This past weekend, Clemson Football’s creative team department released perhaps its most popular video to date. Following the Tigers’ 34-28 win over Boston College this past Saturday, the video team released a spoof of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video, starting freshman wide receiver Ajou Ajou.
As of Monday night, the video has been viewed nearly 173,000 times since it was released on Halloween Night.
“That is in my wheelhouse … I mean Thriller,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his call-in show Monday night. “In fact, Kathleen, my wife, she has watched it thirty times. I am not kidding you. Thirty times. She just cracks up laughing every time she watches it. She just goes, ‘He is so cute. He is so cute.’”
Mrs. Swinney is of course talking about Ajou’s performance, who is dressed up in a similar outfit Michael Jackson wore in the 1983 video, which was a 13-minute mini movie directed by John Landis. The Thriller video changed music video’s forever.
Now, the question is will Clemson’s parody of the classic hit set the bar for social media productions, especially in the sports industry?
“Ajou was unbelievable. What a personality. He has some moves man,” Dabo Swinney said. “How about that outfit. I guess they got it from Amazon. The guys had fun with it, and then they asked me to be at the end.
“I had a real tough part. ‘Happy Halloween.’ That is all I had to do. It was great.”
Swinney said when he and his wife were in high school, Kathleen was in a production of Thriller.
“In fact, when we were in high school, she was a cheerleader, but she took dance every year,” Swinney said. “But her big routine that one year was Thriller. So, she had a ball with that. It was great. It was a lot of fun.”