No one saw it coming, yet everyone is now talking about it. Completely unforeseen, totally unplanned, it’s the chain letter of the Internet, only we actually want to see it – – -it’s Viral Video
Viral Internet video wasn’t unheard of even before video sharing sites, but sites such as YouTube set video sharing on fire, opening up the doors for even the most anonymous Internet users to become famous. Anyone with a camera and an emotion-evoking clip could suddenly get famous, just like that. Then came the upstart random hit videos, overnight sensations that grab our attention and become auditory and visual hits. You had to see it; everyone else was watching, and this wasn’t just some jackass falling off a trampoline — this was a real hit.
Passed along via email, shared via links on social networking sites, spread by word-of-mouth, IM, texts, and so on, and suddenly, you’ve got an Internet sensation.
The stars of the videos make us laugh, make us cry, and sometimes they make a mockery of someone — including themselves. Often, these popular videos inspire spoofs which are just as viral (and often just as entertaining) as the original.
There have been many popular examples of the viral phenomena , for example: the strange “Chocolate Rain”, Chris Crocker’s plea for us to “Leave Britney Alone” (contains R-Rated language, so I won’t link), and the hilarious “David After Dentist”.
But, in my opinion, there are three viral videos that outdo them all. My top three picks for Internet viral videos:
Never Gonna Give You Up
Oh man! You got me! I’ve Been Rick Roll’d !!
I can’t count the times I’ve said that.
Undoubtedly the most loved and hated video on all of the Internet, the ‘Rick Roll’ is one of the most unintentional viral music videos / Internet video memes ever. The views just keep racking up for Rick Astley’s 1987 hit number-one-pop song, “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
‘Rickrolling’ happens when a person thinks they are clicking on a link to one certain thing, but are instead taken to Astley’s video; the link is hidden in seemingly interesting or valuable information. Clicking on and revealing the true video and song usually results in swearing, face palming, eye-rolling, “awwww”-ing , and in my case, singing along. Pssst, don’t tell anyone: I love being Rick Roll’d.
Estimates are that nearly 20 million people have been Rickrolled, some multiple times, and the number keeps climbing. Not only is “Never Gonna Give You Up” one of the most well-known Internet memes ever, but its popularity is so great that it has spread beyond the Internet into actual live Rick Rolls.
Even YouTube joined in when, on one April Fool’s Day, they RickRoll’d YouTube viewers — every featured video on the site was “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
No one knows why Rick Astley’s song was chosen — is it the catchy pop tune? the cheesy video? Rick’s hot dance moves (seriously!) and soulful voice? the irony that not many will admit to actually listening to and liking the song once being tricked into listening to it? I don’t know; no one knows – we only know it’s funny, every single time.
$10 Giftcard For Commenting on This Associated Content Article
Christian The Lion
Love conquers all. Man versus wild. Both.
Man has always sought to tame the wild beast, to cast our human emotions onto animals, to revel in the beauty of the untamed, all the while knowing it’s dangers, and knowing the unfairness of locking up such beauty.
A magnificent lion, Christian, found his way into the hearts of two men in London in 1969. Times were different then, and exotic animals could be easily bought, and so John Rendall and Anthony “Ace” Bourke purchased a lion cub from Harrod’s. The lion thrived in their care and they were all close, but the men eventually realized that, although they loved their little guy, it was unfair to keep him in London, and he wouldn’t stay little for long.
Because they wanted to do the right thing, they made arrangements to introduce him to Africa so he could be a true lion. With the help of George Adamson, that’s just what they did.
The men and some friends flew Christian to Africa, and eventually, they flew back without him. It was hard to leave him, but it was the right thing. One year after he was released into the wild, the men flew back to Africa to check up on Christian. The rest is sappy history.
The reunion of the men and their lion has become one of the most loved viral videos of all time. The story before and after the video is just as amazing as the video itself. I encourage you to learn more about the men who adopted Christian and the amazing people who helped him make his home in Africa. It’s a good story with some surprising turns, a little heartbreaking, but ultimately a human-loves-beast-loves-human triumph.
You can easily find more videos online, TV specials, books and interviews all about Christian’s life, his owners, their reunion, George Adamson, and what happened to everyone.
Now excuse me while I get a tissue.
Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream
It’s the day after Britain’s Got Talent, and a clip from the night before is in my email. I don’t remember who sent it to me, but I’ll never forget watching it for the first time.
She walks up on stage in her matronly dress; I can hear giggling in the background. I’m thinking, “Eh, another Sanjaya, and it’s not gong to be funny.” I don’t like to laugh at others expense.
She’s a little frumpy, a lot cheerful, her hair is a mess, and it’s obvious this is going to be a joke. A bit unkempt and nervous, she tells Simon she’s 47; he rolls his eyes. She does look older, but hey, a woman can’t always pluck and color, right? She’s spunky though, and the judges and audience are torn between laughter and snickering.
Susan informs the audience and judges that she’s a pro (the camera closes in on a brunette in the audience who smirks, rolls her eyes, looks mighty snobby, and is hopefully eating crow to this day) even though she looks plainer than vanilla yogurt. How bad will it be?
She gets ready; she sings. Two seconds into the song –two seconds!– and the judges mouths are open, the audience is screaming, and I have chills. The woman can sing. Oh my can the woman sing!
Cue standing ovation. No one is laughing now and everyone in the place realizes that Susan Boyle has got talent and she just belted out “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables with a voice that couldn’t possibly come from her. We were expecting something different, and that’s what we got.
It’s a classic case of not judging a book by its cover (though the cover is quite adorable now; it just needed a bit of care). Susan Boyle, Plain Jane turned viral Internet sensation, had the best selling album of 2009.
The lady has class, talent, and a true Cinderella story.
She rounds out my top three, but her story goes on.
These days, a video can go from an anonymously posted, unheard of clip, to being viewed by millions within a short period of time, from days to hours. We just never know when, who, are why the next big thing in viral video is the next big thing. It’s unpredictable … and we love it.
pssst: Did you get rickrolled by the gift card link?