15. David after Dentist (January 2009)
People “after dentist” are a genre on YouTube. I’m not sure if this is the video that started it all, but it is definitely the most well-known. The little boy who was turned by anesthetics into an existentialist philosopher is still one of the most beloved YouTube memes.
14. JB Fanvideo (June 2012)
Parodies are part and parcel of YouTube. Every popular video immediately gets numerous parodies, which enhance its fame. Musical artists already know that every video clip they put out there is not the end product but only the beginning of what the web is going to do with it, and many of them act according to this awareness. There are many great parodies, but this one stands out because it produced a meme.
What I also like about this vid is that it shows how girls today feel more liberated to try out any look they want. just a decade ago women would be very anxious about looking bad on camera. now, they have no problem appearing ugly or ridiculous for comedy’s sake. Laina Morris is a stunningly beautiful young woman, but she didn’t use that to get famous – rather, she used her ability to do a creepy face and appear like a totally psychotic stalker. This video, a parody of Justin Bieber’s ‘Boyfriend’, was the video that made her famous, and the Internet immediately turned her into a meme and named her “Overly Attached Girlfriend”. She built on it, and became a very successful YouTuber. She’ll always be remembered for this, though.
13. Call Me Maybe – Carly Ray Jepsen (Chatroulette Version) (August 2012)
YouTuber Steve Kardynal came up with an original way to parody music videos, and a new form of comedy. Chatroulette is a site that gives you the opportunity to chat with someone face to face, chosen randomly by the application, and when you are tired of the conversation you can switch to the next random stranger. People use the site in the hope of having random sexual encounters, or maybe find new friends. Kardynal trolls them by performing a dance to some currently popular tune, dressed in drag, and records the reactions. This is his first video to go viral, and it is so so good. Steve is funny, but the thing that really makes the video are the reactions of the young people he interacts with. Some are horrified, but most just groove along with him. There’s a really warm feeling to this video, as if you are watching a generation that has overcome the xenophobia of the past and learned from the Internet how to accept the alien and the different. It is still one of the most feel-good videos on YouTube.
12. Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow (January 2010)
It may be hard today to get what all the fuss was about, but this is one of the most significant videos in YouTube’s history. Paul Vasquez is kind of a nature boy, a spiritual guy living just near Yosemite Park. On the morning of January 8th, 2010, he stepped outside his door to be greeted by a beautiful scene created by nature, and was so overwhelmed that it brought him to complete ecstasy. He uploaded the video he shot to YouTube, and it lay in obscurity for six months until comedian Jimmy Kimmel tweeted about it and called it “the funniest video in the world”. In July 2010 it went viral, and the rest is history.
This video marked the beginning of two very important trends: first, the “double rainbow guy” was the first cultural hero to come from a YouTube video that just shows him reacting to a certain situation (the “I like turtles” kid came before him, but that was more of a joke). From here on, people will start looking for such heroes, and YouTube will produce many who became famous for 15 minutes because of the amusing or inspiring way they reacted to an unusual occurrence. Secondly, it marked the moment when established comedians like Jimmy Kimmel started to become involved in YouTube. Today, late-night hosts steal a lot of their comedy material from youtubers. Jimmy Kimmel at least gives back by occasionally hosting youtubers and giving them props. Jimmy Fallon, not so much.
Videos like ‘Double Rainbow’ are the source material which youtubers build on. They are so original and different that they inspire creativity, and you always want to see what your favorite tubers’ take on it going to be. They were doing it before 2010, but this video was a watershed moment. That is why it is so important.
11. Ultimate Dog Tease (May 2011)
Matching voice acting to lip-movement is another form of comedy that YouTube made popular, and this is one the channels responsible for it. The Talking Animals channel now has over a million subscribers and many videos of talking animals. But this is the video that made it famous, and remains its masterpiece. It’s just so perfect.