Monday, January 05, 2009

Viral Video Vixens of '08

Haaaappy New Year!

It's Aught 9 and I have to guess that you're feelin' fine. Primarily, because that shit rhymes.

How was your new year rung in? Fun-ly? I assume so. Mine was good? I say that as a questionstatement, because I don't really remember too much. I drank m'self 2 - AS IN TWO - bottles of champagne. It wasn't nearly as elegant as it sounds. Anyballs, shinanigoats ensued and I stumbled home at around 4 AM to gorge on Havarti and watch Hello Again - the quintessential Shelley Long film. For realz - bitch says her patented "Yoo-Hoo!" upwards to and including (but not limited to) 12 times. Amazing.

All in all, I think it was the most fun I've had on New Years since being in Toronto. Bearing in mind that there's not a terribly high bar - my first Toronto-based new years was spent with my then-University beau who did coke at 2 AM, got mad at me for letting him do coke, then couldn't get erect. (Sidebar: isn't an alert, sturdy boner one of the few up-sides to cocaine use? That's always what I was lead to believe... b'ooohhh well)... another new years saw me go to this house party wherein I knew 3 people, only to discover my lone romantic prospect for the evening passed out on the toilet... and of course last year, when I served as the most unnecessary host in the history of hosts for New Years at the Drake Hotel, and realized 5 seconds before counting down to midnight that I didn't have the most remote idea of how the lyrics to "Auld Lang Syne" went - a song I was supposed to lead the crowd in. As you can imagine, I desecrated the shit. Terrible.

Anyballs - that's all in the past. A fresh year awaits! But before we dust off our knees, shout "EXCELSIOR!" and do one of those on-the-spot Barney Rubble runs into what is promised to be the most fabulous year that anyone's e'er had E'ER, one more FINAL look back on 2008 before we bid adieu to it once and for all... 

2008 - much like any other year in the recent single-digits of the millennium - won't be remembered for its hot-button political figures... nor for it's pop-star comeback queens... or even for its salsa-dancing grandma's... but for its youtube personalities.

That's right - one again, I give you My Top 10 Viral Video Vixens... of 2008!!!

There they are. Let's see how the cards fall...

2008 was an interesting year in viral video stars. As the public and private spheres collide, it seems harder and harder to find truly authentic, earnest, candid video subjects that have no idea how entertaining they are and better yet, how sensational their impact will be. Still, 2008's VVV's aren't lookin' too shabby... 


Ah Gwen Verdon. Little did the Broadway legend and original Fosse muse know that she'd be sky-rocketed back into fame courtesy of some glorious jackass synching her kitschy performance of "Mexican Breakfast" on The Ed Sullivan Show with rapper Unk's "Walk It Out". The originatress of such roles as 'Lola' in Damn Yankees, 'Charity' in Sweet Charity and 'Roxie Hart' in Chicago - Gwen Verdon was passing stripper moves off as legitimate dancing before Britney Spears was even a murky twinkle in Lynne and Jamie's eyes. Gwen is worth mentioning for two reasons: she's example of something that was made, at its time, to be completely devoid of irony, only to become wholly ironic years later when circulated via youtube (just like 2007's top Viral Video Vixen, Brenda Dickson) and also because this video is directly responsible for the most user generated viral content this past year. But more on that later...


Why did/does everything that was made in the 70's seem like it's a bizarre horror-porno? Like in how - tonally or cinematically - there's no difference between Deep Throat and Carrie? This was originally to be a sex education film to be shown to high-schoolers back in the 70's - dealing specifically with masturbation. Even more specifically - a shaggy little dude named Ricky having an organ recital only to be walked in on by his FUCKING SUPER CREEPY mother. Who, make no mistake about it, "knew what [he was] doing... and [is] sorry for interrupting [his] privacy..." If you've ever needed to laugh nervously, scream in horror, then laugh hysterically, then apprehensively ponder what it was you just saw... THIS is the clip for YOU!


ADORABLENESS ALERT!!! Sound the alarms!!! ... that sound like newborn's cooing... because this is the most adorable shit I've seen all year. She's this little cherub from France... depending on how you look at it, she's either a precursor to Amelie or a postcursor to Madeleine (yes... I know... I've made two references to Madeleine in two consecutive blogs... and you know what, motherfucker? I'mma make another one tomorrow... SUCK IT!) - either way, hog-tying Hamas operatives and making them watch this clip might just be the key to peace in the Middle East. Here, she tells a story freestyle - or, rather, en francais, liberer le style - about... oh... who the fuck cares what it's about - SHE'S ADORABLE!!!


