For kids growing up in the early-to-mid 2000s, as well as meme-makers across the Internet, the show LazyTown was a staple. Airing on Nickelodeon in the U.S. and in 180 other countries, the show ran from 2004 to 2014. Now, however, the show is relevant for completely different reasons.
Stefan Karl, the actor behind the show’s main antagonist “Robbie Rotten,” announced in October that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Shortly after his diagnoses, a GoFundMe campaign was started, and one of his songs from the show, “We Are Number One,” became an Internet meme.
Robbie Rotten’s strange demeanor and cartoonish features make him perfect fodder for Internet memes. Putting this famed kids show villain into adult situations routinely produces hilarious outcomes. The Internet has made Robbie Rotten part sex symbol, part man deserving to be the next president of the United States.
YouTuber MrMrMANGOHEAD, who has uploaded countless versions of the song to his channel over the last month, is one of the key drivers of the tune’s newfound popularity. Like the time he edited the song “We Are Number One” to include sad anime deaths every time Rotten said the word “one.” Each video has a link to “Save Robbie,” which directs users to a GoFundMe page set up for Karl.
The GoFundMe campaign has already surpassed its $100,000 goal, with proceeds going to Karl and his family. Karl took to YouTube to express his gratitude and gave viewers a nice live rendition of “We Are Number One,” including other members of the Lazytown cast.
This isn’t the first time the Internet has helped a living meme who has hit hard times. Recently, people came together to raise money for Hugh Mungus, who is also battling some serious health issues.