I like to think of YouTube as the online video version of the Bermuda Triangle: Once you’re ‘in’, there’s no conceivable way out. What starts as an innocent enough search for video tutorials on creating layers in Photoshop, can soon turn into clips on everything from daredevil stunts to Barbara Walters specials.
And the further you delve, the more random and desperate your search results get. Case in point: An ‘80s Diet Coke commercial starring Paula Abdul, hideous colour leotard and one out-of- control perm. Step. Away. From. The. Mac.
But for the most part, YouTube is a harmless guilty pleasure we’re all, well, guilty of in some way. When a clip goes ‘viral’ it spreads like video wildfire, shining the spotlight on momentous people and places that would otherwise remain unseen.
Whatever kind of video category you can think of, six-year-old YouTube has got it in droves. I’ve put together a shortlist of my own personal favourites that make me laugh, cry, cringe and – ultimately – keep me coming back for more.
Charlie the Unicorn
There’s nothing like the appeal of the nonsensical to draw a cult-like following. This animated clip (pictured) follows a group of unicorns on a (bizarre, random and slightly psychotic) journey to Candy Mountain – “the land of sweets and joy and joyness”.
OK Go – Here It Goes Again (The Treadmill Video)
This is my ultimate go-to clip for three minutes of dance-a-thon fun. Here’s what makes the winning recipe: Four men; six treadmills; a killer track; slick dance moves en masse. The choreography is all a bit tongue- in-cheek but it’s a routine you want
to watch again and again. I tried something similar at the gym once; needless to say it didn’t end well.
Steve Jobs killing the CD
In a caricature battle between Steve Jobs and two (ageing) opponents, Zune Man and the CD, this is technological warfare at its most entertaining. No prizes for guessing who comes out on top, either.
At just 7500 views, I’m surprised the video hasn’t generated a larger following – how many of us have wanted to launch a vicious ‘death kill’ attack on the CD ourselves? This is one that Macworld Australia readers will enjoy.
Truman Capote Reads From Breakfast At Tiffany’s April 7, 1963.
This video is my all-time favourite, as is Capote my author. The 17-minute reading from Breakfast At Tiffany’s captures a moment when writer and audio come together to present one
of the world’s most famous novels. Beyond the text, Capote’s distinctive voice lends a certain magic to this clip.
It pains me to cap my shortlist at just four. Given free rein I could fill every page of this issue with must-watch clips on YouTube. And what’s more, I’ve only watched a small percentage on offer myself. No doubt you have your favourites and I’d love to check them out. Feel free to send top contenders my way to: email@example.com