If are reading this post on the Internet (as opposed to our poorly-planned monthly microfiche subscription plan) you’ve probably already seen this clip of a guy successfully completing 80% of a backflip, then getting right up and swinging dazedly at the last remnants of his self-respect with a pair of nun chucks:
The clip, called “Afroninja” on YouTube, has been viewed an estimated 80 million times according to Wired. The, um, star of the video — actually an audition tape — says he was just jet-lagged and “opened” too early on the backflip:
I had flown back from Hong Kong [in 2004] where I was working on Ultraviolet to audition for a Nike commercial with [NBA basketball player] LeBron James. I was jet-lagged, but I got up there, did a back-flip, but opened a little early, came down and knocked myself silly — as everyone in the world has now seen. But what most people don’t know is that I rested, let a few other people audition, got back up and did a 540 and 720 [-degree, spinning high kick] and booked the job.
And that’s not all. He also booked Marla Gibbs (Florence from “The Jeffersons”) to co-star in a movie loosely based on the clip. Mr. Afroninja himself (real name Mark Hicks) wrote, directed and stars in the movie. Here he is describing his approach:
The story is directly based on the clip, which plays a very, very large role in the film. It’s about the fourth time I’ve re-created that clip — I’ve done it for an HP commercial, for this movie, for the Weezer video…. We wanted to attack this thing the same way it got popular, by utilizing the internet as much as possible. Our plan of action is a viral-marketing approach, along with the traditional ways of marketing and selling movies. We’re working with several distributors to get the film out in October and on DVD.
I don’t think I’m overstating things when I say that Afroninja: Destiny, is likely to be recognized as the greatest achievement in the history of global cinema ever. Don’t believe me? Check it this clip and consider your mind blown:
All I know is, we could use a few more like him in the Brotherhood of the Flying Shark Vikings.