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The 20 best viral videos on the web

YouTube's most popular clips revealed

The Star Wars kid

This kid had what he thought was a very private moment in the high school production studio. Oh, except that it was taped. A tape rediscovered months later by friends of the Star Wars Kid, who then posted to file-sharing site Kazaa. Within two weeks of its posting, about 2 million people had downloaded the video.

The Star Wars Kid didn't think it was very funny - he sued the families of the 'friends' who posted the video. From the lawsuit: The Star Wars Kid "had to endure, and still endures today, harassment and derision from his high-school mates and the public at large," and, he "will be under psychiatric care for an indefinite amount of time." The Viral Factory, an ad agency specialising in web marketing campaigns, estimated last year that the 'The Star Wars Kid' video had been viewed over 900 million times, making it the most popular viral video ever.

The Numa Numa dance

"The Numa Numa Dance" features a young guy named Gary Brolsma sitting in front of his PC lip-synching, and doing some seated interpretive dance, to a Romanian pop song.

The video debuted at one site back in 2004, and was viewed by more than 2 million people within a couple of months. As viral video sites like YouTube got up and running, millions more saw the video. For many, many people, when they hear the term "viral video," they see the ecstatic face of Gary Brolsma.

Ask a ninja

The concept is simple. This series of web videos, created by Los Angeles comedians Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, features Nichols dressed up in a black ninja outfit. He is dead serious as he answers questions sent in by 'viewers'.

"The Ninja is known for his emphatic declarations, as well as his expansive, spontaneous, and often extremely exaggerated hand gestures," says Wikipedia. "Ask a Ninja" episodes are usually about 3 minutes long, and always end with the Ninja signature closer: "I look forward to killing you soon!" (or some variation).

"I'm your manager, Luke" - Chad Vader, day shift manager

In this video series, creators Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda imagine Darth Vader's kid brother, Chad, as the manager of a grocery store. Hollywood, take note: you can't miss with a premise like that. 'Day Shift Manager' is the most popular of the eight videos Sloan and Yonda have produced so far: It's been viewed more than 5 million times on YouTube, according to the Chad Vader Wikipedia page.


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