Bethel student and friends create Minnesotan-themed parodies of popular YouTube videos
Culture | Amanda Ahlm
Mippey5 films "Minnesota Style" in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. | Photo for The Clarion courtesy of Dan Duehn
“Ultimate Dog Tease,” “Double Rainbow” and “David After the Dentist”: all of these videos have gained popularity through YouTube. The site has created a common culture for Internet users — a culture consisting of jokes and mannerisms taken from viral videos. A group of young adults have taken this power of the Internet to spread their own creativity and humor across the web.
Dan Duehn, Bethel senior, is one of the main members of a group called Mippey5 that releases weekly YouTube videos. They make an effort in their videos to catch what’s trending and put their own personal twist on it.
One of their most recent videos, “Minnesota Style,” is a parody of the latest dance hit “Gangnam Style,” a Korean pop dance song and video that has gone viral within the past month. The outrageous dance moves and video effects made perfect fodder for a Mippey5 parody.
The amount of views it takes to make a video “viral” is debatable. However, most sources agree that a video must get over a million views within the first few days.
While "Minnesota Style" has not gone viral in the common definition of the phrase, it is quite popular among Minnesotans and across the Midwest, as can be seen in the comments under the video on YouTube. It currently has over 300,000 views.
“It’s all about putting out the video at the right time and getting the songs before they hit popularity,” said Duehn.
According to Duehn, "Minnesota Style" is their fastest growing video, but is not yet their most viewed video. A parody released in 2010 called "Minnesota Gurls," parody of Katy Perry’s “California Girls,” has over 2 million views.
Mippey5's "Gangnam Style" parody was filmed in front of iconic Minnesota sites, such as the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The lyrics feature many different references to Minnesotan culture, which make the video highly relatable for the Midwestern folk.
The theme is obvious for these hit videos: Minnesota. Why is this? The group is comprised of born-and-raised Minnesotans. The main members of the group, Duehn included, were all childhood neighbors. They have since gone to different colleges but stay connected and make these videos together.
The group’s latest video has been covered by all the major local news outlets, and the song, “Minnesota Style” has been played on KDWB and 94.5 FM radio stations. Mippey5 has performed at both the University of Minnesota and at the State Fair in the past, and other venues are in the works for future performances.
Making these videos doesn't simply involve running around a park with a video camera though. The group has to plan, write, record, film and edit the parodies. The filming process alone takes about eight to ten hours, according to Duehn.