How To Become A Viral Video Star

A few "how to's" on getting famous through the Interwebz.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

When Andy Warhol first made the claim that “in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”, it’s safe to assume that he wasn’t talking about the dramatic chipmunk. Had Warhol been alive at the time of YouTube’s creation, however, it is difficult to imagine him finding the time to make such insightful comments; he would’ve been too busy looking at cat videos.
But what does it take to acquire these 15 minutes of fame on the Interwebz? To gain millions upon millions of views overnight, and then appear opposite the dead-eyed stares of the Good Morning America hosts the following day? Here’s a step-by-step to guide to ensure your flash-in-the-pan celebrity.

Pretend to be Mentally Ill
What’s the best video to ever grace YouTube? This. But a quick flick through the archives reveals that our chain-smoking hero isn’t ‘a few sandwiches short of a picnic’ after all; he’s just some guy from Russia who’s into mechanics. Disappointing, but proof that any one of us can pretend to be cerebrally deficient for 30 seconds and somehow find thousands upon thousands of people laughing along.
Is it the sort of thing you’ll want to be remembered for? Of course not. But you’ve already auditioned for American Idol and spent the vast majority of 2010 loitering around LA in the hope that you’d appear on The Hills. This is your last shot, Goddamit!

Make Animals do People Things
“Awwwww he’s so cute! Look at his ‘ickle face! He thinks he’s people!” Such is the natural reaction of the average Joe when viewing the video of the guilty dog, and rightfully so; he’s so adorable I just wanna snuggle him until his fluffy head pops off. In fact, the same could be said for just about any animal I’ve seen on YouTube. Except for Sloths. They creep me the f*ck out.
If you’ve got a pet of any description, it would be wise to film them for 24 hours straight until they do something mildly interesting. Failing that, engage in some light-hearted minor animal abuse. Y’know, push your dog down a set of stairs or something. Shout expletives at your budgerigar. You’ll be a terrible person and will probably die alone, but hey, it’s all about the views amirite???

Get Naked
The internet is for porn. There’s no point in pretending that it’s not. If you have access to it, then you have used it to masturbate, and if you don’t have access to it, then firstly I must congratulate you on your mastering of telepathy in order to read this article, and secondly I must condemn you for your refusal to be a part of the 21st century wanking marathon.
However it is rare that a porn video goes viral, so you’re going to have to stick to acceptable levels of nudity in order to gain the, ahem, ‘exposure’ you’re after. You could do this, but that requires you to have a highly-expensive professional camera and the body of an extremely hot young woman. Alternatively you could do this, which requires you to have a Big Mac and the body of the nutty professor. We both know which category you fall under.

Know your audience
You can sit in your bedroom all night making artsy-fartsy stop-motion short films, but let’s face it; they’re never going to come even slightly close to receiving the amount of views this carrot-eating hedgehog has. No matter how much we all like to pretend that YouTube is revolutionizing the way that we interact with new media, we all secretly know the truth. If it doesn’t involve small animals or boobies (or small animals with boobies, if you’re lucky) then don’t even bother uploading it.
The majority of YouTube users are either procrastinating, high or they’re fatally bored, so you’ve got to know to embrace that audience like the empty-headed, unproductive son-of-a-bitches that they are. Throw a couple of fart jokes in there, a few nipples and some bright colours for the stoners. Now you’ve got all bases covered and you’ve more than ensured your status as a YouTube star, so go ahead and enjoy your 30 seconds of fame while you can. Tomorrow you’ll be in rehab.