Back Dorm Boys

OK, I said I was taking a break, but this is too funny not to share…

Thanks to Tian for giving me the heads up. Tian has also collected a lot of this talented duo’s videos on his blog. They really are called the “Back Dorm Boys” (后舍男生). Take a look.

P.S. That is definitely an authentic Chinese boys’ dorm, right down to the roommate playing CS!


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. parasite(Justin) Says: October 25, 2005 at 8:07 am

    Authentic dorm ? Doesn’t look authentic to me, I haven’t seen any with electrical outlets, let alone computers. It’s a pretty fun sync, but nothing will ever, ever in the entire future history of the internet compare with the fat boy doing the romania song. Know the one I’m talking about ? (I hear the song itself was big in Europe, not US, so maybe USians don’t know it even.)

  2. Justin,

    Authentic dorm from a wealthier part of China, such as Shanghai or Hangzhou.

  3. I bet the Romania song Justin mentioned is O-Zone’s Dragostea Din Tei, right?hehe
    well…I think John was not talking about sync play, but, actually, it’s an authentic dorm in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, i remembered.

  4. Da Xiangchang Says: October 25, 2005 at 10:21 am

    “Talented”? I think the better word would be “bold”–or “shameless.” Still, they must be pretty popular; Andrew Sullivan even linked them with the comment “I LOVE GLOBALIZATION.” Haha.

  5. Shameless? Why should college kids be ashamed to have some good clean fun??

    Wow, even Andrew Sullivan is linking to it, huh? I wouldn’t know…

  6. Da Xiangchang,

    Let’s see you make a music video of yourself? Otherwise, keep your mouth shut. Losers like you always criticise someone else, yet you have don’t have the balls to do something to being with.

    And how pretentious do you have to be to call yourself “Da Xiangchang” (or “Big Sausage”)?

    You are a sad little man, probably with penile dysfunction too.

    [edited by admin]

  7. i actually find both boys quite good looking .

  8. i saw this video at the nanjing triennial exhibition this spring. definitely a highlight!

  9. Bec,

    Cool… I was wondering how old this video is. I imagine the meme-hip Chinese web surfers were all over this quite a while ago…

  10. I saw this video months ago. Very funny. thanks for the link to Tian’s blog. I’ll watch the other videos. I’ve seen only the one where they are dressed in red. I kinda prefer the guy on the left, his facial expressions… haha

  11. Da Xiangchang Says: October 25, 2005 at 10:56 pm


    No, no, no, I don’t mean they should be ashamed of having fun, but rather that they could make silly faces like those for a few minutes without any self-consciousness. I can’t do that unless I’m seriously drunk; I’d feel too stupid to carry it through.


    I freely admit it: I don’t have to the balls to act silly like those two. However, it goes back to talent. Let’s face it: it doesn’t take a lot of talent to make faces. They didn’t write the song, didn’t sing the song, didn’t play any musical instructions, etc. Their sole accomplishment is they made faces at a camera. That’s not talent, man!!! And if they weren’t Chinese–i.e., didn’t have the freak factor of Chinese boys lip-synching to Backstreet Boys songs–NOBODY will notice this.

  12. Da Xiangchang,

    My opinion of you as a “juice bag” hasn’t changed yet. you talentless “dork”.

    [edited by admin using alternate word choice provided by commenter]

  13. DXC,

    Have you ever tried to make a funny video? It’s much harder than you give these boys credit for. The fact that they were able to do it merely by lip synching is testament to their talent. If they’re using certain cultural expectations for humorous effect, then that’s further evidence of talent. I’m not saying it’s talent on par with Mozart, but it’s talent nonetheless. Your refusal to recognize it as talent doesn’t make it any less so.

  14. Thanks, John, now I have to go wash my eyes.

  15. greg pasden Says: October 26, 2005 at 1:11 am

    How difficult do you think it is to make this kind of video?

  16. Why the sudden surge of interest in this talent-less and old piece? The video made the Today Show this morning on NBC, right before I washed my eyes.

  17. Since I have done some heavy A/V work in the past to suppliment my income, it is actually very time consuming. For each successful finish product, there are many takes and repeats.

    If the videos the Back Dorm Boys are single-takes, then they are very lucky. Especially considering these videos are made in dorm rooms. May I add “Chinese dorm rooms”! Anyone who has ever stepped a foot in a Chinese dorm hall, you will know how packed the place is. Noise is another concern.

    This is not just some dorm cam strip tease that you see on the web with unsteady hand and some chick try to shake her tah-tah (I would use “tits”, but John, I think you would like “tah-tah” better). These are actually some quality work.

  18. Da Xiangchang Says: October 26, 2005 at 3:05 am


    “If they’re using certain cultural expectations for humorous effect, then that’s further evidence of talent”?!! WTF?!! The only “cultural expectation” they’re using is their Chinese-looking faces; 1.3 billion people have this “talent.” Again it’s the freak factor–or more appropriately, the trained monkey factor. It’s like Dashan–look at the cute little laowai, look how well he speaks our language. In this case, it’s: Ohh, look at the cute little Orientals imitating our songs. At least, Dashan was actually speaking the language. They’re not even doing that–they’re PRETENDING to sing! I’m sorry, but it takes very little talent to make a fool out of yourselves.

