On October 9, 2006, Google announced it would spend $1.65 billion in stock to buy the video-sharing site YouTube. At the time, people had a field day with the acquisition, with even Mark Cuban calling Google “crazy” for pursuing the deal.
Google is the one laughing now, as YouTube is easily one of the company’s most successful buys. YouTube is the second-most-visited website on the internet — with only Google itself above it — and the video hub makes Google billions of dollars a year.
In May of this year, Morgan Stanley valued YouTube at about $160 billion, or 100 times what Google paid for it only 12 years ago. Eat it, Mark Cuban.
We here at Android Authority were trying to think of the best way to celebrate the phenomenon that is YouTube and decided the best thing to do would be to share our personal favorite videos. Some of them are related to tech, but most of them are just fun and interesting clips which affected us in one way or another.
Without further ado, let’s celebrate the Google-YouTube anniversary by using valuable work time to watch silly videos!
David’s pick is an Oscar-nominated stop-motion short. The video’s premise is very simple: a man makes guacamole. However, the objects he uses to make the dish are not at all conventional, with each ingredient getting more and more ridiculous.
“This one always rings true for me,” David says. “I used to love stop-motion animation as a kid, and this guy represents the height of the craft, in my opinion. As it plays, you are just amazed every time. Really a work of art.”
A fun little bit of trivia: this is actually the shortest film ever nominated for an Oscar.
Jimmy’s favorite video on YouTube is his favorite band playing one of his favorite songs — on a pink couch. The video is of Evan Thomas Weiss, aka Into It. Over It., the Chicago-based indie rock band. Weiss stopped by The Pink Couch Sessions to play the IIOI song “Ravenswood,” which is what you see above.
Jimmy says, “It’s not a flashy, overproduced YouTube video, but it’s a video that I keep coming back to because, well, just listen to it.”
John Callaham’s pick for his favorite video is one you’ve likely seen before: the massive viral hit in which a BBC News interview gets interrupted by the correspondent’s children. However, Professor Robert Kelly keeps his composure the entire time and finishes the interview successfully.
In a lot of ways, this type of video clip is what made YouTube so big in the first place.
“This video is the perfect YouTube clip,” John says. “A super serious interview goes completely sideways, but in the cutest way possible.”
Scott Adam Gordon
Scott’s selection for this list deviates a bit from many of the other choices in that it is quite long — almost 20 minutes. The subject of the video is indie game developer Phil Fish, who is a controversial personality in the indie game world.
The video explains Phil Fish’s reputation within the community, and also examines our society’s relationship with fame and status.
“This is my favorite video for several reasons,” Scott says. “One reason is that it’s not a video from another platform that just also exists on YouTube; as far as I’m aware, it was made specifically for YouTube. Another reason is that it looks at a topic that wouldn’t work on TV — or at least there would have been severely limited spaces for it on TV. The main thing is that it’s just very eloquent and insightful and throws an interesting light on the story of a perceived “villain.” It’s about a very specific aspect of fame and the internet and I don’t think anybody has discussed those things in this way before (or as well as this). It’s not a universally liked video but it’s my favorite, and it even has a twist ending. Perfect!”
C. Scott Brown
One of the reasons YouTube became so popular — for better or for worse — is its collection of copyrighted content. If you missed Saturday Night Live you could just jump on YouTube the following Sunday and catch up on the highlights.
You could also watch commercials your friends were discussing which you hadn’t yet seen, and no commercial stands out more to me than this truly bizarre clip promoting, of all things, Nutri-Grain Bars.
This was probably the first video that I shared with all my friends and family, forcing them to watch the entire thing. In general, if you don’t think this clip is hilarious, then we’re probably not going to have the same sense of humor. Babiessss!
Luka wanted to focus his choice on entire channels rather than specific videos, so he selected his favorite video from one of the original YouTube stars, Ray William Johnson.
Johnson was the first YouTube personality to reach five million subscribers and his channel has billions of views. The premise of Johnson’s most famous videos is him acting as a commentator for recent viral clips, like above where he comments on the dude who got hit with a sack of apples, the “rent is too damn high” guy, and others.
YouTube is not only a place for funny videos, music clips, comedy sketches, and general tomfoolery. It’s also a place to follow-up on important world events.
Bogdan uses YouTube daily to catch up on the news, and no video sticks in his memory like the one above.
“Years back, I was living in a place with poor internet service,” Bogdan says. “I was trying to watch this news clip because it seemed important, but it wasn’t loading. When it finally did load, I was shocked; I had no idea things had gotten this bad. Even today, this clip still haunts me.”
Tristan’s selection is another viral sensation which has been viewed by millions. The unfortunate subject of the clip is a TV newscaster who is stomping grapes to promote a grape-stomping contest at a vineyard. As she stomps her grapes, she slips and falls and makes a lot of very funny noises.
While it’s probably never good to laugh at someone’s misfortune, it’s hard to deny how funny it is when she takes that dive.
“Back when TV was a big deal and before the world of fails were recorded on every device possible, live events were shocking,” Tristan says. “This was shocking, and still remains funny — even if I feel a little bad watching these days.”
Some viral YouTube videos are so simple you wonder what makes them so appealing in the first place. Hadlee’s choice is one of those: a 45-second clip of a man filming a serene field where a herd of deer are lounging in the late day sun.
Suddenly, a dog named Fenton starts charging towards the animals, and the deer run away. Following behind Fenton is (presumably) the dog’s owner, screaming out the dog’s name as well as repeatedly saying “Jesus Christ.”
“I have so many questions about this clip,” Hadlee says. “Why was the dog off the leash? Why was someone filming at this moment? Will I ever be able to stop saying ‘Jesus Christ’ in this exact manner?”
Dude Perfect is one of the biggest YouTube success stories in the history of the platform. While Dude Perfect makes loads of content surrounding all manners of topics, its bread-and-butter is video compilations of “trick shots” — people successfully doing something simple but in a stylish way.
The video above is one such example, with a polished look, upbeat music, and easily-digestible, fun content.
“Dude Perfect isn’t all that different from the ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ types of TV shows from back in the day,” Adam says. “YouTube has given birth to an avalanche of shows like Dude Perfect which are as well produced as any TV show, but which belong entirely to the creators.”
We’ll close out this collection of videos with Williams’ favorite: a 2013 video review of the Nexus 5 from none other than Android Authority.
“This is my favorite YouTube video, mainly for a personal reason,” Williams says. “At the time it was released, I was primarily writing about video games. Seeing this review, however, made me want to pivot to writing about smartphones and technology in general. That led to my being at Digital Trends for a little over three years, and then a little later actually writing for Android Authority, which gave me goosebumps. Here I was, writing for a YouTube channel that I had followed for over three years at that point! Sometimes, I still don’t believe I’m writing for AA, but here I am!”
If that doesn’t warm your heart, then who knows what will.
What are your favorite YouTube clips? Post them in the comments below! The more you post, the less work we’ll have to do today.