How absurd have the last 12 months been? A decade from now, when we look back at this year through the prism of the Internet’s many Best of 2010 lists, we’ll see the name Antoine Dodson more than any other. The most exploited-yet-amusing emerging non-talent of 2010 extended his 15 minutes into 15 hours, and 15 hours into 15 days, begging the question: Has anyone turned the attempted rape of his sister into a more successful foray into pop cultural relevance? Has that ever happened?
Dodson’s been everywhere, on everything. What started as a typical local news eyewitness report about the attempted rape of his sister has turned into a cottage industry. There’s the Gregory Brothers’ Bed Intruder Song remix, NYU’s a capella version, an ad for a sex offender tracker, a live performance at the BET awards, and even a choir version of the song by Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Oh, and a Christmas tune.
So hide ya keedz, hide ya wife, we’re doing a non-Dodson Top 10. Enjoy what amused us most in 2010:
We’ve not seen this one make any other Best Of 2010 lists, but make no mistake, this is not simply a pity inclusion. In a teaser for BBC’s The Trip, legendary British comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon play a little game of Caine Oneupsmanship, trying to outdo each other with their impressions of Sir Michael Caine, with each man spanning decades and emotional ranges. Bloody brilliant, this:
9. Double Dream Hands
Another late-comer, this video hit YouTube in early December — it’s probably Exhibit A as to why it makes sense to wait until the year ends before compiling your year-end lists. A couple of high-school students discovered John Jacobson’s jazz-handing and multi-directional cranks, then uploaded his genius for mass consumption. It’s original choreography at its
whitest finest. It’s mesmerizing:
Those same high-school students were involved in getting their entire Washington State school to participate in an all-student Double Dream Hands at a pep rally. Awesome.
Russian baritone Eduard Khil in 1966 debuted a song with no lyrics, only an unintelligible yodeling to the underlying instrumental. The song originally had lyrics, but due to Soviet restrictions they couldn’t be published. Khil sang it anyway, and a full 44 years later it appeared in the zeitgeist.
A Russian publication tracked Khil down and asked him about the origins of the song and whether he knew of a petition to drag him out of retirement. Khil said: “I haven’t heard anything about it. It’s nice, of course! Thanks for good news! There is a backstory about this song. Originally, we had lyrics written for this song but they were poor. I mean, they were good, but we couldn’t publish them at that time. They contained words like these: “I’m riding my stallion on a prairie, so-and-so mustang, and my beloved Mary is thousand miles away knitting a stocking for me”. Of course, we failed to publish it at that time, and we, Arkady Ostrovsky and I, decided to make it a vocalisation. But the essence remained in the title. The song is very naughty – it has no lyrics, so we had to make up something for people would listen to it, and so this was an interesting arrangement.”
A Racine, WI children’s choir performed their own version this Christmas, but it didn’t quite catch on.
7. Gingers Have Souls
The premise of the 136th episode of South Park flew right over the heads of many of its viewers. The result of the 2005 program has been a semi-witch hunt against “Ginger Kids,” or red-headed, fair-skinned freckled lads. After much ill-advised torment — including the steel-toed heat of a Facebook group called “National Kick a Ginger Day” — redheads began fighting back through the Internets.
This Ginger Kid recorded a video called “Gingers Do Have Souls,” including the line “You’re not God. You don’t know who has a soul and who doesn’t.” Twelve million people have seen this clip since.
6. Basil Marceaux.com for TN Governor
Any time your one-minute pitch to the voters in your state begins with your name-dotcom, you’ve got something special on your hands. Such was the case in July, when Basil Marceaux.com introduced himself on the local news as the Republican candidate for Governor of Tennessee. His platform? Recalling all gun permits — “everyone can carry guns, if you kill someone, you get murdered, I mean you go to jail.” And, also, no more traffic stops. He helped prove democracy was alive and well in America.
Jimmy Kimmel pounced on this local appearance and invited Marceaux on his late-night show.
And, of course, because what else is there to do when you can’t sing, he released a Christmas video called “Come Christmas.” Wanna see this man tell you how Christmas turns him on? Yup. It happens.
