Jul 30, 2014

Comic Relief: The Wonder of Viral Videos

A little "Comic Relief!" to help you smile through the trials and tribulations of the mid-week madness in Southington. This week, I have confession to make: I can’t stop watching these stupid videos!

No matter how you break it down, “ Youtube” has to be the unofficial medical term for the end of a productive workday.

For anyone who has a job that involves working with computers, or heck even have access to the Internet while working, you can’t deny that at some point there was that moment when you realized you had accomplished nothing because you’ve spent the last two hours watching viral videos.

Then you realize that most of the videos you watched weren’t worth the time. And then you realized that you didn’t even care that they weren’t and started watching again.

Seriously, it can’t be just me who has had this experience, right?

Here’s the thing. You can love them or hate them, but when a video goes viral on the web, it’s hard to ignore they leave an impression. That’s why today we are taking a look at some of the weirdest, funniest and just plain “OMG” moments in viral video history.

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So where did this all start? Well, I was sitting to write the weekly “ Comic Relief!” column and while sifting through a couple ideas I had, I came across this entertaining video of a cat barking out the window – that is until the owner picked up on his devious act.

Now I know what you are all thinking, “you do realize that video is, like, ancient, right?” Yes, I know this. But it made me laugh when I first saw it and it made me laugh hard again today.

Viral videos don’t need anything to be spectacular with high production value. Sometimes they are shot with camera phones, catching the right moment at the right time, and sometimes they are just random ideas put into video.

So here’s a look at six of my favorites to get you going. Be sure to include links to your favorite videos in the comments section below.

1. ‘I Like Turtles’: What do you get when you ask a child dressed up as a zombie what his favorite part of a fair is? Well, unless the answer you had is “I like turtles,” you’d be wrong. This video spurred countless spoofs and “remixes” as it circled the Internet and when I first launched Southington Patch, it was the exact phrase my brother typed in the comment stream to thank me.

2. Where the Hell is Matt?: So this kid, Matt Harding, decides to quit his job as a video game designer to travel he world and create a compilation of himself dancing violently in every location. Sounds dumb, doesn’t it? Well he went from dancing alone to finding large groups joining him in dancing during the now consistent road trip around the world. Plus, his videos and website are now sponsored, making him a real life “Where’s Waldo?”

On a side note, this video series has so taught me that I totally need to be coming up with an original idea rather than watching some kid who can’t dance get free trips around the world…

3. ‘Leave Brittany Alone’: Chris Crocker screamed his way into the top viral video list. His tearful plea for his favorite artist quickly caught fire and is another video that has led to a flurry of spoofs. But he (it took me a while to realize it was a man, sadly) has made history. Personally, I’m still trying to figure out what the heck just happened.

4. Pretty Much Any Weird Cat Video Ever (Which is All of Them): This isn’t a particular video, but no matter how dumb they are or how much isn’t happening, I can’t stop watching these videos. And I’m a dog person. So to wrap it all in one, check out the link - but please come back to Southington Patch when you are done. I don’t want to lose you to viral video brain shutdown.

5. David After the Dentist: I feel so bad for this kid, but the entire time I was watching and thinking to myself that I wouldn’t want to be in that poor kid’s shoes (or maybe I do, on a bad day), I just couldn’t stop laughing. Kids are just plain funny.

6. Star Wars Kid: OK, so I don’t really get the title of this one. I mean, apparently the kid was using a light saber of sorts, imaginary of course, but what I saw was a guy swinging a pole violently en route to almost killing himself. On second thought, after watching the follow-up preview of “ The Drunken Jedi,” I can see it.

Either way you shake it down, how many of you can say this kid wasn’t doing something you wish you could? I don’t mean talent wise. I mean losing his inhibitions and not caring enough to produce this video. Hero status…well, almost anyway.

So now that I've distracted you with all these video links and you are busy getting lost in the viral video universe, I suppose I am left writing this for myself.

Oh, you are still reading? Well in that case, this is the part where I tell you, "We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming."

It's only Wednesday, but it feels like the weekend should have been here two days ago. You have a full plate ahead, lots of work left to do, classes at or college to sit through or are just plain in need of a break. We have you covered.

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