Forget about that “Evolution of Dance” guy or the “Double Dream Feet” dude. The real Internet dancing sensation may very well be Derrick T. Tuggle, the 48-year-old actor/musician/part-time security guard currently setting the Web ablaze with his smooth moves in the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy” video .
For the uninitiated, the clip stars Tuggle — and only Tuggle — as a herky-jerky dance machine who grooves to the Keys’ new single while standing outside a motel room. Over the course of three-plus minutes, as the sleeves of his dress shirt become increasingly unrolled, he cycles through a series of rather amazing moves (and even mimics a few of the lyrics) before triumphantly thrusting his fist skyward as the song comes to a close. It is a decidedly odd, strangely compelling performance, and because of it, the “Lonely Boy” video — the first clip from the Keys’ El Camino album — has racked up nearly 400,000 views in less than 24 hours. It’s also made a rather unwitting star of Tuggle, even though (up until right now), no one knew his name.
But what’s even more amazing is the fact that his star-making turn almost didn’t happen at all, as Tuggle told MTV News on Thursday (October 27).
“I was cast as an extra, and there were maybe six or seven other people who were supposedly going to be in the video. … I was the first one to perform in the video. It was a motel shot where the guys from the Black Keys come and give me the keys to their motel room,” he said. “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.
“It was just a spur-of-the-moment thing,” Tuggle added. “My acting teacher Mark McPherson, he has us do this thing before we start class called ’Song and Dance,’ where he’ll have us sing one of our favorite songs, and then while we’re singing it, he’ll have us do a crazy dance, or a sexy dance, and I guess it spawned from that.”
The end result is most definitely crazy — not to mention rather incredible, considering Tuggle nailed the routine in a single take (“As an actor, you have to know your lines, you have to be ready, so I was,” he explained). And though he’s had music-video experience in the past (he’s done background work in clips for the Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz and Lloyd), he’s never experienced anything quite like the reaction to “Lonely Boy,” and he’s hoping it will translate to more roles in the future.
“I’m elated, and I’m still in shock, to be honest. I’ve been out [in Los Angeles] for 10 years, pursuing acting and music, so hopefully this will lead to more work,” he said. “Honestly, I just went down there to do my part and see what would happen. Who knew I would take over the whole thing?”
What did you think of Tuggle’s moves? Let us know in the comments!