One great thing about the internet: it allows people to share, and share widely, things that bring them joy. And when it comes to the viral music videos on this list, some of that joy comes from how ridiculous they can be.
Whether it's Canadian comic DeAnne Smith singing a nerdtastic love song with an assist from a kitten, Joss Whedon's cast of friends turning the 2008 writer's strike into an opportunity to make a full-length supervillain musical on YouTube or the maid of honour at a wedding serenading the party to the tune of Eminem's "Without Me," the videos on this list are all examples of the cleverness (and sheer randomness) of the best online videos.
To see the star of our number three video, Michael Bolton, in the red chair, tune into the program tonight, Tuesday October 22 at 7 p.m. on CBC Television.
5. Nerdy Love Song (With A Kitten!)
Friend of the show DeAnne Smith recorded this tune for her friend Shane Adamczak's show Up Late Live. The song is clever, funny and sweet. But as she writes in the video's description, Clark, a kitten she was fostering at the time, "stole the show."
4. Maid Of Honour Rewrites Eminem
Turning Eminem's 2002 single "Without Me" into a wedding speech might sound like kind of a neat idea. But given the speed and complexity of Em's lyrics and delivery (not to mention breath control), it's not all that simple to pull off. Jennifer Gabrielli made it look easy. Gabrielli was the maid of honour at her sister's wedding, and she wrote and delivered a beat-for-beat remake of Em's original that incorporates all sorts of references to the bride and groom's history together.
3. Jack Sparrow (Featuring Michael Bolton)
Before this video, people had a certain image of Michael Bolton as a top-selling adult contemporary artist, which he exploded in this over-the-top piece of hip-hop parody (once you've heard him quoting Scarface, you can't unhear it). When The Lonely Island decided to turn Michael into a character obsessed with Johnny Depp's Captain Jack from Pirates of the Caribbean (and then expanded the obsession out to include a lot of other popular movies — "Michael Bolton is a major cinephile"), they took "awesomely random" to a whole new level.
2. Jon LaJoie, "Everyday Normal Guy" [Warning: Some Swearing]
Canadian comic Jon LaJoie is no longer an Everyday Normal Guy (in fact, he recently launched a mock-Kickstarter campaign explaining that he is "awesome and famous" as well as "by most standards rich, or even very rich," and asking his fans to give him $500 million). But back in 2007, he was just a regular dude. He had $600 in the bank and his back hurt. His aggressive normalcy must have struck a chord, because the video below now has nearly 30 million views. By the way: Jon also wrote a song for George (there's swearing in that one too).
1. Interpretive Quitting, Set To Kanye West
Before she decided to quit, viral video production was kind of Marina V. Shifrin's day job (she worked for Next Media Animation, a Taiwanese company that produces animated videos based on the news). So it's fitting that she managed to make her resignation go viral as well. This video of Marina dancing to Kanye West's "Gone" has racked up more than 16 million views since it was released on September 28, and inspired lots of responses — including one from her former employers.