The Late Movies: Pants on the Ground!

Ransom Riggs

Those of you who don't watch American Idol may not have been privy to this little nugget of pop-cultural weirdness, and I feel compelled to share it. My wife likes to watch Idol, and though I'm not a huge fan of the competition itself, I do have a guilty-pleasure soft spot for the auditions, many of which are totally weird and off-the-wall. What's most amazing to me, though, is how random crazy people from whatever city the show happens to be holding auditions in that week can go from absolute obscurity to some kind of fame literally overnight.

This is one such case in point. Last week on the show, a man calling himself "General" Larry Platt sang an original composition called "Pants on the Ground." Here's the performance that started it all.

At the end of the clip, Simon Cowell says, "I have a horrible feeling that song's going to become a hit."

And indeed, in the strange way of things today, it kind of has. Just days later, the General performed his song on The View.

But it didn't stop there. Remixes and covers of "Pants on the Ground" have been circulating across the interwebs. One of my favorites is Jimmy Fallon's, performing as his alter-ego, Neil Young. I think you'll agree, he takes it to a whole new level, turning it into something melancholy and poignant. Or, uh, something.

Here's another acoustic version -- this time with more of a Jack Johnson-ish spin on things.

This one's more of an "in da club"-style remix:

A band called The Undeserving takes it in a more indie/emo direction -- shades of Aqualung? I think they're referencing this song.

Then Brett Favre turned it into a kind of battle cry. (I don't pretend to understand football.)

But this is easily the most epic of this song's many remixes -- done by DJ Steve Porter, the genius behind the Slap Chop remix, it incorporates not just the General's performance, but non-musical, auto-tuned sounds from the entire clip. Yeah, at this point the whole phenomenon is just annoying, but DJ Steve makes it almost foot-tappably listenable.