This year was another great one for the DIY art form known as the viral video. Sure, that was partially thanks to ringers like Jimmy Fallon and (the enduringly hilarious) Weird Al, but plenty of 2014’s most infectious laughs still came from amateur auteurs harnessing the awesome power of the Internet. Here are 10 silly web clips from the last 12 months we’re comfortable naming as the objective best, if for no reason other than you’ll probably forget all about this once the next big cat video comes out.
10. Dancing Kid “Goes Full Diva” on Live TV
Since Brendan Jordan’s glorious television debut, the 15-year-old has been on Ellen, The Queen Latifah Show and even modeled for American Apparel. But before all that he was just a fierce, scene-stealing boy voguing his heart out on the local news. God bless you, Diva Kid.
9. Farmer Treats Cows to Trombone Serenade
Some might attribute the popularity of dumb Internet videos to our allegedly shrinking attention spans, but “Serenading the cattle with my trombone (Lorde – Royals)” serves as a compelling counterexample to that theory. A classic slow-burner, the clip rewards viewers for their patience above all else, coming to a immensely satisfying (if not particularly surprising) conclusion.
8. President Obama Visits Between Two Ferns
There isn’t a lot to say about this video of the President and Zach Galifianakis trading barbs on a nearly empty sound stage, other than it was absolutely wonderful. Ostensibly promoting the Affordable Care Act, the exchange managed to make health care reform funny, a feat that surely deserves a spot in the Making Boring Stuff Interesting Hall of Fame.
7. Brian Williams Goes Old School with “Rapper’s Delight”
After taking over The Tonight Show in February, Jimmy Fallon quickly established his place in the late-night television landscape, thanks in large part to web-friendly segments like the one seen above. A later iteration showing the NBC Nightly News anchor rapping “Gin and Juice” may have been just a bit funnier, but this one came first, airing just days into Fallon’s tenure.
6. Old Man Breaks it Down to “Rock Around The Clock”
Almost six months after Dancing Old Guy made his Internet debut, this anonymous old man’s smokin’ moves still amaze. Can you think of a slicker move than dude’s double cane toss? You cannot.
5. “All By Myself” in McCarran International
Heartbreak can be hard, but a long, unexpected layover will crush your soul. This guerrilla video for Céline Dion’s “All By Myself” shot in an empty Las Vegas airport proved as much when it hit the Internet this June, coming out even sadder than the 1996 original.
4. Emma Stone Lip Sync Battles Jimmy Fallon
Of the Fallon-helmed Tonight Show’s recurring bits, none has been bigger than Lip Sync Battles. And of those Lip Sync Battles, none was more celebrated than Fallon’s April showdown with The Amazing Spider-Man’s Emma Stone. Now Lip Sync Battles is being developed as its own spinoff series, surely thanks in no small part to Stone’s scorching rendition of “All I Do is Win” seen above.
3. Weird Al Yankovic – “Word Crimes”
When Weird Al announced his ambitious “eight videos in eight days” plan earlier this year, few could have predicted how well it would pay off, eventually earning Yankovic his first number one record. Arguably the best of these releases (and the most popular by a mile) was the animated video for “Word Crimes,” an ode to grammatical pedantry that managed to partially rehabilitate the super-skeezy smash hit it riffed on.
2. Hero Cat Saves Child From Dog Attack
Lots of cat video stars can be described as cute, but far fewer can be called courageous, like the brave feline seen protecting a four-year-old boy from a random dog attack in this much-watched clip. Tara the Cat rocketed to superstardom soon after the amazing security cam footage hit the web, debuting at 22 on Friskies’ authoritative list of the 50 Most Influential Cats.
1. Apparently Kid
Apparently, we think this was the best viral video of 2014. Because apparently, this interview with 5-year-old Noah Ritter has all the classic elements of a great YouTube offering, apparently including a cute kid, a local news broadcast and an easy to remember catchphrase. And apparently, the insanely popular clip has since been viewed over 17 million times. Apparently.