(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SEPTEMBER")
EARTH, WIND AND FIRE: (Singing) Do you remember the 21st night of September?
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
No, it's not the 21st night of September anymore. That was yesterday.
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
Yesterday was also comedian and writer Demi Adejuyigbe's goodbye to an internet tradition he started. See, in 2016, he remixed the famed Earth, Wind & Fire song as a joke. His roommate encouraged him to post it somewhere.
DEMI ADEJUYIGBE: So I made a video of myself dancing to it. And I made a quick shirt with, like, a stencil that I had and just posted that on Twitter. And people were like, oh, that's funny.
CORNISH: People found it so funny that when September 2017 rolled around, they began re-sharing the video. So Adejuyigbe thought...
ADEJUYIGBE: Oh, maybe I should do another one. Oh, that'd be fun if I, like, escalate it this year. And then as soon as I had done two, it was like, it's a pattern. You're going to do this every year now.
FADEL: Every year since, Adejuyigbe has posted a new video, upping the ante each time with new sets, props, even guests.
CORNISH: In 2018, he was joined by a children's choir.
(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)
UNIDENTIFIED CHILDREN: (Singing) ...September. Ba-dee-ya (ph) 21 September.
FADEL: In 2019, a mariachi band.
(SOUNDBITE OF MARIACHI AUSENTE PERFORMANCE OF EARTH, WIND & FIRE'S "SEPTEMBER")
CORNISH: His September videos have millions of views on YouTube.
ADEJUYIGBE: It's the perfect element of, like, you know when it's going to happen, you know that it's going to be bigger than last year, you know it's going to be a surprise. And so it just feels like you are setting yourself up for excitement every year.
CORNISH: Adejuyigbe has basically created an internet holiday with his videos. They're a lot of work. And in 2020, he was ready to hang up his hat. But instead, he decided to go big.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
ADEJUYIGBE: So I'll make a deal with you guys. I'll do another video next year if you can help me raise $50,000 to be split between these select charities.
FADEL: He ended up raising close to $350,000, split between advocacy organizations focused on unhoused people and marginalized communities. And of course, it meant one last video.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SEPTEMBER")
EARTH, WIND AND FIRE: (Singing) Ba-dee-ya - say, do you remember - ba-dee-ya - dancing in September?
CORNISH: Like all great performers, he went all out with this one. There's a rotating room, a house party, a flying car.
FADEL: Now, Demi Adejuyigbe might be done with the "September" videos, but he's not done with creating.
ADEJUYIGBE: What I really love about the videos and why I keep making them is just the ability to make things and just have a plan and execute it. I don't know. We'll see what that turns into.
CORNISH: Don't worry, Demi. We'll still be thinking of you every September 21. We're going to stay tuned for what you do next.
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