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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik