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The Early Internet Videos That Made Us

The internet is a weird place. It's filled with trolls, goofs, youtubers, influencers, bronies, misinformation, and lots of porn. Internet content alone contributes to nearly 70% of global weirdness emissions. And that number continues to rise during the Covid-19 pandemic as most weirdos remain inside and online. Scientists postulate that the internet's weirdness is ever expanding and eventually will implode into itself. But where did it all begin? How did the internet turn into a hilarious, yet awkward teenager with some sickass burns? Well, look no further than the early viral videos of the internet. Way before "going viral" was common nomenclature, these videos took the youth and weird-at-heart by storm. These are the videos that made us literally laugh out loud and then piss our pants laughing. These are the videos that shaped our sense of humor and celebrated being weird, random, and different. These are the early internet videos that made us.

 

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Essentially, it's an object-motion illustration written by Jenny Slate and Dean Fleischer-Camp that follows a shell with shoes on, named Marcel, and his daily adventures. He uses Doritos as a hang glider and avoids the family pooch all while having the most adorable voice and outlook on life. He’s just the sweetest little shell, with a googly eye and some shoes on.


My favorite quotes from the 3 part series are, “All he cares about is treats and snoozin’, and snoozin’ and treats.” and “I’m afraid to drink soda because I’m afraid the bubbles will make me float up to the ceiling.” Along with “If you drive a bug, you have to be pretty easy going because you’re going to go where a bug wants to go.”


Overall, these quotes were something I snuck into almost every conversation while I was in middle school and I made a lot of friends because of our shared love of this viral internet video. Just another thing that shaped my young mind and made me who I am today.

--Ashley Thai



Potter Puppet Pals - The Mysterious Ticking Noise

The Mysterious Ticking Noise came out in 2007. What were you doing in 2007? Getting dared to eat cicadas? Being chubby in middle school and running 12-minute miles in gym class? That’s what I was doing. But also, I was singing along to Potter Puppet Pals!


A mysterious ticking noise (turns out to be a pipe bomb of course) turns into a delightful song featuring all of the main Harry Potter characters. I’m not sure I can say Dumbledore's name any differently than how it is sung in this slapper. A naked Dumbledore puppet also makes an appearance so I finally got to learn human anatomy at age 13.


While this may not be the most laugh out loud video on the list, the song will get stuck in your head and it will stay with you for weeks on end, if not years. Plus it led to a whole series of Potter Puppet Pals shenanigans that you should check out as well.

--Caleb Tackes



The End of the World

Ho’kay. I don’t need to tell you how it goes since it’s as familiar to you as that sliver you’ve had in your big toe since fourth grade when you were goofing on the Slip ‘N Slide, and you decided it’d be a good idea to step on that cactus weed that looked like a fury bush. Only that weed fights back, and there’s no shame in crying when you have 50 needles in your foot.


Hhhenyway, the crude animation and fast pace was an introduction for many of us to jokes that didn’t make sense and had punchlines scattered throughout, rather than a big payoff at the end. Humor that doesn’t have a point and only wants to be as loud and obnoxious as it can be. You probably still quote it and don’t remember (“but I’m le tired!”) Maybe it was the beginning of being “random” or maybe it was the birth of internet culture, that’s for historians to decide. All we know is we survived the nuclear winter and are still asking “WTF mate?”

--Chewe



Taking The Hobbits to Isengard

This was one of the first videos that I ever watched on YouTube. It spread like a gender reveal wildfire throughout my middle school. At a time when dubstep and parody videos started gaining serious traction, this video caught fire at the perfect time. It would later influence early YouTube classics such as the catchy “Mashed Taters”, the heart-wrenching “My Heart Will Go On – Recorder by Candlelight”, and who could forget the incomparable He-Man classic “HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA”.


These hits established a weird precedent for early internet videos - the more nonsensical and catchy the video, the better. The website, Albino Blacksheep, was a major player in early internet videos, memes, and flash games in those days. The website offered everything a weird middle schooler could ever want. Albino Blacksheep, my old friend, I salute you!

--Zach Rimkus



Drinking out of Cups

If you want a non-linear chaotic journey that remains dynamic throughout. This video may be for you. The humor is crass at moments and the animation is dated, but that isn’t where the artistic and intellectual value lies. It is the pacing and message allowing us a glimpse of higher understanding that is so rare.


The narrator and protagonist begins stuck in a room. Metaphor? Possibly, but as it continues we go through a journey of the psyche, ultimately ending in a realization and acceptance of themselves. This video spotlights the chaotic thoughts that plague our minds, though it resolves itself with a message of self growth.


It’s that or just an animated video of a dude trapped in a closet and high on LSD ranting, but just like I always say not my chair not my problem.

--Kyle Stumpe



The Mystery of the Missing Snapping Turtle

This is a wild one that most people don’t know about. It’s a little longer, because it was a side project that the creators of Charlie the Unicorn worked on to try and break into more serious fare. It’s animated in a similar style to that “Stonks” meme that is going around right now, and trust me, it’s a wild ride from start to finish.


Without revealing too much, there is a mind-blowing twist, a turtle eats a tumor, and let’s just say, it might all take place in the Marvel universe. This video played a huge role in the formation of my worldview, so let me know what you think when you watch it!

--The Yankee




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