Karaoke is believed to have orginated in a small bar in Japan. The in-house band recorded their music onto tape, and if they were not there the singer would just sing along to the tape. The word Karaoke was written on the tape, Kara meaning missing and Oke meaning band or orchestra.
Karaoke evenings are popular events, usually held in pubs, clubs and bars. After over-consumption of cheap alcoholic beverages, normally timid, tone-deaf individuals suddenly decide that they were, after all, destined to be the next George Michael or Celine Dion. Encouraged by their inebriated friends, they take to the stage to share their new-found talents with the room. Microphone in hand, they belt out any number of songs, attempting to follow the lyrics on a screen. A little white ball skips along the top of the words, gently encouraging them to sing in time to the music, which is rendered by the karaoke machine. This is rarely achieved. Part of the fun of karaoke is watching participants humiliating themselves as they passionately strangle popular classics.
Another part of the fun is leaving the pub the second that the karaoke machine kicks in.