There are billions of videos on the Internet, so it's rare when one video breaks through the clutter to become "viral.”
Here are the Top 20 viral videos of all time:
“Chocolate Rain” is a simple video — Tay Zonday, the video's singer and star, stands at his microphone and belts out a strange song about, well, a rain made out of chocolate. Text on screen (written by Zonday after he filmed himself singing the song) makes fun of the song and the video itself. Words can't really describe how strange this video truly is.
"Lip-dubs" is a genre of viral videos that's defined by someone on screen lip syncing to a song that's playing in the background. Numa Numa is the mother of all "lip-dubs."The video's creator and star, overweight and quirky Internet celebrity Gary Brolsma, taped himself singing along to Moldovan pop group O-Zone's song "Dragostea din tei." The combination of the incredibly strange song and Brolsma's weird dance moves made the video an instant Internet sensation that has spawned several imitators, but nothing beats the original.
Star Wars Kid
Watching the Star Wars Kid is like driving by a car accident—you'd like to look away, but you can't. The video stars a reluctant and overweight French Canadian teenager who filmed himself performing light saber moves used by Darth Maul in the film Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
. Like a lot of viral videos, this one will have you howling while you're watching it but will make you feel bad when it's over.
“Lazy Sunday” is comedy rap video by Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell about two guys having a boring, lazy Sunday that originally appeared on Saturday Night Live
in December of 2005. Once the video made it to the then-fledgling video website YouTube, the popularity of both “Lazy Sunday” and YouTube exploded.
Actor/stuntman Mark Hicks' audition tape—in which he falls flat on his head, gets back up and attempts to use a pair of nunchucks until he falls back onto the floor—has been viewed over 80 million times and remains one of the funniest and most satisfying viral videos ever.
Evolution Of The Dance
Stand-up comedian and motivation speaker Judson Laipply's routine, "Evolution Of The Dance," holds the slot for the most viewed video on YouTube, with 120,364,195 views (as of 5/28/09). The clip is just as the title suggests: Laipply, within the span of 6 minutes, takes a live audience (and the YouTube viewer) through the evolution of dancing through time.
Scottish singer Susan Boyle's appearance on a 2009 episode of the TV show Britain's Got Talent
truly was a viral sensation—the clip received over 60 million views in just over a month. In the clip, the slightly overweight and frumpily dressed Boyle is set up in the clip to be an embarrassing joke. But, unlike most viral videos, the tables have been turned and this time, the subject of the video, Boyle, triumphantly sings "I Dreamed A Dream" from the musical Les Miserables
Thanks to a very common Internet prank called Rickrolling
, the music video for singer Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up" is one of the most viewed viral videos ever. Rickrolling is a simple prank—the prankster convinces his or her victim to click a link, telling them it's going to be one thing (like a funny video, an interesting news story, or whatever might interest the victim). But when the prank's victim clicks the link, they are taken to the music video for "Never Gonna Give You Up." That person has just been "Rickroll'd."
Not much is known about the stars of this viral video that was taped in 2003 but appeared on the Internet in the fall of 2007. We do know that made for a high school public access network and that is quite possibly the worst rap battle ever recorded. Both rappers are terrible, but where Envy is standard-issue bad, it's Eli Porter's strange and misguided performance that shot this video to viral video status.
This scene from a 1990s Indian film is simple but nonetheless quite amazing. In it, the titular "Little Superstar" figure, an incredibly talented child dancer, break-dances to the Madonna song "Holiday" with a skill that eclipses most adult break-dancers, let alone other children dancers. Thanks to the child's adult-like motions, the clip is both rather funny and fairly freakish.