5. Hyperbole: “Worst Wedding DJ Ever” Wasn’t *That* Bad
Any time you hire a man named Fast Eddie to DJ your wedding, you might want to think twice before signing the contract. One couple played fast and loose with Fast Eddie, booking him for their May 8th wedding in Daytona Beach, Florida. That’s when this guy did the Tit Slap Heard ‘Round the World:
Fast Eddie, for what it’s worth, claims that clip’s been taken out of context. He told Urlesque: “I tease and joke around a lot. I always have something silly to say. I wasn’t aware of me being taped and the wedding was actually over at the time this had happened. The bride and groom had left–there were just a bunch of drunks hanging around–and we were wrapping things up. I didn’t mean any disrespect to the young lady. She’s a friend of mine. We’re not a couple, but we’ve been friends for years. She helps me out a bit when I do weddings. To be honest, when someone told me what I did at that wedding, I didn’t even remember it. It wasn’t rehearsed or planned. I’ve always been that way.” Good to know that wasn’t rehearsed.
4. ChatRoulette Piano Guy Improvs, Dodges Penises
Some time during the Great ChatRoulette Craze of February/March 2010, a fellow in a sweatshirt sitting behind a piano thought it’d be fun to hop on the webcam and serenade live folk. With an alias of “Merton,” the man showed off some impressive improv skills and impressive piano skills. But the beauty of this video wasn’t so much this dude’s clever improv skills or his impressive piano skills; rather, it was how much he resembled singer-songwriter-talent show judge Ben Folds. The resemblance was so uncanny, in fact, that every blog on the Internet ran a piece asking whether they were one and the same, and the Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton analogy came up about twelve dozen times.
There was even a clever Piano Improv follow-up from Merton, a rarity in the viral video world.
3. Double Rainbow Guy: What Does It Mean?
“Whoa, that’s a full rainbow. All the way. Double rainbow. Oh my God. It’s a double rainbow all the way. Whoa. That’s so intense. Who-ah, man. Oh. Whoa. Whoa-ha. Whoooooaaaaa, OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOOOODD, WHOOOOOA OHHHH MY WOOOOW WOOOO YEEEAAAHHH.”
2. Phil Davison’s Psyched About Running for Treasurer
One day in early September, Phil Davison left his house to deliver a speech to a small crowd in Stark County, Ohio. Within days, the failed candidate to become Stark County’s Treasurer became instead a household name. His written speech, his cadence and his fired-up persona made him sound exactly like the perfect combination of Howard Dean in Iowa, Rowdy Roddy Piper and fictional motivational speaker Matt Foley. He told us he had a Master’s Degree in CoMUNication. He misquoted his favorite quote in the history of spoken words. He believes drastic times call for drastic measures, YES! He’s an intense man. He’s an aggressive campaigner. He’s Phil Davison, and he won’t apologize for his tone tonight.
It’s only fitting that the most statistically viral post in our less-than-three-month stint as an operating website be crowned the Top Non-Dodson Vital Viral of 2010.
So Argentina kinda has its own version of Dancing With the Stars as part of a series called ShowMatch. It’s a segment called Dancing for a Dream, or Bailando por un Sueño if you want to be all Spanish about it. That Dream, well, it must’ve been a wet one. Dancing to Aerosmith’s “Crazy,” Silvina Escudero and Nicolás Scillama start to strip each other from their respective uniforms, then more, then more…until it gets a bit out of hand. We’re talking simulated sex acts and some very real tittays. Warning: definitely not safe for work. But: definitely safe for the wank slideshow.
Just imagine being an Argentine teenager watching that live. It’s probably the exact same feeling most American boys born between 1976 and 1980 had while watching Nicole Eggert and The Two Coreys in Blown Away for the first time. Can’t wait for Argentine Glee!
Honorable mentions: BP Coffee Spill, Pants on the Ground, McNugget drive-thru rage, Greyson Chance sings Paparazzi, Old Spice’s Cleo-worthy commercials, OK Go’s Rube Goldberg video, PS22 Chorus sings The Phoenix’s Lisztomania, Jimmy Kimmel’s Justin Bieber Surprise, Insane Clown Posse “Miracles” video, Mel Gibson’s sweet and tender seduction, Lawnmower DUI, and the Fully Sick Rapper.
Special honorable mention: The whole It Gets Better Project, started by Dan Savage and his husband Terry to help troubled and bullied teens find comfort in the wisdom of their gay elders.
Also: Videogum did some solid work for the world by mashing up just about 60 of what they consider to be the best viral videos of 2010 (though many of these 10 are missing). It’s the goods:
So, what do you think of the list? What would you change? Got anything else we should consider?