What Happened to "Keyboard Cat?"

Posted by Crystal Long
YouTube's famous "Keyboard Cat."
YouTube: Keyboard Cat 2020

Who remembers 'Keyboard Cat'? This feline garnered internet fame through a video of him playing a, well, keyboard! Here's our tribute to the famous cat.

Before Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub, the internet was enamored by 'Keyboard Cat' and his mega-viral Youtube video. Lovingly nicknamed 'Keyboard Cat', the feline internet sensation belongs to Charlie Schmidt, a painter and performing artist from Spokane, Washington.

The internet sensation was one cool cat. The simple but amusing 54-second video featured the orange tabby in a blue t-shirt smashing his cute little paws on an electric keyboard "playing" an upbeat, cheery tune -- he was being controlled by Schmidt off-camera, of course! The original video has been viewed over 61 million times.

The original Keyboard Cat video was uploaded in 2007, but the feline really took the internet by storm and garnered massive internet fame in 2009 when internet personality, Brad O'Farrell, used the quirky clip as a comedic ending to his videos -- it's as if the internet cat had to play 'em (the subject in the video) off stage, like they would in Vaudeville. Needless to say, that idea took off rapidly online and Keyboard Cat became an internet meme, establishing the widely-popular "Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat" meme.

Sadly, the famous feline died in 2018 at the age of 9.

Who Was the Real Keyboard Cat?

If you think something about the timeline doesn't quite add up -- you're right. Turns out, the original video was actually shot by Schmidt in 1984 on VHS (gosh, remember those?) but later digitized. The first Keyboard Cat video featured a cat named Fatso, another of Schmidt's cats.

According to The Guardian, Fatso died in 1987. But Fatso was very likely the feline internet sensation that made social media fell-in-love with 'The Keyboard Cat'...and created the ever-so-popular Keyboard Cat meme.

Luckily, his legacy still lived on with Bento, the "newest" Keyboard Cat. Bento was used to make a new video as the Keyboard Cat, plus featured in a few other projects, including an ad for the Wonderful Pistachios brand, a hilarious parody of singer Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball music video. Also, the video was a spoof on the artist Banksy's film until his death in 2018.

Have you seen any of Keyboard Cat's videos? Let us know your thoughts on the Wide Open Pets Facebook Page!

READ MORE: Why Do Cats Have Saggy Bellies?

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What Happened to "Keyboard Cat?"