Good morning, John! Most of you, 99%, aren’t
gonna be able to be at VidCon and, so, you don’t wanna hear about how great it’s gonna
be. So, in lieu of being at VidCon or either if you are gonna be there, I’m gonna give
you an assignment. VidCon is all about celebrating and appreciating the culture of online video.
But as, John, you so wisely pointed out last video, we’re pretty old. The first time I
got obsessed with a video that I downloaded from the internet was 1998. The year before
that was when the very first viral internet video happened – uh, it was just this dancing
baby. Except you gotta go “UGACHACA UGAUGAUGACHACA
UGAUGAUGA” (keeps chanting that while singing) I can’t stop this feelin’, deep inside of
me.” In fact, I have been into online video for
longer than some of you have been in the world. Which makes me…kinda depressed. But it also
might actually make me that elusive thing – an expert. So, here’s what we’re gonna do.
You’re gonna listen to me talk about how great the old days were and then you’re gonna indulge
me by going to watch a bunch of old online video that I think is better than anything
being created today, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary. It’s just like any
other course you’ve ever taken. The dancing baby is not in the category of things that
I think are really fantastic and great. But a couple years later, in the year 2000, a
project was launched that became the best, and remains the best, online video project
in history. Homestar Runner is some kind of bizarre, alien thing that lives in Free Country,
USA, with his friends: his girlfriend, Marzipan, who’s a baseball bat with hair in a dress;
Coach Z and Pom-Pom and the Cheat and King of Town and Strong Mad, who is just a square,
and Strong Sad, who is sad and circular and Strong Bad, who, despite having boxing gloves
for hands, types out responses to e-mails every week. There’s so much good Homestar
Runner content! You need to grab a friend and take them and take this wonderful thing
that exists into your life! It’s really good. HomestarRunner.com. Check it out. And note
that when we started watching that show, that little thing took up our entire computer monitors!
And then weep for us. There’s a kid just fell off a bike outside
of my window. He’s okay. He’s fine. At the same time as Homestar Runner, there
was all kinds of really interesting Flash animation stuff happening: The End of the
World, All Your Base Are Belong To Us, Peanut Butter Jelly Time – these are things that
are important pieces of the culture of the Internet. We also got what was probably the
first Internet native genre of video, the animutation. The animutations were brought
into the world by a lot of different people, but they were pioneered by a guy who you might
know from his later work, “The Mysterious Ticking Noise,” Neil Cicierega. But when bandwidth
got good enough, people could actually start to send and receive video. THIS kind of video.
And the most important video series of all time was, of course, “The Show with Ze Frank.”
The show revolutionized video. It took advantage of the fact that the Internet is a two-way
medium. It allowed people to participate in the project. It wasn’t just about Ze; it was
about the entire sportsracer community. Pretty much anything you watch on YouTube nowadays
is either directly or indirectly influenced by Ze Frank. All this stuff was extremely
important in the Internet’s ability to establish itself as its own, stand-alone legitimate
culture, and since YouTube came along, yes, many more amazing things have happened. So
much amazing stuff is being made now that of course, I can’t even start to talk about
what’s happened since YouTube existed. This is almost a kind of pre-history of Internet
video that I’m talking about right now, and I think that it’s important for us to understand
that stuff, for us to know where it all came from. Also, it’s just amazingly fun to enjoy,
so grab a friend, click the links in the description and just enjoy. Now I have to go back to VidCon stuff. I want
this video to keep going! I want to keep making this video! I don’t wanna work on VidCon.
Okay, I’m gonna do it, though. John, I’ll see you on Tuesday.