The new boob tube

Oct. 7, 2008, midnight | By Anika Manzoor Monica Wei | 13 years, 10 months ago

The hilarious, the terrible and the under-appreciated

In the last few years, an astonishing phenomenon has swept the world. A relatively new innovation has rivaled television's spot as the universal pastime. Millions, perhaps billions, tune in every day - captivated by average people who literally become overnight celebrities. What might this unbelievable craze be? Why, it's none other than the spread of the popular video-sharing website, where anyone with an access to a video camera and Internet connection can upload their own creations and dazzle the entire world with their talents. Of course, with 100 million videos uploaded every day, only a select few stand out above all others.

Silver Chips Online is here with a comprehensive review of some of the most popular user-generated videos on YouTube. It may be difficult to understand why some of these videos are so popular, but there's no denying that all of these videos have created a powerful impression on their global audience.

Video Title: Hahaha by BlackOleg

Duration: 1:40

Views (last count): 60,963,409

Rating: 3/5

Anika: Over 60 million views for a clip of a cackling infant? I love babies as much as the next person, and this absolutely adorable baby does have a cute (albeit slightly creepy) laugh, but come on. You can get this anywhere; just go to any daycare center. I honestly worry for people who actually watch the entire clip, for it should have been at most 30 seconds long.

Monica: Laughter is the best medicine! I could not stop laughing with the baby while watching this. But in my defense - as dumb as this clip may be - the baby is so cute and his ludicrous giggle is so strange that any viewer would do the same. But even so, I do feel rather silly, and the clip does become repetitive after the first 20 seconds.

Video Title: The Dark Knight Trailer Spoof by EvilIguanaProduction

Duration: 5:01

Views (last count): 4,172,180

Rating: 4.5/5

Anika: One of the best amateur parodies I've seen on YouTube. The jokes were clever and well-executed, the costumes were awesome and the Joker impression was impressive. The video deserves way more than four million views but it's been up for only three months, much less than many of these other hits. Given time, hopefully this gem of a homemade video will rise to the top as well.

Monica: Wow, EvilIguanaProduction put a lot of effort into this. I'm not a big fan of spoofs - the vast majority on YouTube is terrible - but this one is actually decent. The realistic costumes were nicely done, and the makeup and props match those of the actual film. The parts that mirror the film exactly drag on a bit, but the jokes are worth it. At a mere four million views, the video is a tad under-appreciated, but EvilIguanaProduction's works are getting better and better; check out their spoof of the trailer for the upcoming film "Twilight."

Video Title: Mortal Kombat Theme by smosh

Duration: 3:20

Views (last count): 13,501,659

Rating: 5/5

Anika: Widely known as the most popular account on YouTube - maintaining their reign over many number one spots like All Time Most Subscribed and All Time Most Viewed Comedians - smosh's Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox are the masters of silly, slapstick comedy. Their homage to the Mortal Kombat theme song, which is their most watched video, hilariously combines "special" effects, fight scenes and priceless facial expressions. Sure, their skits have no point, but they are good fun and succeed in uniting video game dorks everywhere!

Monica: I love this! The smosh duo of Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox is just too funny. I'd say this is one of their best skits - props for their character representations, especially Sub-Zero (are they using a lava lamp, or what?). Although the video and the theme song are a bit repetitive, this clip is fun. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that Padilla and Hecox are pretty cute.

Video Title: Charlie The Unicorn by SecretAgentBob (made popular by gswanson17)

Duration: 3:45

Views (last count): 28,596,530

Rating: 0/5

Anika: Wow. That's three minutes and 45 seconds of my life that I will never get back. Not a single part of that pointless and immature animation was funny and if I hear those stupid unicorns ever again, I will throw my shoe at my computer screen.

Monica: I think some of my brain cells just died. On YouTube, there's ridiculous and inane but funny, and then there's ridiculous and inane but painful. Why this video, which falls under the latter group, has more than 28 million views is beyond me. The high-pitched voice repeating "Charlieee, Charlieeee" is going to haunt me in my sleep.

Video Title: Charlie bit my finger - again! by HDCYT

Duration: 0:55

Views (last count): 50,582,437

Rating: 2/5

Anika: All baby videos appear to be essentially the same and yet they are extremely popular on YouTube. Ironically, I absolutely fail to grasp why they are so addicting, even though I find myself watching this clip over and over again. The smirking Charlie (at least he doesn't have a horn in his face) and his older brother Harry are funny and positively delightful in this clip, but I have no idea why!

