Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube’s Sincerest Form of Flattery: The “Response” Video

I didn’t love “David After Dentist,” the YouTube clip of a doped-up seven-year-old talking to his dad after surgery. Kinda creepy, imho. But that’s just me: It was one of most popular things on Google’s (GOOG) video site this year, having logged 42 million views to date.

But here’s where one of YouTube’s most interesting conventions comes in: The “response” video.

If you’re a cynic, you’d argue that creating a response video to a popular clip is just a crude attempt to piggyback your way to exposure. And sure enough, “David’s” clip has 26 responses, and most of them aren’t terribly interesting.

Except for this one, from the reliably funny guys behind Chad Vader. Which is why it has nearly nine million views of its own:

Bonus parody, which hasn’t actually been labeled a response, from the excellent people at the Upright Citizens Brigade (if you live in New York and haven’t been to one of its Sunday night Asssscat shows, you’re doing something wrong):


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work