The 25 Top Viral Video Celebrities

The most legendary of internet legends.

Everybody always says how amazing Andy Warhol's 15-minutes-of-fame prophecy was. Poppycock! Here's 25 people whose antics wriggled their way into the public consciousness and, for better or for worse, made them famous for like, at least an hour.

01
of 25

Tay Zonday

Image courtesy of YouTube

Tay Zonday's original song "Chocolate Rain" gained massive popularity due to his epic voice and conspicuous breathing technique. Its earnest message about racism probably did not play a large role. He's since put his recognizable voice and likeness to use in numerous commercials, a Weezer video, and an episode of "Robot Chicken".

02
of 25

Paul "Bear" Vasquez

Image courtesy of YouTube

In the summer of 2010, Vasquez, a permanent resident of Yosemite National Park, reacted strongly to a prominent Double Rainbow outside his home. Bear had already established himself in 2008 to be Jimmy Kimmel's boyfriend, and his late-night lover linked to the video on his Twitter page. The video exploded and called attention to Vasquez's odd life, in which he has been a cage fighter, a fire fighter and puppy breeder. He re-appeared on his boyfriend's show as an internet legend.

03
of 25

Justin Halpern

Image courtesy of the LA Times

This self-employed comedy writer started a twitter feed called Shit My Dad Says after moving back in with his parents in 2009. Being driven into your childhood bedroom by a recession is a drag, but Justin made the most of it - thanks to the amazing quality of the aforementioned shit that was said, his tweets led to a book and then an awkwardly retitled sitcom starring William Shatner, which receives monster ratings.

04
of 25

Antoine Dodson

Image courtesy of YouTube

Dodson is the first in a category which will appear several times on this list - those whose memorable appearances on local news led to national attention with the help of the internet. Like many success stories, it starts with the attempted rape of his sister. His forceful monologue on Huntsville, AL's WAFF 48 was turned into a hit song by master music editors Autotune the News. He's gone on to appear on Comedy Central's Tosh.0 and has a reality show in development. And he looks fabulous.

05
of 25

Ghyslain Raza

Image courtesy of Business Insider/YouTube

I kinda feel bad including this guy since he was emotionally devastated by the distribution - against his consent - of his acclaimed 2003 Star Wars Kid video, in which he is fat and awkwardly plays with a golf ball retriever. Basically every comedy show of the '00s parodied his video.

He's since recovered from the humiliation, and is earning a law degree in his native Quebec - perhaps spurred by the thrill of suing and coaxing a cash settlement out of his high school tormentors.

06
of 25

Gary Brolsma

Image courtesy of YouTube

Better known as the "Numa Numa guy", Brolsma danced his way into our hearts on webcam while lip-syncing the song "Dragostea din tei", by the Moldovan band O-Zone. (Any interaction between Moldova and and music is definitively hilarious.) He currently runs the NewNuma network on YouTube, a collaboration with his comedy buddies.

07
of 25

David DeVore Jr.

Image courtesy of YouTube

David is the young chap whose humorous reaction to the effects of dental anesthesia has generated over 80 million YouTube views. His family's share of the ad revenue the video generates and merchandising have provided a nice little windfall for the DeVore family - which they'll need to pay for David's rehab bills, now that he's seen the massive popularity that comes with being on drugs.

08
of 25

Melissa Sander

Image courtesy of oddculture.com

Sander, a reporter for Atlanta's local Fox affiliate, was providing light-hearted coverage of a nearby grape-stomping competition when she suffered a serious fall off a three-foot platform. The fall - and the indisputably goofy noises she made while in tremendous pain - appealed to YouTube's baser "America's Funniest Home Video" comedy instincts and made her a sensation. The video basically destroyed her fledgling light-news career, and she had to suffer the indignity of having her fall used on "Family Guy" in a manner that was totally justified within the context of the plot and showed brilliant comedic thinking. *cough*

09
of 25

Chris Crocker

Image courtesy of TheHollywoodGossip.com

Chris Crocker is a person with extraordinary capacity for compassion and about a dozen Catholic saints' worth of empathy. He just wanted people to leave Britney alone. He really wanted people to. It's doubtful Britney Spears herself was as upset. He's just so lovable, though, even if his flagship video might have the most dislikes of any on YouTube. He appeared in the execrable film Meet the Spartans, parodying himself, and continues to run his YouTube channel.

