Is 24 hours enough exposure time to declare someone an internet celebrity? If not, we’re pretty confident that Derrick T. Tuggle will get there soon enough after his star-making turn in the video for the new Black Keys single “Lonely Boy.” The video has nearly 450,000 hits on YouTube already—at least 10,000 of which have come from inside the Popdust offices—and the song is slowly climbing the iTunes charts, currently perched at #70 after a day of release. It’s a very good song, but whatever success it gets, at least a small part is certainly due to Tuggle, whose hypnotic, endearingly amateurish dance routine brilliantly accentuates the song’s funky charms.
“I was cast as an extra, and there were maybe six or seven other people who were supposedly going to be in the video,” Tuggle explains to MTV News. “The director just sort of noticed me dancing and asked me, ‘Can you perform?’ I said, ‘I can dance, anybody can dance,’” Tuggle went on to explain the influences that went into his insta-classic routine: “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.” We think maybe it’s a little less Travolta and a little more Carlton, but if Tuggle says so, we’ll take him at his word.
As for who Tuggle himself is, he’s apparently a part-time security guard who has lived in LA for about a decade hoping to make it as an actor. He’s gotten spots as a background extra in videos for artists like Lenny Kravitz and Dave Matthews Band, but this is his first high-profile starring role. “I’m elated, and I’m still in shock, to be honest,” said Tuggle. “I’ve been out [in Los Angeles] for 10 years, pursuing acting and music, so hopefully this will lead to more work…honestly, I just went down there to do my part and see what would happen. Who knew I would take over the whole thing?”
We do hope this is only the beginning for Tuggle, especially in his connection with the Black Keys. Too bad the VMAs are so many months away.