Uptown Funk, the massive hit by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, is fast becoming a contender for most-imitated/parodied song of all time.
YouTube is getting increasingly crowded with different takes on the song — one of the most viral coming from Scot Pankey, a theater arts teacher from Dallas’ A. Maceo Smith High School, whose tribute brought Bruno Mars to tears and is now at nearly 12 million views on YouTube.
Then there’s the one by a Carrollton family that did a dance to the song to shake off cabin fever during a late-February ice storm.
Now another teacher is giving Pankey competition. And while her take on the song is at a modest 21,000 and change in YouTube views right now, we’re betting that’s going to grow, because, let’s face it, she’s pretty photo- and videogenic, and her version of the song is funny and cool.
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Kelli Hauser, aka “Lady Hauza,” a sixth-grade teacher at Denton’s McMath Middle School, put up the clip on March 22 to give a plug to the States of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test — hence her title, STAAR Test Funk. Her parody begins: “This test is ice cold/it’s super tough, so you’ve been told/this one’s for the kids and teens/thinkin’ machines ...” well, there’s more, including shout-outs to Fort Worth, Dallas, Louis Vuitton and breakfast and sack-lunch food.
Don’t believe me? Just watch.
UPDATE: We reached Hauser via email, where she told us that during her first year of teaching, she wanted to motivate her students during testing time.
“One of the only I things I could find that really hit home with my students was a video on YouTube titled What You Know About TAKS?,” she says. “These two gentleman in the video were hilarious and it inspired me to start making my own the next year. I am also a huge fan of Weird Al, and since I was a little girl I loved rewriting lyrics to popular songs to make them funny.”
She got her students involved in the filming, and other teachers began sharing her videos to motivate their students. She now gets questions about when she’s going to post her next video.
“The students look forward to them and I really enjoy being silly and singing and dancing, so I just continued to make them,” she says. “I always try to find a popular song at that time to remake so the students can connect to the video and enjoy it.”
On YouTube, Hauser credits videographer Cameron Smith with making the STAAR Test Funk video “look eerily similar to the original version by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.” Her husband, Eric Hauser — assistant principal of Ryan High School in Denton, where some of the video was shot — recorded and edited the audio. She’s even done a side-by-side version comparing hers to the original.
As mentioned above, Hauser — er, Lady Hauza — isn’t a novice at the video game. She’s been doing it for a few years. Here she is in 2012 doing Study Rock Anthem, a riff on LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.
Hauser, who got her education degree from University of North Texas, was born and raised in Burleson, and her family still lives there. So we asked her if she’s the next Kelly Clarkson. We didn’t expect her reply.
“I did know Kelly Clarkson,” she says. “She was a few years older than me, and we always knew she would do something great with her life! She is so talented! I’m pretty sure she gave me some of the courage to put myself out there, but in no way could I measure up to her amazing voice.”
H/T to CBS 11’s Angela Martin, who spotted the STAAR Test Funk video.