Awkwardness and Aggression
The Numa Numa Dance
"The Numa Numa Dance" features a young guy named Gary Brolsma sitting in front of his PC lip-synching, and doing some seated interpretive dance, to a Moldovan pop song. The video debuted at one site back in 2004, and was viewed by more than 2 million people within a couple of months. As viral video sites like YouTube got up and running, millions more saw the video. For many, many people, when they hear the term "viral video," they see the ecstatic face of Gary Brolsma.
The Star Wars Kid
This kid had what he thought was a very private moment in the high school production studio. Oh, except that it was taped. A tape rediscovered months later by friends of the Star Wars Kid, who then posted to file-sharing site Kazaa. Within two weeks of its posting, about 2 million people had downloaded the video. The Star Wars Kid didn't think it was very funny--he sued the families of the "friends" who posted the video. From the lawsuit: The Star Wars Kid "had to endure, and still endures today, harassment and derision from his high-school mates and the public at large," and, he "will be under psychiatric care for an indefinite amount of time." The Viral Factory, an ad agency specializing in Web marketing campaigns, estimated last year that the "The Star Wars Kid" video had been viewed over 900 million times, making it the most popular viral video ever.
Ask a Ninja
The concept is simple. This series of Web videos, created by Los Angeles comedians Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, features Nichols dressed up in a black ninja outfit. He is dead serious as he answers questions sent in by "viewers." "The Ninja is known for his emphatic declarations, as well as his expansive, spontaneous, and often extremely exaggerated hand gestures," says Wikipedia. "Ask a Ninja" episodes are usually about 3 minutes long, and always end with the Ninja signature closer: "I look forward to killing you soon!" (or some variation).