Viral videos of the week: barely legal pawn, Shark Week and ice bucket challenges

24 Aug 2014

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Still from 'Barely Legal Pawn, feat. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus' by Television Academy on YouTube

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We take a look at some of the most-viewed and most-shared videos on the web. This week features ice bucket challenges, armagayddon, sharks, and Breaking Bad stars reunited.

About 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 500 years of video watched on Facebook every day, and more than 700 YouTube videos shared on Twitter each minute, ensuring there is always video trending on the web.

With so much video available for viewing, we take a look at some of the viral videos that have caught our eye this week.

Barely Legal Pawn

Take the two leading actors from cult drama series Breaking Bad and pair them with the leading lady from the enduringly popular Nineties comedy series Seinfeld and the result is a thoroughly entertaining short to promote the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, which take place on Monday 25 August. In this video, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays herself – not Mary-Louise Parker – and she encounters two shady characters when she tries to pawn her own Emmy Award. Unfortunately, it’s not Heisenberg and Jesse Pinkman, but the reunion of the two and allusions to their on-screen history as meth cooks is enough to please fans who have missed them.

Uploaded: 19 August 2014

Armagayddon

Written by Irish comedians Tara Flynn and Kevin McGahern, this clip looks beyond the 2015 marriage rights referendum to a future where same-sex marriage is legal and poor souls John and Mary have locked themselves inside their barricaded house in order to keep themselves safe from ‘Armagayddon’.

Uploaded: 20 August 2014

What if Michael Bay directed Up?

Up, the Pixar gem about a man who goes on an adventure in a floating house assisted by thousands of helium-filled balloons, would have been a very different movie had it been directed by action-junkie Michael Bay – which is exactly what this YouTube edit imagines. The film has been transformed with a dark undertone and more explosions than you could shake a Decepticon at, complete with a nu-metal soundtrack. Be sure to watch this one to the last second for the best gag of them all.

Uploaded: 15 August 2014

Tortoise vs truck

It simply wouldn’t be a viral videos round-up without a few animal videos thrown into the mix but, this week, it’s neither cats nor dogs taking the spotlight – it’s a tortoise! Now we all know the tortoise from the famous fable cheated to beat the hare, but looking at this little guy’s legs go, I think he might have stood a chance in a fair fight after all.

Uploaded: 16 August 2014

Shark Cat entertains Shark Baby

Okay, so I was just teasing about this week’s round-up not having a cat video. But this isn’t just a cat, it’s Shark Cat! And he’s back on his Roomba! And he’s got a Shark Baby friend with him! This video was simply made for viral success. Especially considering it was uploaded during Shark Week.

Uploaded: 16 August 2014

Grouper eats 4ft shark in one bite

And if you’re doubting the allure of Shark Week, know that this video of a black tip shark being gulped down in one bite by a ‘Goliath grouper’ off the coast of Bonita Springs, Florida fetched over 12m views in just four days online.

Uploaded: 19 August 2014

Incredible motorcycle collision

Another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in this week’s round-up comes from this dashcam video of a collision with an unexpected ending.

Uploaded: 19 August 2014

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

There were many, many ALS Ice Bucket Challenges in contention for a spot in this week’s viral run-down, but the honour simply has to go to Anthony Carbajal whose video has been the most-watched by YouTube viewers in Ireland this week. Carbajal may not be a household name like Charlie Sheen, Bill Gates, Cristiano Ronaldo or Kermit the Frog, but as someone with direct experience of this disease, his mix of comedy and tragedy gets right to the heart of this online trend.

ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease. You can donate €2 to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association by texting MND to 50300.

Uploaded: 18 August 2014

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Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com