What to Ask Yourself Before You Post a Viral Video

Feb 19, 2013 at 1pm
Shake

As I wait patiently for the Harlem Shake craze to die (and be shot a few more times to make sure it's really dead), I'm a little annoyed by the number of lame and lazy imitation videos. I love the idea of something becoming an internet sensation and inspiring a bunch of nuns, sports teams, and/or frat boys to suddenly get weird on Youtube, but what's with the videos where people just don't seem that into it?

Last night I watched "The Harlem Shake [FUNNIEST ONES] Part 1" and was not impressed. My main beef is with the part in all caps. With as many Harlem Shake videos in existence as there are, I expect the funniest ones to make me pee at least a little. Still, this video has over 13M views. So, either the average Harlem Shake video is not that funny or I should take titles of Youtube videos way less seriously. Either way, I think there is a lot of room for improvement in copy-cat videos. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself before making one more half-assed viral video:

1. Do you know the dance? 

Learn it. Show some respect. I can remember a time when you didn't make a twerking video unless you could put your ass where your mouth is. Sometimes literally. Choreography isn't the place to get creative. That's what costumes and settings are for, duh.

The Harlem Shake formula couldn't be any easier. So, what's your excuse for not doing it right? And please, don't try too hard to make it sexy.

2. Are you intoxicated?

Cause you should be. Unless you have a job you're interested in keeping. If that's the case, maybe just volunteer as cameraman.

3. Do you have the supplies?

In today's DIY culture, low production value is pretty inexcusable. Go make the Dollar Store your bitch and get the appropriate sparkles to make your video stand out. Then grab a 30 rack. 

Please note: Supplies also include having enough friends so that your video doesn't totally depress me.

4. Is everyone on board?

Viral videos should only be made between consenting adults. Ok, sometimes animal ones are funny, but most of the time I just want to mercy kill your hamster. Or at least give them a treat.

Why do you think foreign prison videos are so damn good? Because the participants are literally dancing for their lives. I've seen too many videos (especially office versions) where some dude in the back decides this is finally the right moment in his life to be "different" and stands there doing nothing. Make sure anyone who's going to be in your video is actually down to get down or they are banished to helping with lights.

5. Is your place clean?

Clean your fucking room. Even if it is a frat house. Remember: people are always evaluating whether or not they will have sex with you based on how disgusting your futon is. 

6. Is it funny to someone who isn't in it?

This is a serious question. Once, you've made a video, don't feel like you have to share it with the world. Ask someone who isn't in it. If they laugh out of embarrassment and/or sympathy, this a good sign that posting it is a bad call.

Basically, try to be less like this:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/I3oZQnSfNG4

And more like this:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/-PZTw297DDk

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