The Truth About Bruce Lee Playing Ping Pong With Nunchucks

Bruce Lee. Depending on which decade you grew up, you might know his as the world's foremost kung fu movie star, an authority on martial arts training, an East meets West philosopher, or even a champion ballroom dancer. 

And if you grew up in the mid-2000s, when Destiny's Child gave way to Beyonce and flip phones had not yet gasped their last dying breath, you may also remember Lee as a ping pong god. Here's the video proof

Amazing, isn't it? The amount of skill required to pull off such a feat seems superhuman, and yet the movements are so fluid he might as well be tying his shoelaces.

Unfortunately, as much as we all want this to be real, it's not, according to Snopes.

Bruce Lee the ping pong legend

The video is actually a viral marketing campaign for the Nokia N96 Limited Edition Bruce Lee cell phone, which was produced in 2008, 35 years after his death, by the Beijing office of the J. Walter Thompson ad agency.

Though it looks and feels pretty darn authentic, the nunchuck wielding figure is a Bruce Lee lookalike, and the ball and ping pong sound effects were added in post-production. They're really just playing ping pong charades. 

Polly Chu, the JWT Chief Creative Officer, discussed the video's creation in an interview with Agency.Asia, saying:

"Effective viral relies on an idea that is 'very' – very amazing, very funny, very disgusting, or very rude... Bruce Lee had 'very' amazing skills and we knew we had to be true to the legend."

Chu is definitely right about Bruce Lee's skills. While this particular video isn't real, it's believable because of how many insane things Lee could actually do — two-fingered push ups, for example.

The video, which logged 700,000 views in its first 24 hours, achieved what would have cost millions in paid advertising, according to Chu. Now, the surprisingly realistic looking video has been viewed tens of millions of times. More importantly, it left millions of heads spinning like a vicious slice shot, duping the world into thinking Bruce Lee was the world's foremost ping pong authority.