I finally got around to watching the Super Bowl halftime show yesterday, because I wanted to see the sharks everyone was talking about. They stole the show in just a few seconds.
The dancer who came to be known as “Left Shark” has become an instant meme, not only because of the frankly weird but cute shark costume, but his seemingly confused and clumsy fin movements in those few seconds. These poor guys danced in multiple costumes that night, with little rehearsal because the original dancers from Mesa Community College were replaced by Katy Perry a few days before the show. Also, their choreographer said they were supposed to be goofy. Not that any critique of Left Shark’s performance mattered; the internet immediately fell in love with him.
The Birth of a Meme
As Venus was born from the sea, so was the Left Shark meme. That is, according to redditor soren121. While most sharks are born at sea, this one was birthed at the Super Bowl, and incubated on the internet.
YouTube member The Flippist did what he does with the new subject of Left Shark: he wasted no time at all getting this up on YouTube Sunday night before midnight.
Shark Boy and Lava Girl: The Sequel
— Danny Nolan (@ndanny21) February 2, 2015
Danny Nolan recognized these characters from a childhood film, even though they are all grown up now.
Fridays 9|8 C pic.twitter.com/LRXmc5qXj1
— Josh Laincz ✩ (@zohf) February 2, 2015
Josh Laincz put the shark back on TV.
Yes, we all thought about putting the friendly, joyful, and somewhat inept Left Shark into the most terrifying shark story of all. SB Nation went ahead and did it.
Jumping the Shark
— Michael Katz (@KatzM) February 2, 2015
Michael Katz saw an obvious opportunity to incorporate Left Shark where he belongs.
But even if Left Shark has jumped the shark, we’ll no doubt see him again in August, according to redditor GutOfBrick.
Left Shark Tattoo
On-demand printing makes it possible for a meme to be offered on a t-shirt as quickly as an artist can render a design, which for some is no time at all. Left Shark dances on this one from the NeatoShop. And it’s not the only one.
San Jose Sharks
It occurred to hockey fans that the San Jose Sharks should incorporate this character. The jersey on the left is a joke, but the t-shirt on the right is not, and is being sold for fans to wear to the Stadium Series game.
There’s just enough time to get this exact suit designed and manufactured for Halloween 2015. Men's clothing outlet Bonobos is taking pre-orders already for a Shark Suit of your own. No doubt there will be others with Left Shark suits of varying quality and price points before October.
Left Shark was far from the only part of the Super Bowl halftime show that was mocked this week, but it emerged as the one image that will stay with us the longest. At least into next week. The Super Bowl Sharks reached peak mainstream last night with an appearance on The Late Late Show, guest-hosted by John Mayer.