It’s a question that has plagued humanity since the dawn of time. Or at least, you know, since the dawn of the summer of 2000. Who did let the dogs out? And as demonstrated by the new documentary from Brent Hodge (A Brony Tale, The Pistol Shrimps), answering that question isn’t quite as easy as one might initially expect.
The short answer it: not the Baha Men, at least not entirely. In reality, the true origins of the infectious jam that rocked sports stadiums nationwide and wedged itself into our collective consciousness is much murkier and less obvious than the name of the group that made the song a hit.
What began as the whim of an unemployed recent transplant to New York City, a reaction to an absent citation on a Wikipedia page, snowballed into an obsessive quest to discover the truth. About “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Once again, to be clear, yes, we’re talking about that “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
When Ben Sisto discovered a literal missing link, and with nothing better to do one day, he set out on what became a long, strange journey. A journey that took him around the world, involves a British hairdresser, Canadian DJs, record executives, hearsay, and more than a few lawsuits. This project sprawled and expanded for years, and the mystery only deepened the further he tracked the legend of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” All of his research and data ultimately evolved into part travelling TED Talk, part stand-up comedy routine, part cultural oddity. And it’s not even certain he got to the bottom of it yet. Or if he ever will.
Who Let the Dogs Out?, the documentary, falls into a subcategory with movies like Tickled or Three Identical Strangers, or even much of Hodge’s other work. Documentaries that start out with a concept that, on the surface, appears light and fluffy and fun, but upon closer examination, reveals something much more twisted and tangled.
It’s not quite as impactful as those two films mentioned, and nowhere near as dark or sinister, but this saga is no less strange. More than anything, Who Let the Dogs Out? is a weird, wild ride that does not go how you expect. Not even close. But while it’s a bit slight at only 70 minutes, it’s still a ride worth taking. The whole thing is all so ludicrous and bizarre it’s hard not to enjoy.