Well folks, 2008 is now nothing more than a memory in our minds, and while we’re all looking ahead to a brand new year, there’s still one very important “year in review” feature still left to tend to. We already talked about the best movies of 2008, but what about the most entertaining viral videos of 2008? Now that’s something everyone has an opinion on!
As you may know, every week we bring you a collection of the strangest and most degrading videos that the internet has to offer in our Weird Web Wednesdays feature. The following can probably be considered Weird Web Wednesday’s “greatest hits” — the videos that were the most frequently shared and discussed, and the ones that now serve to sum up 2008 in some odd way. Enjoy.
10. Tarantino Attacks at Sundance
Early on in the year, this video from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah hit the web and had a lot of people talking about how big of a jerk Quentin Tarantino was. But with so many people carrying cell phone cameras and mini-camcorders nowadays, celebrities now have a lot more to worry about than just the paparazzi. In the end, QT regains his composure and walks off smiling to himself, but by the way the cameraman is egging him on, we realize that he definitely got what he deserved.
9. Dimitri The Stud
Okay, so this one is more like a “viral audio”, but this series of voice mail messages left by a man named Dimitri in pursuit of a girl he had met at a bar feature some of the most quotable lines I’ve heard all year. His overconfidence is absolutely stunning, not to mention the ultimatum he leaves. “If I do not receive a phone call back from you but 3:00 Thursday afternoon, I am no longer interested.” I think we can all afford to learn a thing or two from Dimitri The Stud.
8. Talking Goat
Funny animal videos are always a hot commodity on YouTube, but this clip of a goat with large genitalia (who also happens to sound like a human) definitely takes the cake. His excited high-pitched exclamations of “Whaaaat?” just get funnier and funnier every time you hear them, and the reaction of the girls recording it only make it that much better.
7. Take On Me: Literal Version
I’m sure we’ve all watched plenty of goofy music videos where we’ve found ourselves wondering how exactly the imagery on screen has anything to do with the song itself. Well, this is apparently where Dustin McLean found inspiration for his “Literal Version” of A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, which is just a re-recording of the song where the lyrics describe in detail every single thing that happens in the video. He followed this up with a translation for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Under The Bridge. Brilliant.
6. Tom Cruise Scientology Video
Tom Cruise continued to struggle this year with his public image, still attempting to recover from the Oprah couch jumping incident of 2005. His comedic role in Tropic Thunder seemed to help a little bit, but this leaked Scientology promotional video most certainly did not. It was never meant for public consumption, but seeing Tom Cruise preach the word of Xenu over top of the music from Mission: Impossible II inspired endless mockery across the web, including this parody by Jerry O’Connell.
5. Bush Gets Two Shoes Thrown At Him
In November, the end of George W. Bush’s time in office was celebrated across the world, with the election of Barack Obama ushering in a new era of hope. The whole thing was capped off by an incident in December where an Iraqi reporter threw his shoes at Bush during a press conference. Bush somehow managed to dodge both, but nothing could stop this moment from becoming an internet sensation.
4. Christian The Lion
The amazing story of a lion cub that was raised by humans and then released into the wild, only to be re-united with his owners a year later was such a heart-warming tale that he even scored his own movie deal. Videos of the re-union set to either Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” or Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” were some of the most viewed videos on YouTube this year, and still never fail to turn viewers into a blubbering mess.
3. I’m F*cking Matt Damon
Longtime viewers of the Jimmy Kimmel Show will know that he had a running joke about Matt Damon constantly being bumped at the end of the show because they ran out of time. So, for his birthday, Kimmel’s then-girlfriend and very funny comedienne Sarah Silverman wrote this fantastic song that went viral faster than almost anything I’ve ever seen. Kimmel later shot back with his own star-studded response I’m F*cking Ben Affleck. The sad part of the story is that Kimmel and Silverman actually broke up later in the year, although there are rumours that they are now back together again. Let’s hope it wasn’t the viral vids that did it!
2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Rickroll
The internet trend of “rickrolling” (ie. tricking someone into following a link to Rick Astley’s video for the 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up”) first started in 2007, but grew into a pretty mainstream occurrence throughout 2008. The New York Mets had “Never Gonna Give You Up” voted in as their team song, and the whole craze culminated in a live rickroll by Rick Astley himself during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in November. I think it’s safe to say that nothing will top this, and any future rickrolls will pale in comparison. That’s it people, the rickroll is officially dead!
1. Bill O’Reilly – We’ll Do It Live
Surely the award for best viral video of the year goes hand in hand with the award for biggest asshole of the year. Despite their best attempts to block it, this leaked video of Fox News host Bill O’Reilly flipping out during an old taping of Inside Edition spread like wildfire. Seeing the bully throw a temper tantrum like a little kid is absolutely hysterical, and somehow soothed the hatred that is felt for this man across the web. Fortunately, we all had a chance to work out our bad feelings through the endless stream of parodies and mash-ups that continued throughout the year. An instant classic, this is your #1 viral video of 2008!
- Seinfeld Microsoft Commercial
- Office Freakout (ie. Viral Ad for the movie Wanted)
- Ninja Cat
- Halo Kid
- Weezer – Pork and Beans Video
- Little Girl Explains Star Wars
- Sarah Palin Talks Foreign Policy with Katie Couric
Also, refresh your memory with last year’s Top 10 Viral Videos!