The Top 10 Viral Videos of 2008
With the year's end upon us, it's time to look back at some of the videos that made us howl over the past twelve months. But we're not talking about something from an endless stream of Judd Apatow comedies, we're talking about a big bucket of FAIL to wash down a heaping helping of schadenfreude...it's the Top 10 viral videos of 2008.
By Doug Hammond
The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.
10. Sarah Palin Plays the Flute
What can you say about Sarah Palin that hasn't been said (and said about a million times). Whether you love her or hate her, she was undeniably the year's most talked about sensation this side of Barack Obama. Of all her achievements (or lack thereof), what was perhaps most entertaining was this silly little video from her 1984 Miss Alaska pageant appearance. Sure, it may not carry the importance of her ill-fated interview with Katie Couric or even the banality of her brief tenure as a hottie sportscaster, but when else have you seen a politician perform a musical number with such furrowed brows of concentration that their eyes get crossed? It's undoubtedly the best pageant performance since the legendary Star Wars trumpet solo.
9. Christian Pop Locking
Whether it's an oddly upbeat musical number from a '70s ska band or a pastor riding his Harley, there's nothing quite as oddly hilarious as a devout religious person sampling the treats of the secular world. This is perhaps most evident in this bizarre clip from The Way International, a Christian organization preaching to its followers that "the renewed mind is the key to the power that we need." Yeah, I don't know what that means either.
But if you're a young Christian, I suspect it might be rather powerful to witness some of the whitest people on earth attempting some of the most misguidedly funky breakdancing moves ever witnessed. And that's all before you get to the weird rap-style breakdown two minutes into the video. Yikes.
8. Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoes at Bush
With an approval rating hovering somewhere in the mid-twenties, President George W. Bush is one of the most vilified public servants of our time whose last name isn't Blagojevich. And, considering it's been like that for more than a couple years now, there probably aren't too many of us who haven't at least once thought of what they'd like to do to the comically bumbling commander-in-chief given the chance. One Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, did one better, however, by actually doing something about it. In front of a room full of cameras, the 29-year-old reporter for Al-Baghdadia TV launched both of shoes toward Dubya in an airborne attack, perhaps the ultimate insult in a Muslim culture.
Now facing trial, al-Zaidi remains unrepentant, even though he stands to serve up to 15 years in prison for "aggression against a president." The surprising winner throughout the brouhaha is Turkish shoe manufacture Baydan Shoes, who have seen demand skyrocket for pairs of the modest footwear. With over 370,000 new pairs ordered (including nearly 20,000 from the United States alone), the Model 271 footwear is perhaps the year's most surprising fashion hit.
7. Bike Hero
Meticulously choreographed, this life-sized rendition of Guitar Hero as performed on a bicycle is perhaps the year's most impressive viral video. So impressive, in fact, that the natural skepticism of the internets bubbled up to the surface and pointed out that the clip was actually done as an advertisement for the beloved Activision franchise.
The culprits/geniuses behind the clip? New York-based ad agency Droga5, who undoubtedly spent countless hours perfecting the piece. So while it's possibly not quite as impressive as if some bored teenagers just made it for fun, I'd have to say "who cares?" It's still a damn cool video, regardless of where it came from. The irony with the minor "backlash" that Droga5 received at the hands of some snark-minded bloggers is that this just makes it more likely that these companies will be more, not less, stealthy in their future endeavors. Well done, internet, you've pwn3d yourself again.
6. Bert and Ernie Gangsta Rap
Ever since some clowns added some Tupac to a Barney video lo these many years ago, the esteemed tradition of hip hop mashups for toddlers (okay, adults) has been one of the internet's best-loved memes. So while there isn't anything remarkably novel about this video of everyone's favorite homoerotic puppets getting down to a jam by Brooklyn-based M.O.P., it doesn't matter. It's just real as s**t, you feel me?