Viral videos of the week: Brad Pitt, The Simpsons, and a Supreme Court of dogs

24 Oct 2014

Still from 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Supreme Court (HBO)' by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on YouTube

This week in viral videos, we have clingy pandas, Brad Pitt between two ferns, a Simpsons multiverse and an animal takeover of the US Supreme Court.

About 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, Facebook videos see over 1bn views per 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 most-viewed and most-shared videos on the web.

The Simpsons: re-animated

October is coming quickly to a close and Halloween brings with it costumes, jack-o-lanterns, tricks, treats, and a ‘Treehouse of Horror’ episode from The Simpsons – it’s an annual tradition.

The 25th Halloween-themed episode from the series sees the famous animated family being haunted by more crudely drawn versions of themselves (which die-hard fans will recognise from their first appearances on The Tracy Ullman Show), and closed with Lisa’s suggestion that “some evil marketing entity” could produce millions of incarnations of the world’s favourite dysfunctional family. Lo and behold, the episode delivers on this threat in the closing scene with a variety of Simpson animations descending upon 742 Evergreen Terrace. How many cult cartoon references can you spot?

Uploaded: 19 October 2014

Baby in minion costume falls down

Sticking with a Halloween theme, this video has the killer combination of an adorable child in a brilliant costume and the added magic element of physical comedy (wherein no one gets hurt, so it’s all good). It’s as sweet as a bag of Halloween treats.

Uploaded: 16 October 2014

IKEA Halloween

Another great ad from IKEA Singapore sneaking its way into the viral charts, this week the Swedish furniture brand takes on Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The Shining to promote its late-night shopping in the run-up to Halloween. Slick.

Uploaded: 20 October 2014

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt

The last time Zach Galifiankis’ strange chat show web series popped up in our viral video round-up, he was interviewing US President Barack Obama. So interviewing Angelina Jolie’s husband is a bit of a step down for our awkward interviewer and, predictably, he handles it appallingly. Bradley Pitts sure does rake in the viewers, though, with this Funny Or Die short racking up over 7.5m views, earning it ‘Immortal’ status on the site.

Uploaded: 22 October 2014

‘Mr President, don’t touch my girlfriend’

US President Barack Obama went down to the polls for the 2014 Midterm Elections with cameras in tow to document the occasion and spread the message of the importance of voting to the country’s electorate. What he probably didn’t count on was a cheeky boyfriend warning the prez off charming his girlfriend, who was next to him casting her own vote. But what boyfriend Mike Jones likely didn’t expect was to then get played at his own game. Presidential burn.

Uploaded: 21 October 2014

Real Animals Fake Paws Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court does not allow cameras to film its debates, but it will release audio recordings of arguments, which are usually coupled with illustrations for TV reporting. But Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has a new suggestion to make these snippets more watchable, a lesson he learned from Keyboard Cat. That is: take dodgy audio and add a visual that makes it entertaining – such as an entire Supreme Court of animals with fake paws. Genius.

Warning: there’s a spot of NSFW language in this one folks.

Uploaded: 19 October 2014

Clingy pandas don’t want to take their medicine

Like children, it can be tricky to get pandas to take their medicine. Not because they’re being bold or misbehaving, mind, but because all they want to do is play and cuddle – which would be hard to refuse, but somehow this zookeeper manages to get the job done.

Uploaded: 17 October 2014

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.