(New York Jewish Week) – If you’ve been on the internet the last few weeks, chances are you heard the summer’s biggest earworm “Planet of the Bass,” or seen the kitschy videos of a male and female performer dressed as 90s Europop stars dancing and lip syncing along to lyrics such as “All of the dream/how does it mean” and “Life, it never die/Women are my favorite guy.”
The videos and the song “Planet of the Bass” sung by “DJ Crazy Times and Ms. Biljana Electronica ” are a parody of 90s European Dance groups like Aqua — but when it was first posted on July 28, it quickly and unironically became the song of the summer.
The real name of DJ Crazy Times and the creator and writer behind the video is Jewish Brooklyn-based comic and performer Kyle Gordon. Ms. Biljana Electronica is a different woman in each video — actresses Audrey Trullinger, Mara Olney and Sabrina Brier — a spoof on the practice that these types of bands tended to switch out their female members with little to notice. The real vocals for the song were recorded by singer Chrissi Poland.
“I’m over the moon. It’s fantastic. I absolutely did not expect the crazy, massive, enthusiastic response that it’s gotten,” he said of the videos, which have been viewed over 200 million times across social media platforms. Complete with rotating shots and inventive camera angles, Gordon said the video was filmed on an iPhone by his brother Sam at the Oculus, the the mall attached to the World Trade Center and the Fulton Street subway station.
“We did it on a Sunday, so there were a lot of tourists around just staring at us because we’re like going crazy dancing. I mean, I have red hair and swim goggles on,” Gordon said. In other interviews, Gordon mentioned that the police eventually told him he couldn’t film at the Oculus.
The three videos he’s put out are only promotions for the song – the full version of “Planet of the Bass” will drop on August 15, the first single in a parody album that will be released by Gordon in the fall, which spoofs all different genres of music, like 1960s bossa nova songs and early 2000s “Shania Twain type, female pop country songs.” It will be produced and engineered by Brooks Allison, a writer on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Jamie Siegel. The pair who also produced DJ Crazy Times.
“It’s fantastic. I was really proud and happy with everything and I’m really excited for people to hear the album,” Gordon, 30, said.
But “DJ Crazy Times” is not Gordon’s first viral character. In fact, the content creator, who has gained over three million followers on TikTok since he began posting in November 2020, has made a made for himself by spoofing a plethora of different personalities, including several Jewish-related characters, including, but not limited to: “Hebrew School Teacher,” who brings a guitar to class to talk about Shabbat; “MC Tommy Bananas,” an overly enthusiastic Bar Mitzvah emcee; the “Jewish Bubbe” who offers her audience delectable “greyish, purplish, brown” Ashkenazi Jewish food and “Kids at Camp Trying to be Color War Captain” who can be seen picking up trash around camp and talking about how “Yonatan is awesome counselor” and imploring the other campers to be quiet by saying “Guys, they said sheket!”
Many of these characters, like DJ Crazy Times, have also been part of Gordon’s live comedy act, which he has been honing over the nine years that he’s been doing comedy in New York.
“It was never a conscious decision to incorporate Judaism or my Jewish life into my comedy. It just happened naturally because it is such a big part of my life and how I grew up,” Gordon said.
“My family was Conservative growing up and we were moderately observant. My parents still keep kosher in the house and we would observe Shabbat every Friday night. My dad’s great regret is he didn’t send me to Solomon Schechter,” he joked.
Gordon grew up in Westchester where he developed a love for the classic Jewish New York experience. “My dad literally fell asleep to Seinfeld reruns every night,” he said, which is how his New York Jewish comedy icon became Larry David.
Support the New York Jewish Week
Our nonprofit newsroom depends on readers like you. Make a donation now to support independent Jewish journalism in New York.
As for food? “I’m a complete sucker for Jewish deli,” he said. “I love tongue, so my order is pastrami and tongue on rye, and I usually put Russian dressing on it.” On the side is “sour pickles only, and Diet Dr. Brown Cream Soda.” His favorite Jewish deli in the city, he said, is Midtown’s Ben’s Kosher Deli, which merged with Mr. Broadway earlier this year.
Many of his Jewish bits are based on real life experiences and people from Gordon’s life, he said. “There was a guy who came to Hebrew school and he’d be the fun Birkenstocks-wearing, tie-dye shirt, guitar guy. That is based on a very real person. The Bubby type character is very much based on family members of mine,” Gordon said. Both sides of his family are “the classic New York Ashkenazi Jewish family.”
Not everyone understands the Jewish characters, said Gordon. When he went on tour last spring, crowds in New York loved the Jewish content, while those in Tennessee had no idea what he was talking about.
One of his favorite Jewish videos was at the “Gathering of the Kyles,” a convention for all people named Kyle in the city of Kyle, Texas, about 20 miles Southwest of Austin. Gordon went to the convention to find out one thing: if he was the only Jewish Kyle in attendance. Spoiler: he found none, at least at the convention.
“It was just perfect,” he said. “The Jewishness in my comedy just naturally finds its way there.”