple of years and then just hovers over us like some holy protector God earworm. The Sopranos. Rock of Ages. E-trade commercials. Glee (oh, fucking Glee. From Hell’s heart I stab at thee.)

    Here’s a challenge to everyone, go a week without actively hearing this song. You won’t. It’s ubiquitous. It’s like oxygen. You’ll walk down the street and just breathe “Don’t Stop Believing.”

    Guys. Hollywood. There are plenty of kick-ass class rock tracks that haven’t been just hammer to death. You don’t even need to go to stray from the Journey song book (How good was the inclusion of “Separate Ways” in Tron: Legacy? Oh wait, I was the only one who saw that.)

    Long story short: “Don’t Stop Believing” needs to be retired for about 5 to 10 years, at which point it will fade into the recesses of our collective minds. Then, one day, at your local watering hole, some drunk will plug it into the space jukebox or whatever we have in the future and you’ll be like “Oh yeah! This song” and it will be fantastic. Until then, let’s give the ol’ girl a rest.

  8. I was wondering when Vgum was going to (FINALLY) mention the GR LipDup.

    We think it’s stupid too, by the way.

  9. ‘and Abe Vigoda was there for some reason’ should be a statement that can be made in regards to any conceivable situation.

    • In Chicago the phrase ‘flash mob’ has been thrown around a lot as we move into the oh-so-steamy heat of summer (like Puss in Boots heat you guys). However in this context the phrase is referencing sudden bursts of crime ala coordinated groups of rabid shoplifters or random physical assaults on beachgoers. It’s gonna be a hot summer in Chicago guys. Good thing all I need … is the boots!

      • I think most people are calling them “mob-action attacks”, although I can totally see people calling them flash mobs. What was my point again? I’m just going to end this comment with a wink to show how i meant no busting of the vibes. ;)

        Man, I should do that winking face more often. It gives you a pass to say whatever ridiculous thing you want to say. ;) YES! worked again!

    • I honestly don’t think there is a single situation where that statement wouldn’t work!

      It was Abe Vigoda’s birthday party, and Abe Vigoda was there for some reason.

      Yup still works.

  10. My favorite part of that video is when that terrible comedian/new host of the Price is Right comes out and lip dubs to that Presidents of the United States of America cover of the Ian Hunter song that no one cares about.

  11. I feel like Tampa is kind of on par with Grand Rapids (bland, full of old people, high unemployment), except we could never get a large mass of people to put on a shrill lip dub counterargument to Newsweek unless it was in an air conditioned room. It’s hot you guys. The sun hurts. Stop it, sun.

  12. I was invited to be in a flash mob once. I said “no.”

  13. Walking around and going about your usual business is the new flash mob.

  14. You know, back in 2003 when I saw the Charlize Theron joint “Monster”, I actually thought that was it for “Don’t Stop Believin’”. I even told people, that’s it, that song is done, it’s forever going to be linked to Aileen Wuornos.

    Yes I was incorrect but I’m not wrong.

  15. I love flash mobs. Nothing says spontaneity more than planning an intricate event months in advance.

  16. Speaking of the Today Show!: Long ago, before you guys were born, Gabe went to the Today Show holding a very special sign. The video is broken (Scott can you fix, pls?) but the photos still tell some of the amazing story of that day:

    Though, really, the video is AMAZING. Fix that please.

  17. I hate flash mobs because it makes me feel out of the loop. I could say the same about pretty much everything I am not a part of that looks even marginally fun.

  18. The real evidence for the need to have flash mobs die comes not from the Today Show, but from Monday’s Bachelorette, where Ashley (read: the producers) thought that it would be a good idea to set up a flash mob as a cute date. PAINFUL. Just get me to the drunken shenanigans, thank you.

  19. I’d lip dub for Meredith Vieira! Which probably means something sexual and oral, but I’m not sure, and I’m not really sure I would.

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