Five Times the Internet Was Actually Fun in 2017

Five Times the Internet Was Actually Fun in 2017


“It makes us happy it made so many people happy,” he said.

Children interrupt a BBC News interview. Video by BBC News

One thing that has changed: He now locks the door when he’s doing live television. One thing that hasn’t changed: His 4-year-old daughter still won’t wait for him to finish his interviews. Now she’ll just bang on the locked door, since she knows he’s in there.

He spoke to The Times on his cellphone as he returned home from dinner, and she was supposed to be asleep as he walked in. But she waited up for him, and this reporter could hear giggling and squealing in the background as she watched her father speak on the phone. Mr. Kelly repeatedly paused the interview to try to bargain with her, but she drove a hard bargain.

“Please just let Daddy talk on the phone for one minute,” he said to her. “Please, baby, please.”

We weren’t offended.

Knife kid

Make sure you have your sound on, then watch this. Maybe watch it a few dozen times.

No one was harmed in the making of the video. Jonathan, 5, and the pocketknife he got his hands on were corralled by adults after a brief chase around the pool, said Chelsey Ryan, 22, who threw the party in her Joppa, Md., backyard for her mother’s birthday. Jonathan is her godson, and she had taken the video to send to his godfather, who is stationed with the Navy in Hawaii.

“I was terrified, honestly,” she said in a phone interview. “That’s why the video was so short. We didn’t know what he had.”

The woman inaccurately known as “Knife Mom” — the voice of horror — is April Holsapple, 20, a family friend who had met Jonathan only once before. But her maternal instinct kicked in when she saw him running with something in his hand, she said in an interview.

“He had a look on his face like he was up to no good,” she said.

Don’t get confused — he’s normally a good boy, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Holsapple said. Sure, he’s got a lot of energy and likes to have fun, but he listens when his parents tell him something is wrong, as they did soon after the video ended. Turns out, the clever little sneak had pickpocketed the knife from his uncle.

Days later, a friend found the video on Ms. Ryan’s phone and tweeted it out to the world. They find it as funny as everyone else does, and enjoyed seeing their video on “The Ellen Show” and Fox News.

Jonathan doesn’t understand what it means to go viral on Twitter. But “he thought it was pretty cool to see himself on YouTube,” Ms. Ryan said.

Get out of the way, bus

Bus photobombs the Weather Channel’s stream of Georgia Dome implosion. Video by The Weather Channel

Ever lay out the perfect plans, only to have a totally unforeseen wrinkle come in at the last second and ruin everything?

Since everyone can say yes to that question, it’s hard not to relate to the anguished cameraman in this video.

Jason Rudge, a video producer at the Weather Channel, had arrived at a media platform at 4 a.m. on Nov. 20 to live-stream the Georgia Dome’s implosion on the channel’s Facebook page. The implosion wouldn’t happen until 7:33 a.m., so he had plenty of time to set up the shot.

Organizers told the news media that the roads would be closed during the implosion, said Katherine Wong, a Weather Channel spokeswoman.

“At the moment of the implosion, all eyes were glued to their camera viewfinder, so nobody really knew the bus was pulling up until it was too late,” she said.

The chicken nugget teen

Photo

Carter Wilkerson is still far from the 18 million retweets Wendy’s said he would need, but the fast-food chain is giving him free chicken nuggets for a year anyway.

Credit
Carter Wilkerson

In May, Carter Wilkerson, a 16-year-old high school junior in Reno, Nev., asked Wendy’s — or the fast-food company’s Twitter account — how many retweets he’d need for them to give him a year’s worth of chicken nuggets.

Get 18 million, the company responded, and he’d be flush in nuggets.

While he didn’t make it to 18 million, he did set a record for history’s most retweeted tweet, passing the famous Ellen DeGeneres Oscars selfie that had 3.4 million at the time. On a social network where politicians shout into echo chambers and celebrities play out their lives in front of us, the world had never rallied behind a single tweet the way it did for an unknown teenager with a craving.

His life rapidly changed. He appeared on “The Ellen Show.” A Victoria’s Secret model in New York offered to buy him a Frosty. He made a cameo in a Katy Perry music video. He went from 200 Twitter followers to 114,000.

Before the fateful tweet, he wasn’t one to call attention to himself, he said last week in a phone interview. He would skip his school’s talent shows, worried that he’d embarrass himself.

“But I got used to it, and I grew into it, and it has definitely changed me as a person,” he said.

The company did give him “nuggets for a year” in the form of $1,000 in gift cards. He didn’t use them much in the fall because he was a captain on his school’s football team, so he was trying to eat healthy, he said. But he has no such restrictions now and has been going to Wendy’s about every other day, he said.

Is he sick of nuggets? Not yet, he said. But the gift cards have given him the option to branch out on the menu.

“Sometimes if I’m not in the mood for nuggets I can get a Baconator or something else,” he said.

Dancing hot dog

Let’s not overthink this. It’s a dancing hot dog.

The dancing hot dog. Video by Aida Solorio

In June, Snapchat allowed users to superimpose an animated hot dog into their videos, and the animated hot dog had some sick moves. It would dance on a desk, on the top of your dog’s head — wherever a camera pointed, there it was.

People loved it. By August, when Snapchat pulled it down to cycle through new “lenses,” it had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, a spokesman said.

“Our dancing hot dog is most likely the world’s first augmented reality superstar, Snap’s chief executive, Evan Spiegel, said during an earnings call, according to Fast Company.

Honorable mentions

Thank you also to Distracted Boyfriend, Roll Safe, Meryl Streep Singing, Blinking Guy, The Floor Is Lava and Salt Bae.





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