Monica: Baby videos always make me wonder what parents (or babysitters?) would film their kids doing stupid things and actually post on YouTube. I don't find this clip funny or cute - lame at best - the only highlight is Harry's British accent. I'm befuddled as to why this dull clip would inspire copycats, but I guess people just like babies.

Video Title: Sneezing Panda by jimwvmoss

Duration: 0:16

Views (last count): 21,788,299

Rating: 2/5

Anika: The first time I saw this video, I was mildly entertained. The second, third, fourth and so on times after that, I quickly grew tired of it. I bet the baby panda wouldn't appreciate such a large audience laughing at its misfortune. That sounded like a pretty serious sneeze.

Monica: Aw, the panda's so cute! The first time I watched, I was entranced, and clicked replay. And then clicked replay again. And again. The mother panda's reaction to the sneeze is absolutely adorable. It's no wonder why this video, of which there are multiple versions on YouTube and even one in slow motion, is so popular - after all, who doesn't love baby animals?

Video Title: Crank Dat Soulja Boy Spongebob by MastaBest

Duration: 3:45

Views (last count): 49,495,833

Rating: 0/5

Anika: Another three minutes and 45 seconds down the drain. Bringing together the world's most annoying song with the world's most annoying cartoon show was never a good idea. I can't believe someone actually took the time to make this.

Monica: I admire the well done synchronization of the song with the SpongeBob clips, but this video's merits end there. "Crank Dat" was only redeemed by Soulja Boy's weird dance moves, and replacing him with Squidward is painful.

Video Title: Daft Hands - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by FrEckleStudios

Duration: 3:44

Views (last count): 23,857,786

Rating: 5/5

Anika: At first glance, the creator of "Daft Hands" simply wows the viewer with his innovation and amazing dexterity. And it doesn't hurt that "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" is just a fantastic song, both before and after Kanye West laid hands on it. Despite a slow start and a novelty effect that quickly wears off, this video deserves a spot among the best.

Monica: The creator of the clip has phenomenal synchronization with the song. The hand motions are entrancing from the very beginning, and only get better as the song becomes faster and the motions more frenzied.

Video Title: Potter Puppet Pals in "The Mysterious Ticking Noise" by NeilCicierega

Duration: 2:06

Views (last count): 51,141,325

Rating: 3/5

Anika: Neil Cicierega is a comical genius. Due to the popularity of the "Potter Puppet Pals" animated series, Cicierega decided to open a YouTube channel depicting live-action puppets. "The Mysterious Ticking Noise" is his most popular YouTube episode and is ranked number 16 on most watched videos of all time for good reason. In my opinion, this is his best episode ever - animated or live-action. The creative thinking behind the video is brilliant: having the characters sing their names in a catchy and humorous ostinato followed by a classic twist. Harry Potter fans and cynics alike will appreciate this awesome clip.

Monica: This might've entertained me back when I was five years old, but now? Not so much. Having the Harry Potter characters sing their names repeatedly makes for a dull three-quarters of a clip, and the twist ending isn't too funny either - only relieving.

Video Title: Crazy Indian Video...Buffalaxed! by Buffalax

Duration: 4:39

Views (last count): 8,248,473

Rating: 4/5

Anika: Everything about this video is absolutely hysterical. Although the song in the video is sung in Tamil, a South Indian language, the absurd "translated" English is the only thing that the viewer hears. The kooky lyrics ("That stuff is pink colored, some day I sell DNA"), in conjunction with the flamboyant dance moves - you don't see those in American music videos - make for a hilarious hit that is grossly underrated compared to the horrible videos that get a lot more views.

Monica: In terms of context, I have no idea what's going on in this video. That being said, it is pretty funny. The crazy dance moves are amusing, and the audio really matches the made-up subtitles. But this clip quickly becomes repetitive, as much of the song repeats and the movie scene switches from place to place in a completely perplexing manner - not to mention the number of costume changes and rapid alternation between slow-motion and normal speed.

Anika Manzoor. Although she may look like a cute and innocent freshman, Anika is actually a SENIOR(!!), who kicks butts and takes names on a daily basis. But otherwise she's very friendly with a sunny disposition and a constant snarl - er smile on her face =D … More »

Monica Wei. Monica is an unfortunate piece of fruit that has been suspended in a gelatin cup. Okay, not really, but sometimes she feels like one. Monica the strawberry chunk enjoys reading, sitting in trees and watching the clouds go by. She thinks that anything tastes good … More »

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