Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Remember When NBC Didn’t Want You to Watch “Lazy Sunday” on the Web?

Speaking of YouTube

Remember when NBC was befuddled by the success of “Lazy Sunday” on YouTube, and tried to pull down the first viral hit?

Eons ago, in Internet time. Since then–the original “Saturday Night Live” clip ran in December 2005–Google (GOOG) purchased YouTube for $1.6 billion, a host of would-be YouTubes rounded up venture money (and then ran through it), and the broadcast networks assembled Hulu in an attempt to create their own YouTube.

And now, of course, every TV program goes out of its way to create viral clips. Or at least, try to create viral clips. As NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” did last night when it got Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg to reprise “Lazy Sunday” live.

Give the duo credit for doing more than just dragging out the old chestnut–they at least got The Roots, Fallon’s awesome house band, to create a new medley based on classic hip-hop. But the original still works just fine for me.

Bonus clip: Some old-timey hip-hop backed by a live band that still holds up some two decades (!) later.

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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