10
of 25

Tommy Slate

Image courtesy of YouTube

Better known by the name Epic Beard Man, Slate is a 67 year-old homeless war veteran in Oakland, CA whose confrontation on a bus in 2010 took the internet - particularly its 4channy underbelly - by storm. His fans kept up with his TV appearances throughout the summer and created artful parodies of his one-sided fist fight. Really, though, the love was driven by the Epic Beard. And the "I Am a Motherf---er" t-shirt.

11
of 25

Bubb Rubb

Image courtesy of YouTube

Continuing our tour of Oakland's colorful local personalities, we have Bubb Rubb. In 2003, Mr. Rubb (along with his sidekick, Lil Sis) spoke out in support of whistler tips, a small car part that caused the exhaust to create a deafening, high-pitched sound. Whistler tips have since been banned, but the legacy of Bubb Rubb lives on, having inspired children and many goofy pages on YTMND.com. Bubb Rubb made no effort to capitalize on his fame, as his life was already perfect in every imaginable way.

12
of 25

Justin Laipply

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Laipply's family-friendly hit The Evolution of Dance, chronicling dance fads from 1950 to the present, was one of the greatest viral successes of all time, and has 163 million YouTube views to date. It's understandably been a boon to his motivational speaking career, and he has released a sequel which has received an absolutely pathetic 14 million views. Unlike a most of the people on this list, it seems like Laipply was already doing exactly what he wanted to be doing before his viral hit. Content bastard.

13
of 25

Corey Worthington Delaney

Image courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald

Delaney is another local news star whose story made it literally all the way around the world after the Australian teen threw the greatest party of all time. Sure, it was news all across Australia, but that still counts as local news because there's like 7,000 people in Australia. Shortly thereafter he appeared on the Australian version of "Big Brother", which looks like a stupid show even by "Big Brother" standards. Corey is currently King of Australia. I guess, I don't know; prove me wrong.

14
of 25

Michael, aka CopperCab

Image courtesy of YouTube

CopperCab is a raving redheaded teenager of indiscernible sincerity whose protestations that gingers do have souls have been met with widespread derision. His YouTube channel continues to rack up huge numbers of views (and dislikes), and generate gigantic discussions, mostly about how he's a dickhead. An heir apparent to Andy Kaufman, in my estimation.

15
of 25

Jonathan the Zombie Kid

Image courtesy of YouTube

Jonathan likes turtles.

16
of 25

Matt McAllister

Image courtesy of YouTube

It's not quite Usain Bolt's 9.69 second 100 meter dash or Barry Bonds' 762 home runs, but Matt McAllister is a record holder all the same. He wore 155 T-shirts at once, which is especially impressive because he's from Phoenix and people there don't generally dress in layers. And thanks to the internet, more people know about his accomplishment than just those who read the Guinness Book of Records, which I think is none.

17
of 25

Jessi Slaughter

Image courtesy of knowyourmeme.com

Most of the people on this list had no intention of becoming internet famous. They were simply far more weird/hilarious than they realized. Florida tween Jessi Slaughter, however, craved internet fame, and was a regular contributor to a cam site that I will not link to because it is gross. When she hit the big time, it was not as she had envisioned.

After publicly challenging her real or imagined internet detractors, Jessi (not her real name) was hit with a torrent of 4chan scorn. The end result? A crying Jessi, an enraged and clearly confused father, police protection for the family, and, of course, the remix.

18
of 25

Jay Maynard

Image courtesy of TronGuy.net

Back before 2010's spiritual sequel TRON: Legacy made liking TRON cool again - wait, not "cool", what's that word I'm thinking of? Oh yeah, "somewhat less incredibly dweeby" - there was the TRON guy, a.k.a. Jay Maynard. Maynard's website showing off his totally sweet TRON outfit drew attention from Slashdot and Fark, and shortly thereafter from viral trendsetter Jimmy Kimmel, who set Jay up on a series of dates. Despite (because of?) his "nice ass", Jay remains unmarried.

