POTW: CNY Central offers Syracuse version of Harlem Shake [VIDEO]

February 22, 2013 by

SYRACUSE -- Given the sudden popularity of the "Harlem Shake" -- more than 93,000 videos on YouTube in less than a month -- it was only a matter of time until a local television station got in on the action.  And "first" bragging rights go to the crew at CNY Central.  Adding to the flavor, several news anchors are joined by several local sports mascots.

Here's the video:

Don't get it?  Wikipedia explains the general concept followed by most "Harlem Shake" videos:

The videos last between 30 and 32 seconds and feature an excerpt from the song "Harlem Shake" by electronic musician Baauer. Usually, a video begins with one person (often helmeted or masked) dancing to the song alone for 15 seconds, surrounded by other people not paying attention or unaware of the dancing individual. When the bass drops, the video cuts to the entire crowd doing a crazy convulsive dance for the next 15 seconds. The dancing style should not be confused with the original Harlem Shake dance. Moreover, in the second half of the video, people often wear a minimum of clothes or crazy outfits or costumes while wielding strange props.

In the beginning of the video, from left, are Brandon Roth and Lisa Spitz from Today in Central New York.  Behind them, on the weather deck, meteorologist Matt Stevens serves as the lone dancer with a necktie around his forehead.  Next are chief meteorologist Wayne Mahar and WSTM co-anchor Megan Coleman, appearing to do one of their "weather chats" that often introduce the weather segments on the NBC affiliate's evening newscasts.  At far right, sports director Niko Tamurian and Jack the Sports Dog talk to meteorologist Peter Hall.

Then, all of a sudden, everything changes.

  • Roth is dressed in a crazy wig.  Spitz, now wearing a huge wig, is picked up and spun around by an unidentified leprechaun.
  • Mahar, an avid hockey player in his free time, is seen in full hockey gear, while Coleman dons a hat, sunglasses and a doll in a carrier.
  • Hall, in the back corner, is in a light-blue tux, doing the "Gangnam Style" dance, as he did on Halloween.
  • Tamurian, donning sunglasses and a fake beard, walks across the front of the screen with Jack.
  • Sports mascots: Scooch and Pops from the Syracuse Chiefs; Crunchman from the Syracuse Crunch (sadly, no "Al the Ice Gorilla" comeback); Otto the Orange from Syracuse University; the knight from the Syracuse Silver Knights soccer team.
  • A few other people appear on stage in random costumes including someone dressed as a skier on the roof of a live truck which appears behind the weather deck, someone in a Santa hat, someone in a Joker mask, someone with a snowboard, and someone wearing a sombrero while brandishing a baseball bat.

Notably absent -- or perhaps very well-disguised -- WSTM managing editor Matt Mulcahy, WTVH managing editor Michael Benny and Doppler the Weather Cat.

Want more?  There are plenty of behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot on the Facebook Page.

Got Pictures?

Thanks to some and readers who nominated this video for our Friday feature.  We're always looking for pictures (or videos) of what's happening today at your local radio or TV station, or a notable "blast from the past."  Send those shots to or upload them through the Contact Form.  There's a new Picture of the Week every Friday at 7:00am.  Almost all of these always reader-submitted, so if it's been awhile since we've featured your station here, all it takes is a quick email!


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