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RIP Эдуард Анатольевич Хиль
June 4, 2012 1:57 AM   Subscribe

Eduard Anatolyevich Khil, aka Mr. Trololo, has died at the age of 77.

Though best known today as the source of one of the Internet's most popular memes, Khil had a lengthy career, performing live until last year. His rich baritone voice and dramatic delivery made him a staple of Soviet and later Russian TV for decades. YouTube features many videos of Khil's performances.
posted by alexoscar (50 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's interesting and serendipitous for us as outsiders - hey, check out this strange Soviet singer! And then, just as his 15 minutes passes, he's dead. But from his perspective I don't think we were much more than a tiny blip on the radar - he was known and loved in the Russian speaking world for his whole life.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:23 AM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:31 AM on June 4, 2012


TIL the title of the Trololo song is I Am So Happy to Finally Be Back Home.
posted by oulipian at 2:42 AM on June 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by lapolla at 2:58 AM on June 4, 2012



posted by DreamerFi at 3:06 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Khil-Mania spawned one of my favourite YouTube Dubs of all time. I still cry with laughter every time I watch it
posted by 0bvious at 3:12 AM on June 4, 2012 [15 favorites]


I'm glad he lived to enjoy his strange internet fame.

Part of what made his Trololo performance so noticeable was the joy he took in performing, in the act of singing itself. Much of its appeal lay in the fact that he appeared so beatifically happy to be singing this incomprehensible thing-- but that little song is essentially two and a half minutes of putting your voice through a series of tricks that are only possible to execute so smoothly and effortlessly if your voice is well-trained and in good health. He's portraying a happy character as well, of course, but the joy in his voice is the same as an athlete's in their strength and speed.

He kept that voice, it seems, up until the end-- another sign that you're singing right. All my classical/opera singer friends loved that video. I hope that it will continue to inspire schoolkids and others to make such joyful use of their voices. If you like, next time you feel happy, sing a note or two for Eduard Anatolyevich.
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:26 AM on June 4, 2012 [16 favorites]


(And yes, I know the famous clip was lip-synced, but there are enough clips out there of him performing live to prove my point.)
posted by Pallas Athena at 3:41 AM on June 4, 2012



posted by Smart Dalek at 3:50 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by lordrunningclam at 4:04 AM on June 4, 2012


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It must have been somewhat strange to him to become an internet sensation based on a video from the 70s. Great voice though.
posted by marienbad at 4:08 AM on June 4, 2012


Khil-Mania spawned one of my favourite YouTube Dubs of all time. I still cry with laughter every time I watch it

That's how I feel about this Trololo video. Da svidaniya, Mr. Khil.
posted by briank at 4:10 AM on June 4, 2012 [9 favorites]


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posted by acb at 4:18 AM on June 4, 2012


I have always thought there's a terrific amount of strangeness likely to be found in Russian and European media history during the Cold War era; there were cultural barriers in more ways than one, and I can't imagine much of it filtering through very easily.

Something like this, for example.

Rest in peace, Khil.
posted by solarion at 4:36 AM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


So long, Eduard. We (literally) barely knew ye.
posted by crunchland at 4:41 AM on June 4, 2012


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posted by tykky at 4:49 AM on June 4, 2012


toodle oo
posted by DU at 4:53 AM on June 4, 2012


Also, the weirdness of that video for me was never the singing. There are plenty of weird singing moments in lots of "normal" American musicals and music videos. The weird part of that video is his odd walk, the unmoving facial expression and mostly the thing on his head that for convenience we will refer to as "hair".
posted by DU at 4:56 AM on June 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Spasibo, Eduard.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:25 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Play him off, Trololo Cat.
posted by sonika at 5:32 AM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by jquinby at 5:38 AM on June 4, 2012


The man had a lovely voice, but I agree with DU about the delivery (maybe because of the lip sync?).

Apparently, the meme cropped up at some really odd moments.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:38 AM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I ripped the video to MP3 and put it on our road trip mix for when we drove to my parents' house for Thanksgiving last year. I also played it in the car on the way back from my flight lesson Saturday. Just a genuinely joyous tune.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:43 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tribute from Christoph Waltz.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:51 AM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know how sometimes you miss little pieces of pop culture, that they whiz on by you without making so much as a rest stop on the highway of your psyche?