19
of 25

Noah Kalina

Image courtesy of Noah Kalina's photostream

Brooklyn photographer Noah Kalina set himself apart from the 800,000 other photographers in Brooklyn by photographing himself every day for six years. The simple idea, combined with a powerful original piano score, makes for compelling and emotional viewing, as well as 18 million hits to date on YouTube. Noah has gone on to a successful photography career, and continues to photograph himself. The second six years will be completed on July 31, 2011.

20
of 25

Bree Avery/Jessica Lee Rose

Image courtesy of YouTube

One of YouTube's earliest and biggest stars wasn't even a real person. Lonelygirl15, who surfaced in YouTube's humble pre-Google days, was supposedly 16 year-old Bree Avery, making awkward video blogs while being hot jailbait. In reality, she was 19 year-old Jessica Lee Rose, directed by the three-man staff of LG15 Studios (later EQAL). After the show was revealed to be fictitious in late 2006, it became some kind of insane sci-fi conspiracy show doled out 2 minutes at a time. Nobody wanted to see that; they wanted the jailbait - and so the ghost of the non-existent Bree Avery endures.

21
of 25

Basil Marceaux

Image courtesy of knowyourmeme.com

Basil Marceaux woke up one day and decided, hey - I should be governor of Tennessee! But he was sorely mistaken - why, he wasn't even fit to be governor of Kentucky. However, his rousingly incoherent television debut marked him for internet stardom. He made his own channel on YouTube, sold way more merchandise than you would believe, and even started selling Christmas songs off his website (which once had been filled with insane ramblings). In 1992? He'd be a neighborhood kook. In 2010, with the internet behind him? National star. Still not governor, though. Not even close.

22
of 25

Andrew Meyer

Image courtesy of MSNBC

Andrew Meyer went to a University of Florida forum with John Kerry in fall 2007 and asked some possibly obnoxious questions in a possibly obnoxious manner. He was summarily brutalized by police and arrested. The inherent irony of his phrase, "Don't tase me, bro!" landed it on plenty of T-shirts, and it can still bring a chuckle around the web - despite the somewhat haunting circumstances of its coinage.

23
of 25

Brandon Kuzma

Image courtesy of YouTube

Brandon Kuzma was really super excited to get a Nintendo 64 for Christmas in 1998. Like, really excited. His sister Rachel wasn't too sedate, either. His Nintendo 64-induced ecstasy has appeared on various TV shows, a BMW commercial, and in addition to inspiring some popular YouTube remixes, it created a cottage industry on YTMND.com Brandon is now an avid video editor and skateboarder, so nuts to all the people say that video games make you into a lazy couch potato. I would've been lazy with or without video games, thankyouverymuch.

24
of 25

Denny Hazen

Image courtesy of DennyBlaze.com

Denny "Blaze" was the recipient of time-release internet fame. In 2006, an MTV employee found and posted a demo video cassette that Denny recorded in the late 1980s entitled "Average Homeboy". The Cleveland native sought to make rap music that was more relatable to middle class white guys, by explaining that he didn't live in a box or write million dollar checks ($1,790,280 in 2009 dollars). His rapping skills and amateur recording technology have both greatly improved, and Denny now sells his music via his website. You'll be blazed.

25
of 25

Latarian Milton

Image courtesy of YouTube

Milton is the seventh and final member of our list whose fame started on local news. In what qualifies as "light fare" by if-it-bleeds-it-leads local news standards, WPBF in South Florida reported on seven year-old Latarian's joyride in his grandmother's SUV. "It's fun to do bad things," the pudgy boy explained. "I wanted to do hood rat stuff for my friends." A few months later he was hospitalized with mental health concerns after he battered his grandmother at a Walmart, but he appeared to be behaving somewhat better when he appeared on Tosh.0 in 2010. On a scale of 1-10, he describes driving a car as "cool".

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Mellisy, Dave. "The 25 Top Viral Video Celebrities." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-top-viral-video-celebrities-1923899. Mellisy, Dave. (2017, March 3). The 25 Top Viral Video Celebrities. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-top-viral-video-celebrities-1923899 Mellisy, Dave. "The 25 Top Viral Video Celebrities." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-top-viral-video-celebrities-1923899 (accessed November 25, 2017).