Viral videos of the week: Cumberbatch, Satanic Monster drinks and kittens

14 Nov 2014

This week’s viral videos feature the many imitations of actor Benedict Cumberbatch, Monster drinks that are apparently the work of Satan, and kitten therapy as the answer to high levels of stress.

About 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, Facebook videos see more than 1bn views per day, and more than 700 YouTube videos are 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.

Benedict Cumberbatch and his many imitations

As is pretty standard fare prior to major film releases, the starring actors usually set themselves up in a hotel somewhere with the movie poster in the background and they answer the same questions over and over and over again until they come close to dying of boredom.

Every once in a while, however, something different happens and in this case, actor Benedict Cumberbatch was asked to play ‘the imitation game’ prior to the release of his latest film, also called The Imitation Game.

In just over a minute, Cumberbatch manages to successfully (and not so successfully) imitate his fellow actors, including Jack Nicholson, Matthew McConaughey and even Taylor Swift.

Uploaded: 13 November 2014

Elephant survives attack by 14 lions

How many lions does it take to take down a baby elephant? More than 14 apparently, as footage hosted by the New York Post from someone on safari shows the lions rather pathetically attempting to take down the rather helpless elephant.

While able to hold off their attacks, the saying ‘as smart as an elephant’ doesn’t appear to be true given the amount of time it takes it to decide that heading to a big pool of water may be the best strategy to deter a pack of hungry felines.

Uploaded: 11 November 2014

Sainsbury’s Christmas ad

‘Tis the season for schmaltzy adverts from companies looking to capitalise on Christmas. While last week’s entry was John Lewis’s friendly penguin, Sainsbury’s is turning the emotion levels to 11 by filming a dramatic re-enactment of the infamous Christmas football match between English and German troops during the first world war.

The decision to release the video in the same week as Britain marks Remembrance Day on its centenary is a rather sound decision, you’d have to say, from the execs.

With 4m views in the space of two days it’s also fair to say that the public also agree.

Uploaded: 12 November 2014

Ants Marching/Ode to Joy – The Piano Guys

Very little to say about this one bar this video marks the latest entry from The Piano Guys, an instrumental band of four who have become mainstays of the YouTube music scene for their versions of popular songs and soundtracks with the help of a piano and cellos.

In their description for this video, they describe their version of Ants Marching/Ode To Joy as, ‘four guys, three minutes, 2 cellos, one take!’, which is certainly a rather impressive choreographic achievement.

Uploaded: 12 November 2014

Christopher Waltz’s dramatic interpretation of Sesame Street theme

Is there anyone out there who hates Christoph Waltz? Certainly not in Silicon Republic towers as his latest offering, showcased on Jimmy Kimmel Live, shows his love of the iconic children’s show, Sesame Street, by singing the theme song …with a twist.

Describing the show as ‘dark’ to Jimmy Kimmel, Waltz admits that he watches the show himself when he can and shows it to his children so as to help them become ‘Americanised’.

Certainly, his broody singing of the theme shows that he may be watching it a little differently to everyone else.

Uploaded: 12 November 2014

Kitten Therapy: The prescription for stress

You’ve had a long day, your boss has given you a rollocking for someone else’s mistake and now Jim from accounting has stolen your sandwich from the fridge.

Safe to say, you’re a little bit stressed. Well now there’s a solution to your problems: kittens!

The guys over at Soul Pancake set up a large glass box in Los Angeles and offered some of the city’s stressed individuals to undergo relaxation therapy with the help of playful kittens.

Without wanting to jump to conclusions, if they were to monetise this we may have another Facebook on our hands here!

Uploaded: 11 November 2014

Monster drinks are work of Satan

If conspiracy nuts are anything to go by, there is a hidden message behind every single corporate or government logo in existence.

In the latest example, a woman from, let’s say, the ‘religious right’, has found a link between the energy drink Monster, and the depths of hell …somehow.

According to her ‘documentation’ as captured by YouTube user Five7weezy, each fork of the M logo on the front of the can resembles three Hebrew symbols for ‘six’, making it ‘666’.

“You see these Ms everywhere. T-shirts, hats, bumper stickers. Is there another agenda?”, she says.

No, no there’s not.

Uploaded: 9 November 2014

Man seen allegedly stealing chainsaw in surveillance video

And finally, for those of you who wrongfully think shoplifting is an art form, here is an example of why you couldn’t be more wrong.

A Florida man, in quite possibly the dumbest way possible, attempts to shoplift a chainsaw by not-so casually putting it into his pants.

Of course, everyone sees it and he doesn’t get too far before the store owner catches up to him.

Uploaded: 3 November 2014

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic