Deconstructing Lady Gaga's 'Telephone'

A by-the-numbers guide to the record-setting, controversial music video

Lady Gaga's 'Telephone'

Shortly after Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' music video hit YouTube Thursday, the blogosphere literally couldn't shut up about the controversial telecommunications-themed short. (Watch the video below.) While some debated whether MTV might ban it from airwaves (no), more wonkish types engaged in deep analysis over the Technicolor extravaganza's potential meaning and its pop-cultural references. Here, a by-the-numbers look at the 'Telephone' phenomenon:

Length of the "spectacle," in minutes

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Number of product placement moments in 'Telephone," including: HeartBeats headphones (1:34), Virgin Mobile cell phones (2:07), Chanel sunglasses (2:17) Diet Coke (2:22) dating website (4:27) Hewlett-Packard (4:24), Polaroid (5:45) Wonder Bread (6:35) and Miracle Whip (6:38).


Number of Gaga family members present or invoked: Sister, Natali, 17, appears as the Gaga's "true persona," Stefani Germanotta (2:37); When Gaga uses Diet Coke cans as curlers (2:22), she's referencing a trick her mother employed when "there were no rollers in the house."


Number of costume changes Gaga undergoes. Outfits include: A padlock-draped swimsuit (worn with sunglasses seemingly fabricated from lit cigarettes), a scanty number consisting entirely of crime scene tape, a leopard catsuit (reportedly, a nod to Shania Twain), and a diaphanous burka-inspired dress.


Number of pop culture allusions, according to MTV's "Lady Gaga's 'Telephone' Video: Pop Culture Cheat Sheet" (Parts I and II), including: Captain America and Wonder Woman, "pop-art trailblazer" Andy Warhol, pop superstars Michael Jackson and Madonna, and blockbuster movies "Natural Born Killers" and "Thelma and Louise."


Reference to real-world rumors that Gaga might be a hermaphrodite. One prison guard comments to another that Gaga's character is a physically normal woman.

18,015,338 (and counting)

Number of views the official Gaga YouTube video received since it debuted late on March 11. (Her co-star Beyonce's "Single Ladies" video, considered a smash hit, has received only 15,423,559 views since hitting airwaves in October 2008.)

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