If that last clip was enough to extinguish my great disdain for children, this next one is enough to reignite it in one powerful blast... Backstory: this past season on American Idol, the crown came down to two David's... David Cook, a scruffy, apathetic rocker who had cornered and ultimately triumphed with the elusive cougar vote... and David Achuleta, a squeaky-clean, baby-faced 16-year-old who made David Cassidy look like Charles Manson... understandably, David Archuleta had somewhat of a fervent teenage female fan base. Just how fervent, well, I don't think any of us had the slightest clue... until... 


Ahem. Miss Sheppard-Misset started from humble beginnings: a lowly jazz-dance teacher in the late 60's, she saw dwindling numbers in her classes (despite the stellar example set by Gwen Verdon, apparently)... so, on a lark, she decided to do away with the mirrors and the moves and focus on just havin' some fun. So was born JAZZERCISE! Below is her somewhat enthusiastic routine to "Move Your Boogie Body" from one of I can only hope is many Jazzercize home videos... there is absolutely nothing NOT to love about this fucking video... 

Pallette Cleanser: PROP 8, THE MUSICAL

Certainly constructed to be viewed... and viewed... AND VIEWED!!!... Prop 8: The Musical doesn't really fit into this list of what I consider truly grass-roots sensations, but it was just too fucking good and significant to be left out. That, AND it features the out-and-out love of my life, Maya P.K. Rudolph


Thanks to the power and glory of youtube, this past year saw the comedic genius' of Klausner & Clarke brought to my attention. Funnily enough it was their spot-on, note-for-note perfect parody of last year's VVV of the year, the ultra-glamorous Brenda Dickson (worth linking to again), in one of their many, many, MANY (<<<--- especially that one. Mommy Time. AMAZING!) brilliant viral offerings, "Welcome To Our House" that first caught my eye, and that I'm choosing to highlight here - although, really, you should thoroughly watch and re-watch each and every last drop of their shit if you know what's good for you. How these two have eluded Saturday Night Live in lieu of the lowly Casey Wilson's of the world astounds, confounds and disturbs me... 


Once upon a time, #10 VVV of 2008 Gwen Verdon's "Mexican Breakfast/Walk It Out" video hit the internet. Then, one Beyonce Giselle Knowles - as she's prone to do - took wind of it, skank-ified it ever so slightly and used it as inspiration for the video of her current number 1 smash single, "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)". Talk about a butterfly effect - the next thing you know, some tranny with entirely too much time on his hands records himself performing a beat-for-beat choreographic reenactment of the dance from the video in his dorm room and voila: global cyber-sensation. What the taut, nimble Mr. Mercado set off has been unprecedented... everyone and their fucking mother recorded their own "response video" with results ranging from hilarious to bizarre to grotesque... not to mention an appearance on The Bonnie Hunt show - who could ask for anything more?


Hmm. Umm. Yeah. I don't know quite what to say about this one. I'm not sure anyone does. I have no idea what the origins of this video is nor of this lady are. I've heard people refer to this as the "2 Girls, 1 Cup" of 2008 - only y'know, not involving two girls shitting and puking on each other - but equally disturbing and perplexing. Don't worry - it's completely SFW (safe for work). It just might not be SFYS (safe for your sanity)... 


ALL HAIL SCARLETT... America's next top R&B singer-songwriter/spinal-transplant-recipient. When the zaftig Scarlett took to her webcam earlier this year, recording herself singing an original R&B composition all of her own, A capella, whilst pacing around her rumpus room, only to find herself atop a coffee table that ultimately proved no match for her... things took a nasty (AND HILARIOUS) left turn - and history was made. Yes. History. As much for her death-defying 'tumble' as for her ability to popularize the abbreviation "tha'urt" out of "that hurt"... Scarlett, we can't wait to see what ELSE you have up your sleeve/pant leg... 







Bling, bling, expensive things? That's Rojo Caliente. Movie stars, magazines? Rojo Caliente. Drivin' in your car, that's also very expensive? Again, Rojo Caliente. Yes. Some of you may know her as Meagan Taylor... I, however, know her as the things that dreams are made of. The pudgy, teenage Jewess (and current Queen's student... *starts the oil thigh [a Queen's thing. I went to Queen's, if you didn't know]*) who, legend has it, received a million dollars from her father for her Bat Mitzvah and spent it on recording a reggae-hip-hop single and corresponding video entitled "Rojo Caliente" - loosely translated: Red Hot. While this video is every kind of WRONG under the sun, Meagan Taylor is every kind of right - reminder to all of us to never, EVER, stop reachin' for those stars.

And that's the note I'd prefer to leave you on with that.

In other news:

John Travolta [basically] murdered his disabled son.

More on that tomorrow.

Feel fine in 09,

--- Aj