HOW THE HELL DID I MISS MR. TROLOLO WHEN HE STILL WALKED THE SAME EARTH AS ME?!?
posted by item at 6:01 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nonononono!
nonono
nonono

nononononooooooo
:(
posted by picopebbles at 6:12 AM on June 4, 2012 [10 favorites]


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posted by 221bbs at 6:13 AM on June 4, 2012


I've never heard of Christoph Waltz. What's the deal with his accent in that video? I'm American! I mean British! No, German! Back to American except for the end of one word where I'm British! Gonna start out German here and then Ameri..no British! You thought you had me!
posted by DU at 6:19 AM on June 4, 2012


I sadly only heard the trololo song last week when someone else on the Day Z server I was playing on used voice chat to play it for everyone, and someone else commented about the fact in text chat. Now he's dead. Sigh.
posted by Inkoate at 6:28 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find this line from the Wiki page to be very, very sad:

Khil's son was quoted as saying "He thinks maybe someone is trying to make a fool of him," and "He keeps asking, 'Where were all these journalists 40 years ago?'"
posted by jbickers at 6:30 AM on June 4, 2012


Светлая ему память.
posted by mazola at 6:31 AM on June 4, 2012


Khil's son was quoted as saying "He thinks maybe someone is trying to make a fool of him," and "He keeps asking, 'Where were all these journalists 40 years ago?'"

Though his son might have said this, Khil was very aware of the attention and did a number of recent interviews and seemed quite happy with the attention. Here is watching and enjoying parodies of himself. And here he is last December at age 77 singing for somebody on the street. I think he understood the interest was genuine and not malicious.
posted by joinks at 6:43 AM on June 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


I've never heard of Christoph Waltz. What's the deal with his accent in that video?

Christoph Waltz has many accents.
posted by alexoscar at 6:48 AM on June 4, 2012


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posted by klausness at 6:56 AM on June 4, 2012


I still reckon this is my favorite.

And here he is last December at age 77 singing for somebody on the street.

I withdraw my nomination. This is wonderful.

posted by BungaDunga at 7:03 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Scene: The Pearly Gates.

Eduard Khil shows up and St Peter says "Do the song!" Eduard opens his mouth and out flows "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN!".
posted by DU at 7:20 AM on June 4, 2012 [24 favorites]


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posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:30 AM on June 4, 2012


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posted by mrbill at 7:34 AM on June 4, 2012


.... ... ....... ... lololo!
posted by Samizdata at 7:45 AM on June 4, 2012


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posted by spitefulcrow at 8:40 AM on June 4, 2012


TROLONO!
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:10 AM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's fascinating to me that he was improvising "trololo" because the real lyrics about an American cowboy were censored. The piece would never have been quite so bizarre and out of place, and maybe never would have become a hit, if it weren't for the good ol' USSR.
posted by brenton at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Sayuri. at 1:11 PM on June 4, 2012


brenton: "It's fascinating to me that he was improvising "trololo" because the real lyrics about an American cowboy were censored. The piece would never have been quite so bizarre and out of place, and maybe never would have become a hit, if it weren't for the good ol' USSR."

It's also ironic cuz... didn't Stalin have a thing for Cowboy movies? ah yes:
Stalin inherited Goebbels's movie library after the war; he loved Chaplin and films such as In Old Chicago (1937) and It Happened One Night (1934). In the archives, I found a document requesting Tarzan the Ape Man (1932).

Westerns with Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable were also favourites. Stalin the solitary, pitiless and Messianic egocentric seemed to associate himself with the lone cowboy riding shotgun into town to deal our brutal justice. Hence, he liked director John Ford's work - and John Wayne.

Khrushchev recalled how Stalin would ideologically criticise cowboy movies - and then order more. But, in spite of his enjoyment of the films, one source claimed that Stalin once declared at the end of a showing that Wayne, a vociferous anti-Communist, was a threat to the cause and should be assassinated.

Whether Stalin was speaking drunkenly in the early hours, or whether he meant what he said, such was his power that, either way, the order was quite likely to be executed. Assassins were supposedly sent to LA but failed to kill Wayne before Stalin's death. When Khrushchev met "Duke" in 1958, he told him "that was the decision of Stalin in his last mad years. I rescinded the order."
posted by symbioid at 1:43 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whether Stalin was speaking drunkenly in the early hours, or whether he meant what he said

From what I remember reading his biography:

-he did the vast bulk of his work in the early morning hours
-he was never too drunk, he made sure to be the most sober in the room
-the guy killed millions, and this order is "crazy"? pretty much par for the course if you ask me, John Wayne should be happy he stuck out as an individual to be killed, that's quite an honour...

Incidentally, he liked to get some music and dancing going in the wee hours. He wouldn't dance, he'd DJ, and he'd speed up the records to make his cadre of monkeys dance faster and faster.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:22 PM on June 4, 2012


Mr. Khil now beats kittens in bowls as a mid-day pick-me-up.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:26 PM on June 4, 2012


More than just an opponent of communism, Wayne was president of The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which was a key player in the HUAC investigations.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:42 PM on June 4, 2012


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posted by Xoebe at 3:46 PM on June 4, 2012


I enjoyed every aspect of Trololo and the memes that followed.
The video was just absurd!

My favorite Eduard post Trololo-fame was
this 2010 man-on-the-street video
Not only did this video solidify trololo was not a hoax, we also kinda fell in love with him again.
posted by TangerineGurl at 4:36 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Symboid: Thanks for that. My mind is officially blown.
posted by the cydonian at 8:27 PM on June 4, 2012


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