4 Keys to Crushing Karaoke Night

Karaoke, Japanese for “empty orchestra,” is an ancient public ritual that every Bro will eventually face. There’s a reason Bruce Springsteen still tours year-round well into his 60s. That’s because an arena full of thousands of fans screaming your name and singing along as you serenade them with your sweet mouth sex is as close to being a god as you’ll ever get. While you’ll never be The Boss, here’s a few steps to take next time you find yourself at karaoke night to get the crowd to love (or, at least tolerate) you.

Get Drunk

This should be obvious. If you’re a person that will sing karaoke in front of a bunch of people stone-cold sober, that’s some Hannibal Lecter sociopath shit, and I don’t want to know you. Being drunk is the best way to deal with potentially humiliating experiences, which is why I always pound shots before singing in front of strangers or having sex.

Own Your Song

What were you planning on singing? I bet it was “Don’t Stop Believing.” Do us a favor … and don’t do that.

Here’s my rule of thumb on picking your karaoke go-to: if it’s been covered by Glee, pick something else. You want to go for something that’s recognizable, but not bludgeoned to death by every schmuck with an open mic. Your song will be your identity. My song? Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations.” Every damn time. No amount of Oscar nominations will ever erase the fact that Mark Wahlberg once did shirtless backflips while delivering lines like: “Vibrations good like Sunkist/Many wanna know who done this.” Other suggestions: “All For You,” Sister Hazel; “A Thousand Miles,” Vanessa Carlton; “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith.

Go All Out

As a society, we’re much more forgiving of those who suck but try really hard than we are of those who suck but kind of just half-ass it. This is why Rudy had a movie made about him and the kid that never went to class but emailed everyone the night before the exam for notes did not. What you will almost certainly lack in pitch and tone you can make up for with heart. If you don’t embrace the song, the karaoke gods will chew you up and spit you out, so reach for those high notes and get your hips involved. In today’s participation trophy culture, the effort’s appreciated.

Make Requests For Your Friends

As a 17-year-old on a recruiting visit, I was brought on stage with no warning to sing “MMMBop” by Hanson in a bar filled with college baseball players. It was fucking terrifying. Make your friends sing embarrassing (but secretly super-catchy and awesome) songs like “It’s Raining Men,” or “Like A Virgin.” Bonus points if they’re shy or awkward, because the sacred covenant of karaoke decrees that once a singer has been announced, that singer must sing. Sort of like the Goblet of Fire.