  19. I’ve been reading this blog for a while now as well as the comments DaXiangchang make and I have to reluctantly admit, as politically incorrect and offfensive some of the comments may be, they are mostly valid in my opinion. I’m not saying that the “Back Dormitory Boys'” talent doesn’t play a part in why it’s so funny but the fact that the they’re Chinese with no doubt plays a huge role in the humour that that you could easily find elsewhere. How hard is it to find a few college students making goofball videos and putting them on the internet? Just go to a place like and you’ll know what i’m talking about. If it makes any difference, I’m an ABC high school student.

  20. DXC,

    The way to prove your point would be to make a similar funny video yourself. According to you, all you need is a Chinese face, and you have that, right? Oh, but wait… you’d “feel too stupid to carry it through.” How convenient. Much easier to just criticize.

    Anyway, the points we disagree on are strictly matters of opinion… I’m going to stop wasting my time on this argument.

  21. Those red track suits are da bomb.

  22. John, you have got a good point there and I agree with you.

    I would like to also add that these boys have landed a huge endorsement deal with Motorola China to promote their mobile phones.

    Of course, Da Xiangchang would be in the same situation if he would get off his ass and do something about it, instead he is spending his time reading and critizing other people’s blogs.

    How pathetic is that. Da xiangchang, you have nothing else better to do, except live your own life through others.

    All fights aside, I would like to propose $100 (USD) to see a video of Da Xiangchang sing a 4-minute song of his choice. You can pick anything you want. If you don’t have the song in your procession, I would even buy a copy off iTune for you.

    What do you say? Leave your email address either here or with John.

    You have talked the talk, but can you walk the walk?

  23. Da Xiangchang Says: October 26, 2005 at 9:12 am


    You said these two guys were “talented,” and I disagreed. However, I never said I WAS talented. Whether I have talent or not is irrelevant to the discussion. Okay, you might counter with: if you can’t do it, then don’t criticize it! The logic of this argument is very faulty–you assume you MUST be better at something before you can make a judgment of it. In other words, if you’re not a good cook, don’t criticize bad cooking; if you’re not a good filmmaker, don’t criticize bad movies; if you’re not a . . . you get the idea. And my point about Chinese faces is that outside of these faces, they really have no talent–except their unabashed personalities (which I DID gave them credit for).

  24. DXC,

    And why would you need talent to do what two “talentless” guys can do…? The idea is that talentless acts are easily duplicated.

    But thanks for explaining all my logical errors.

  25. must be good if it makes the news in pittsburgh pa. it’s amazing how far stupidity will get you lol!!!!!!!! 🙂

  26. Wow everything seems to erupt into an argument around here.

    Anyway, I saw a couple of their videos for the first time a few days ago, it’s been making the rounds online and I think they’re some of the funniest things i’ve ever seen.

    More power to them if they got endorsement deals out of this. It’s similar to Andrew zemakis or whatever his name is, in the US making internet videos and getting noticed by Jimmy Kimmel and eventually getting his own show on MTV. You could say he was talentless and the videos were only funny because he was a fat kid and shameless about it, but someone obviously thought he was talented and gave him a show.

    There are a few more of their videos linked here:

  27. hey does anyone know where i can download this video? instead of streaming? its kinda funny

  28. DXC, my offer still stands if you are still got the balls to do something about it.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with the Chinese idiom of 紙上談兵, but all the comments you have left here fall into that category.

    Therefore, the best thing you can do is just quietly disappear. Just like the rest of your miserable life that is slowly slipping away.

  29. Since I was the one that first forward the video clips to John, I somewhat feel responsible for all the bickering here between the two sides either are fans of Back Dorm Boys’ videos or against them.

    I personally think the Back Dorm Boys have done a good job making these videos. That is my personal opinion.

    Of course I can also see why some people don’t think they are that great. Like what Da Xiangchang said, when you come down to it, all they have done was singing along with popular songs and had a camera record them.

    That is fine too. Everyone are entitled to their own opinions. As we are living in a civilized world, we should respect those opinions as well, regardless if we agree or not.

    One thing I would like to point out and I am sure John would agree with me one this:

    This is John’s website, and as a gracious host, he allows everyone to express themselves with comments. Let’s NOT abuse this priviledge by hurling insults at each other. There is absolutely NO need for that.

    For those who take great pleasure in bickering yet refuse reveal links to your own email address and/or website, I would suggest you start your own blog or website and stop using this place as your personal soapbox.

    Please be civil everyone.

  30. Tian,

    Well said. And with that, I’m closing the comments on this entry for a while. Anyone who really has to leave a comment will have to wait a few weeks to do so, and will hopefully be calmer by then.

  31. […] Watch this video I found at Sinosplice. Nuff said: […]

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