Ellen Stole My BFF (and “Finding the Funny” #21!)

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I’m kind of grumpy right now, if you want to know the truth.  Ellen stole my BFF. I was looking forward to trips to Dairy Queen together with him, you know? He’d get a Peanut Buster Parfait and I’d get a mini-Blizzard. It was going to be awesome! We were going to do lots of BFF-y stuff together, but not anymore.

The problem is that he’s kind of famous already. I just met him a couple of nights ago, actually, but some of you may have known him for months. I’m kind of late on things sometimes. His debut to the world was eight months ago in the Black Keys video, “Lonely Boy”.

You’ve seen the “Lonely Boy” video already, right?

Of course, you have.

I know you are all more cool and know more about pop culture than me, so I’m sure you probably have already seen it. In the fall of 2011, the video for it was released and garnered over 400,000 pageviews within 24 hours. You knew that already. You also probably know every song by the Black Keys. The first time you have heard of this band and seen this video probably wasn’t the night before last at the bowling alley/video game/laser tag mecca with your son’s baseball team, like me.

The Black Keys Source

When I saw this video come on the screen over the tops of the bowling lanes, my eyes were glued immediately. (“Mom, I got a strike!” [silence] “Mom, would you help me lift up this heavy ball?” [more silence] “Mom, your hair is on fire!” [still more silence]). I was fascinated. I was immediately entertained. I was immovable until I saw the name of the artist and the name of the song flash at the bottom of the screen at the end of the video.

I wanted to know more about that man.

This man, my BFF-not-to-be.

Derrick T. Tuggle
Source

Derrick Tuggle.

(I’ve got a Derrick theme going on in The Break Room this week, apparently.)

No. Correction. Derrick T. Tuggle.

Mr. Tuggle, a 48-year-old waiting for his big break for the last ten years, was cast to be one of six extras in the video for The Black Keys’ song “Lonely Boy”. He apparently was going to be the guy that handed one of the band members the keys to the motel room. At some point, however, the director saw him getting his groove on to the song on the sidelines, which sparked a change to the video plans.

“The director just sort of noticed me dancing and asked me, ‘Can you perform?’ I said, ‘I can dance, anybody can dance,’ so I took some moves from everybody: John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction, the Carlton Banks dance from The Fresh Prince and a little bit of Michael Jackson, so it was a smorgasbord of everybody in there.”

I thought Mr. Tuggle was the actually the artist behind the song. I didn’t know he was an actor/musician/part-time security guard and that the real guys singing the song looked like they belonged in the wild west.

I love this video with my whole heart because it was spontaneous, filmed in one shot, filmed in the parking lot of a motel, not going to be released at first, but then it was and BAM, everyone was watching it, fearless, fun-loving and, perhaps my favorite part of all, of a man dancing without any inhibitions in business clothes with gradually unrolling cuffs. Also, it’s funny. His intensity and his hand gestures make me giggle.

Obviously, after seeing this video I wanted to be BFFs with Mr. Tuggle. I wondered how I could start up a penpal exchange with him. I wondered if I could get lockets with one saying “best” and the other saying “friend” for us to wear. I had big plans for our BFF friendship-to-be, including lots of trips to the mall food court. Right when I got the nerve up to look up “Tuggle” in the White Pages, I landed on this video of him with Ellen.

They looked MIGHTY chummy and BFF-ish!!! What does Ellen have that I don’t, Mr. Derrick Tuggle? Huh? Besides millions and her own TV show? Besides all that?!

Dagnabbit, Ellen.

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