"charlie schmidt's 'cool cat'" aka Keyboard Cat Posted Online
Keyboard Cat is an Internet meme.
It consists of footage of "Fatso", a cat (now deceased) owned by Charlie Schmidt of Spokane, Washington, wearing a blue shirt and "playing" an upbeat rhythm on an electronic keyboard, in reality being manipulated like a puppet by Schmidt. The clip, originally posted to YouTube as "Charlie Schmidt's 'cool cat'", has gained popularity by being appended to blooper and other viral videos as if to "play" that person offstage after the mistake or gaffe in a similar manner as getting the hook in the days of vaudeville, usually accompanied with the title Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat or a variant. The first such video was created by Brad O'Farrell, who secured Schmidt's permission to use the footage. Over four thousand such videos now exist, with a website playhimoffkeyboardcat.com created to collect such videos.
Keyboard Cat was further popularized by Stephen Colbert on May 18, 2009, during a "toss" with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, Andy Samberg's opening monologue suggested that award winners whose speech went on too long would be played off with Keyboard Cat. In the upcoming Nintendo DS game, Scribblenauts, in which the player can summon numerous objects to assist in solving puzzles, Keyboard Cat appears as one of several possible Internet memes that can be called up in the game. The timing of the popularity of the Keyboard Cat meme with the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo Convention was considered partially responsible for Scribblenauts' success during the convention. The Keyboard Cat meme has been integrated into other memes: one vendor sells a "Three Keyboard Cat Moon" tshirt based on the infamous Three Wolf Moon design, and an 8-bit version of both the cat and the song have been created. G4TV's Attack of the Show held a "Great American Keyboard Cat Competition" to give viewers a chance to create their own Keyboard Cat-inspired art, with over one hundred pieces submitted.