Best and Top of Everything : Top 10 Viral Videos of 2012

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Top 10 Viral Videos of 2012

 10. Cookie Monster’s Share It Maybe

The folks at Sesame Street, that PBS institution since 1969, often latch on to current memes, and they succeeded with adorable perfection in this clip as Cookie Monster injects new life into Carly Rae Jepsen’s earworm “Call Me Maybe” — perhaps the most overplayed song of the year. Whereas most “Call Me Maybe” parodies took the form of lip dubs, Cookie Monster rewrote the song, singing “But you’ve got cookie, so share it maybe.” And with a face like that, who could resist giving away a cookie or two?


9. Obama Sings Al Green

When the President carries a tune, no matter how abridged, the world listens. During a January fundraiser appearance at New York City’s Apollo Theater, President Obama paid tribute to legendary soul singer Al Green, who had performed earlier in the night. He sang a mere six words of Green’s 1971 single “Let’s Stay Together”: “I … I’m so in love with you,” the President belted, with slightly more hesitation than Green’s known for. But the verse was enough to thrill the crowd — and spike sales of Green’s version of the song by 490% that week. Fortunately, Obama’s well-received vocal exercise encouraged him to break out his pipes again when, during a blues concert at the White House in February, he proudly sang “Sweet Home Chicago,” the soulful anthem of his home city.


8. Live Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal

Pack it up, gentlemen. There’s no way you can compete with this marriage proposal. Isaac Lamb, a Portland, Ore., actor, created one of the most elaborate ways imaginable to ask his girlfriend to marry him. It’s a stage performance that unfolds in real time, as his fiancĂ©e-to-be rides in the back of an open SUV. He enlisted the help of 60 family members and friends to lip-sync and dance along to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” — a tightly choreographed effort that earned the praise of the crooner himself. And most important, it netted a yes from his girlfriend Amy. But really, how could she say no? We practically fell in love with Lamb just watching his performance.

7. Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment


 
During a political campaign in which women’s reproductive rights were constantly under fire, Senate candidate Todd Akin, a Republican from Missouri, offered up a shocking take on rape. Speaking on the political talk show The Jaco Report in August, Akin, commenting on abortion in cases of rape, said, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”
It wasn’t until after the show aired on the local St. Louis Fox affiliate that his remarks made waves. Host Charles Jaco said he wished he had called Akin out during the taping. Akin later claimed that he “misspoke” during the interview and issued a statement explaining that he has “deep empathy” for rape victims. But it was too late. His comment scored wide-ranging denouncements from top Republicans, some of whom suggested the six-term Congressman consider ending his campaign, which he refused to do. But his bid for a Senate seat was indeed “shut down” by incumbent Claire McCaskill in the November election.

 6. TV Anchor Stands Up to Bully

As a news anchor in the small Wisconsin town of LaCross, Jennifer Livingston was used to being in the public eye and receiving feedback from viewers. But when one negative message hit a little too personally, she took it upon herself to deliver an on-air takedown of her bully. The viewer, later outed as a local lawyer, had said it was Livingston’s “community responsibility” to “promote a healthy lifestyle.” Livingston wasn’t concerned with the man’s critique of her weight — “Do you think I don’t know that?” she railed — but with the impact his comments could have on the area’s youth. “That man’s words mean nothing to me,” she said. “But this behavior is learned — it is passed down from people like the man who wrote me that e-mail.” Meanwhile, the empowerment she simply hoped to share with her viewers spread across the nation.


5. Dad Shoots Daughter’s Laptop

What do you get when you cross a daughter with a penchant for Facebook and a father with a penchant for his gun? It’s a clip that seems straight out of a sitcom, but Tommy Jordan was dead serious when he pumped his daughter’s laptop full of bullets in February. But before that happened, Jordan was careful to explain to the camera why he was taking such an extreme step. As part of a seven-minute lead-in to the gun-vs.-laptop scene, he said his daughter Hannah had posted whiny messages on Facebook complaining about her household chores.
Skip to the last minute, and the talkie film turned into one of action: “That right there is your laptop,” he explains, turning the camera on the laptop, placed vulnerably in the grass. “This right here is my .45.” He then proceeded to unload his gun on the computer, sending shards of plastic flying around the yard. Something tells us he’s not buying her a new one.

 4. Felix Baumgartner’s Space Jump

After more than two years of training and relentless delays, it seemed that Felix Baumgartner would never attempt the daredevil stunt: a free fall from 24 miles above Earth. As part of the Red Bull Stratos project, Baumgartner, an accomplished skydiver and BASE jumper of Austrian descent, was trained extensively to meet the scientific and physical risks of the dive. But it appeared that his greatest enemy was a strong breeze whipping through the New Mexico desert that would serve as his launching and landing pad. Yet on a quiet Sunday in October, the winds slowed and Baumgartner was cleared for launch, carried up to the stratosphere by a balloon. He was outfitted with a pressurized space suit to compensate for the dearth of oxygen, and inspiration and humility flowed forth as he teetered on the ledge of the capsule two dozen miles above the hard terrain. “Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are,” he said prior to the jump. And down he went, reaching a maximum speed of 834 m.p.h. and crushing the sound barrier.


3. Bullied Bus Monitor

When a cell-phone clip of four teenagers bullying Karen Klein aboard a school bus went viral, it became the purest example of how the Internet can rally for what’s right. Reddit users created a fund to send the 68-year-old bus monitor on a vacation. They intended to raise $5,000, but the video of the cruelty Klein experienced while chaperoning the teens for Greece school district in upstate New York was so infuriating that donations poured in, eventually totaling more than $700,000. The school district disciplined the kids involved, removing them from the school, and Klein, a grandmother, has since started a foundation to combat bullying.


 2. Gangnam Style

Rarely does a song in a foreign language make such a stomp in the U.S., but Korean rapper Psy’s song became a hit of epic proportions, thanks in part to the video’s invisible-horse dance, which sparked thousands of copycats. Psy has said he was inspired by the flamboyant showmanship of Queen front man Freddie Mercury, and he’s been able to draw crowds just as large as those of the famed British band, amassing 80,000 people for a public concert in Seoul in October.
Gangnam Style quickly became the most liked video ever on YouTube and the most watched video on the site, topping Justin Bieber’s Baby. And in September, the 34-year-old K-pop singer signed with Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun.


1. Kony 2012

Kony 2012 is about a conflict in an African country that’s more than two decades old, spun into a documentary that’s 30 minutes long. It’s not exactly the typical formula for a viral video, but the film became the most viral video of all time, tallying more than 100 million views in its first six days online as Justin Bieber, Oprah and millions of others shared it. Through its rapid rise, Kony 2012 brought attention to the plight of Ugandans under the hands of guerrilla leader Joseph Kony, who has abducted more than 60,000 children and converted them into foot soldiers in his Lord’s Resistance Army.
But for all the horrors the film showed in a part of the world from which news is often scarce, some critics derided it for its self-congratulatory message. Invisible Children, the San Diego–based NGO that produced the film, faced criticism for its high overhead costs, and those outraged over the film took heat for being “slacktivists” about the conflict. But it’s undeniable that Kony 2012 set a new bar for all things viral.
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