The Internet has given anyone who wants one a chance to create videos and broadcast them all over the world. As a result fame isn’t just for movie stars and athletes any more. Some people get their 15 minutes (and then some) by appearing in videos that become wildly popular. Viral videos become hugely popular by spreading person to person, much like a virus. And like viruses, some become so addictive that we can’t help but watch them over and over again. Some have become so popular that they have lead to TV shows, including several from funnyordie.com. Here are my three favorites, with the focus on amateur videos.
3. Numa Numa
This video hit the waves in 2004. It features a larger gentleman in headphones lip synching and dancing to the song Dragonstea din tei. It is a hilarious view, as the dance moves make you laugh out loud. The comic value of the man’s weight also adds some flare to the video. Chances are you’ve seen this one several times before. Accourding to YouTube the video has been viewed over 35 million times. The video has countless parodies, including a 2nd one made by Gary Brolsma, the man from the original video. It was also featured in a Vizio advertisement and mocked on South Park as well as other shows. All that aside, it’s still hilarious to watch because of the way Brolsma moves his face and arms.
2. Leeroy Jenkins
This video centers around a group of gamers playing the game World of Worldcraft. In the game, the group (whose characters are shown in screen) are making an elaborate involved strategy to attack their enemy. All of a sudden one player rushes in to battle, ignoring the plan, and yelling the name ‘Leeeeeerrooooyyyyy Jenkinnnnnssss’ as he rushes in. The early jump costs the team the battle and all their characters are killed. As this is happening virtually everyone is expressing anger at Leeroy. As they all blame Leeroy, he responds with ‘At least I have chicken,’ which is a hilarious ending to the video. This video has been featured or parodied in a Toyota commercial, on Jeopardy, and various other places.
1. Don’t Taze Me Bro
This video came as a result of an incident in which Senator John Kerry was giving a speech at the University of Florida. In the video, a UF student is being detained by police. One officer uses a tazer, prompting the student to yell out ‘Don’t taze me bro.’ Prior to this, the student was asking Kerry questions related to his involvement in a secret society, as well as his conceding the 2004 election to George Bush. After using a vulgar word, his microphone was cut off and he remarks ‘thanks for cutting me off’. After this police detain him. While somewhat unclear why they were detaining him at first, the student questions and resists and is ultimately tazed. I love this video because it shows how crazy some people get at politician speeches, something that is all too familliar now. I also love it because of the phrase ‘don’t taze me bro’ which shows us how little some young people have with regards to authority or even proper conduct in certain environments. This video sensation is still popular on YouTube, and spawned several legal battles and ultimately an apology from the student, who was allowed to return to school. The video reminds us that sometimes free speech is still a very touchy issue, and in some forums there is overreaction on both ends.