5. The Squirrel Photobomb
The squirrel first made a hit when it jumped into a Minnesota couple’s timed photo at Banff National Park. The couple submitted it to National Geographic’s “Your Shot” photo contest, and it went viral. Gawker picked it up, someone made an online Squirrelizer where you can add THAT squirrel to any photo. Pretty soon, Michele Bachmann was showing up in photos with the squirrel. Doesn’t get much better than that.
4. Kittens Inspired by Kittens
On September 1 of 2008, Maddie Kelly of Edina gave the world Kittens Inspired by Kittens, a video in which the six-year-old thumbed through a picture-book of young cats, voicing their inner thoughts. The result was a viral video so cute that the cuteness collapsed in on itself, exploding back outward in a devastating cuteness supernova. It was a strong showing for Minnesota, even if it made our teeth hurt. Like any good viral video, it also launched a thousand Youtube remixes, including Kittens Inspired by Barack Obama and Tila Tequila Inspired by Kittens Inspired by Kittens.
3. Tron Guy
Jay Maynard, A.K.A. Tron Guy lives in Fairmont, Minnesota with his furry roommate, and is internet-famous for being one of the coolest totally lame dudes on tubes. On the one hand, his skin-tight Tron suit looks like it was constructed by a committee of blind third-graders. On the other hand, the pudgy sysadmin has the big brass balls necessary to appear at conventions all over the country in a get-up that highlights every bulge, crease, and lovehandle with the precision of a User-guided Identity Disk. We think so highly of Maynard that we profiled him in a feature story two years ago.
2. JK Wedding Entrance Dance
So many weddings are staid processions put on for family members and peoples’ need for invocation, a march down an aisle and a much quicker march to dancing and drunkenness, mostly predictable and heartwarming by osmosis. No wonder Saint Paul couple Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz’s video of their dance down the aisle to the tune of Chris Brown’s “Forever” resonated so wide and so strong – this wasn’t a group trying to prim up for grandma, but true revelers and goddamn good dancers.
1. Tay Zonday and Chocolate Rain
Adam Nyerere Bahner took YouTube by storm in July 2007 when he unleashed his impossibly-deep croon: “Chocolate Raaaaiiiiiinnn.” …
Zonday was happy to play along with the insta-fame, appearing on everything from VH1 to Jimmy Kimmel. He was also immortalized in a South Park episode. In February 2010, he starred opposite Beyonce in a Superbowl commercial.
Looks like the joke’s on us: Tay Zonday is making a go of it as a singer. That ain’t chocolate that’s raining.