Numa Numa is an Internet meme based on a video by American vlogger Gary Brolsma made after the song "Dragostea Din Tei" as performed by O-Zone. Brolsma's video, entitled Numa Numa Dance, was released on December 6, 2004 on the website Newgrounds.com under the username "Gman250" and shows Brolsma lip-synching the hit song with lively gesticulations and dance moves, which later got taken down by the Newgrounds moderation team in late 2016. The video title is derived from the Romanian words "nu mă nu mă" that occur in the refrain of O-Zone's song. It was the first Numa Numa-themed video to gain widespread attention. Less than three months after the release, it had been viewed more than two million times on the debut website alone.
Numa Numa Dance has since spawned many parody videos, including those created for the "New Numa Contest", sponsored by Brolsma, which promised US$45,000 in prize money for submissions. His original video was named 41st in the 2006 broadcast of 100 Greatest Funny Moments by Channel 4 in the UK. The video was featured on Channel 4's Virtually Famous and entered its Hall of Fame, and was ranked #1 in VH1's "40 Greatest Internet Superstars" in March 2007.
The Viral Factory estimated that by November 27, 2006, the video had been viewed over 700 million times.
By February 25, 2005, less than 3 months after Brolsma released the video on Newgrounds, it had been viewed more than two million times on that site alone. Brolsma later stated in an interview, "...I found ["Dragostea Din Tei"] in another (I believe it was Japanese) flash animation with cartoon cats". Others have noted Brolsma's inspiration was the Japanese flash animation Maiyahi by the Albinoblacksheep.com user "ikari", which featured soramimi wordplay (from Romanian into Japanese) and whose video featured an animated version of the popular Shift JIS art cat Monā.
On Newgrounds, Numa Numa Dance has since been seen more than eighteen million times. From there it has been copied onto hundreds of other websites and blogs. According to a November 27, 2006 report by the BBC, based on page impression figures collated by viral marketing company The Viral Factory, Numa Numa Dance was the second-most watched viral video of all time, with 700 million views, losing out only to "Star Wars kid". As of November 2012, Korean rapper Psy has taken the number 1 most viewed video spot with his "Gangnam Style" bumping Gary and Star Wars Kids down to positions 2 and 3, respectively. "Gangnam Style" has more than 2 billion views. Brolsma received mainstream media coverage from ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and VH1's Best Week Ever and the Numa Numa video was listed as number 1 on VH1s Top 40 Internet Superstars. According to The New York Times, however, he was an "unwilling and embarrassed Web celebrity". He canceled media appearances but reappeared in September 2006 with a professionally produced video, New Numa, featuring a song specially made for him by Variety Beats. This video, hosted on YouTube, marked the start of the "New Numa Contest", which promised US $45,000 in prize money and a US $25,000 award to the winner.
On December 5, 2014, Brolsma uploaded a video entitled Numa Numa 10-Year Reunion to Newgrounds, a video of him lip-syncing several songs, including "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by Bob Dylan, and "Firework" by Katy Perry. Both the original video and the 10-Year Reunion video have since been deleted by the Newgrounds moderation team.
Gary William Brolsma (born January 14, 1986 in Saddle Brook, New Jersey), gained worldwide attention after posting the Numa Numa Dance video.
He made appearances on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's The Tonight Show, and VH1's Best Week Ever. A story in The Believer (June/July 2006) explored the song's spread and global homogenization, while arguing that Brolsma's video "singlehandedly justifies the existence of webcams... It’s a movie of someone who is having the time of his life, wants to share his joy with everyone, and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks". He was voted the Number 1 Internet Icon by 40 Greatest Internet Superstars on VH1, beating the Star Wars kid at Number 2.
On October 15, 2007, The New York Times reported that Brolsma had recently collaborated on a video with lonelygirl15's Glenn Rubenstein, as well as Chad Vader's Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan, as a part of Canon's Battle of the Internet Superstars. In 2008 Brolsma released his first album, titled Weird Tempo.