Greatest Hits of Viral Video

"George Lucas in Love" is a humorous short film made by Hollywood screenwriter Joe Nussbaum, with help from some of his pals from the University of Southern California film school. The film combines and spoofs both Star Wars and Shakespeare in Love. It's pretty "inside Hollywood" stuff (Nussbaum used it as his demo tape for the studios), but despite that, it has proved to be a huge hit on viral video sites like YouTube. The film portrays a young George Lucas in college struggling against writer's block to write a movie that sounds a lot like Star Wars.

Michael Richards--Kramer of Seinfeld fame--is a funny guy, but he became totally unhinged during a comedy gig in Hollywood. Richards apologized for his racial comments a few days later, but he learned that in the age of Internet video, once you say something scandalous, there's no taking it back. (Warning: This video includes profanity and racial epithets.)

Seemed Like a Good Plan...

This is a way-too-close look into the massively multiplayer online game World of Warcraft and the people who play it. The video features real footage of a botched raid by a team of players, with audio from their teleconference before and during the battle. Long story short, LeeRoy skips the ultra-serious pre-attack planning meeting (very funny), and attacks prematurely, leading to the deaths of everybody on his team. (Then again, the team's number cruncher estimated that even if they'd followed the plan, they had only a 32.3333, "repeating," chance of survival. Even more disturbing--the captain reports these are better odds than they usually enjoy.) The video was originally posted to some World of Warcraft forums, but because it's both pathetic and hilarious, it spread on viral video until millions had seen it.

Lights. Camera. Face-plant. Pain and humiliation are staples of the YouTube genre, and this clip is one of the best-known examples. A reporter is out on assignment at a winery somewhere. In a live remote, she is shown on a 5-foot high platform stomping grapes in a small tub. Then she starts doing a little dance with her upper body, and the next thing you know she's falling forward and lands on her face on the ground. Almost as painful is the look on the faces of the anchors when they cut back to the studio.

This viral smash, which began circulating in 2005, features the 2004 performance of a Christmas lights and music show at the house of Carson Williams of Mason, Ohio. Not only did Williams put up about a billion Christmas lights on his house, but he makes them blink on and off in sophisticated patterns to music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The music was broadcast on FM radio so visitors could listen to it as they drove by the house in their cars. January 1 electricity bill: probably about $273,000.

"Here's Johnny!"

Remixes are another mainstay of viral video, and this is one of the best-known examples of the art. The video cleverly reassembles scenes from Stanley Kubrick's horror classic The Shining, and sets it to the feel-good sounds of Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill." The result turns one of the scariest movies ever made neatly on its head. It's said that the video has now been viewed by an estimated 50 million.

The clip of Tom Cruise's blissed-out 2005 performance on the Oprah Winfrey show is creepy enough as it is, but this remix adds a scary animation of what he might really have been thinking.

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