Brow Beat

Celebrate the 21st of September With Demi Adejuyigbe’s Videos About the 21st of September

Demi Adejuyigbe, wearing a shirt reading "Sept 21," dancing.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Demi Adejuyigbe

It’s harder than ever to get excited about civic holidays these days, what with all the evil bullshit our government has been up to lately. It’s even harder to get excited about religious holidays, what with all the evil bullshit religious leaders have been up to lately. And as for birthdays, have you looked in a mirror recently? But there’s still one holiday that people the world over can celebrate with a pure heart: September 21, that magical day when comedian Demi Adejuyigbe releases his annual video in which he dances around in a t-shirt reading “SEPT 21” over a version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 hit “September” that has been remixed so that only the lyrics about the 21st of September—plus the “Ba-dee ya” part, naturally—remain. Adejuyigbe’s body of work includes spot-on musical parodies of Will Smith, Childish Gambino, and Drake, plus writing for The Good Place and The Late Late Show with James Corden, but the Sept. 21 films are clearly his magnum opus. Given how joyously silly the entire concept is, it is perhaps not surprising that the first film in the series came from the before-times, on Sept. 21, 2016. Remember when life was this simple?

When it came time to celebrate Sept. 21 in 2017, the world had irrevocably changed: Donald Trump was in the White House, and Twin Peaks: The Return was on Showtime. But Adejuyigbe rose to the challenge, producing a Sept. 21 video that embodied the chaos of the age while still welcoming those who preferred more traditional Sept. 21 celebrations. Can you catch all the allusions to the Black Lodge, the 21st of September, and Bill-Clinton-style liberalism’s complete inadequacy in the face of fascism?

By 2018, Sept. 21 was well on its way to becoming the Last Good Holiday, but as the horizons narrowed, Adejuyigbe’s work only became more ambitious and inclusive. “9/21/18” marked the series’ YouTube debut, letting people all over the world celebrate Sept. 21 in 1080p high definition and, just as importantly, letting “September” co-songwriter Allee Willis leave a comment:

A YouTube comment from Allee Willis that reads, "I CO-WROTE SEPTEMBER! Love how you honor it!"

But Adejuyigbe’s vision of inclusivity went further than simply building an online space for Grammy-winning songwriters and people who watch viral videos on high-definition televisions. That year also marked the debut of his “SEPT 21” t-shirts, letting people everywhere bring the joy of Sept. 21 home, while simultaneously raising money for RAINN, RAICES, and the National Center for Transgender Equality to make sure that everyone can have a merry Sept. 21. Critics who accused Adejuyigbe of forgetting the holiday’s true meaning—dancing like a goof to a remixed version of Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”—were stopped dead in their tracks by that year’s video, which featured 29 times more goofy dancing than any previous Sept. 21 film, thanks to 28 members of the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir:

And on Saturday, it was time to celebrate Sept. 21 once again. This year, Adejuyigbe takes his throne as the one true heir of Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, and OK Go with the most elaborate and impressive tracking shot in the history of cinema. Don’t even think about how many takes this must have required:

This year, proceeds from the sale of Sept 21 shirts will go to the Climate Mobilization project. Merry Sept. 21 to all, and to all a good Sept. 21! That’s today.