Film Threat archive logo


By Phil Hall | August 30, 2006

What happens when you have a pair of bored teenagers, a video camera and the catchiest pop tune of the 1960s? You wind up with something like “The Langley Duo Sings The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which is among the funniest viral videos circulating in the vastness of YouTube.

Who are the Langley Duo? From what I can gather, they are Luke Mallord and Joe Whitbread, a pair of British teens with a fondness for acting silly. And what better way to act silly than to lip-synch to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the sing-along classic that put The Tokens on the pop charts.

This video is a very simple set-up: using a stationary camera with a single take, the Langley Duo rock and bop back and forth while putting The Tokens’ music into their mouths. Luke, wearing dark sunglasses and an open buttoned shirt, does the lead singing while Joe, wearing the widest-eye _expression this side of Joel Grey’s “Cabaret” turn, mimes the high soprano notes and echoes the “Wimboweh” chant that lace the song.

While all of this goes on, the pair go through an elaborate charade of dramatizing the song’s lyrics and music. Luke rests his head upon pressed palms to emphasize the sleeping lion, and he also curls his fingers and rolls his lips into a perfect flute mime. Joe, meanwhile, rolls about madly on a chair and waves his arms as if trying to put out a fire. The cumulative effect is one of gently hilarious madness – and for once, the viral video genre finally has something that people can laugh with and laugh at.

Long live the Langley Duo!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon