Plenty of people have found fame on the internet. The Evolution of Dance guy, the Eepybird Mentos and Coke guys, the Numa Numa guy, the Star Wars kid, David after the dentist, Charlie the finger-biter, Chris Crocker, the list goes on and on. Similarly, many animals have become household names thanks to Youtube, LOLcatz and other such meme-birthing websites. I’ve always found these internet celebrity animals to be much more interesting cases than their human counterparts because these animals have no idea of the fame they have accumulated. Literally millions of people have seen these animals, but the animals don’t care. They’re content to just go on about their lives as if everything was normal. There’s an allegory for the nature of fame and celebrity in this, but I’m not going to bother going in to it. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of five of the most famous animals on the net. It’s kinda remarkable how many of them are cats.
5. OMG Cat
OMG Cat is one of the more recent recipients of internet fame, having first hit the net sometime in March of 2010. Shortly after gaining popularity on Youtube, this video was mashed up with all sorts of other videos so that the cat in question was reacting with awe to all kinds of things, from the iPad to gratuitous dog humping (oddly enough, the OMG Cat/dog humping video has more hits than the original OMG Cat video). OMG Cat’s celebrity has a twinge of tragedy to it, though, as it was later revealed that the poor cat was suffering from a dislocated jaw at the time the video was taken, and the owner was posting the video online to ask people for advice on what to do. Don’t worry, OMG Cat (real name Chocolate) has since gotten medical attention and is doing fine.
4. Keyboard Cat
This ridiculous video of a cat “playing” the keyboard has been around for ages, predating Youtube by several years. I remember seeing this on America’s Funniest Home Videos before my family even had internet access at home. The video was created by a man named Charlie Schmidt using nothing more than a video camera, a keyboard, a blue shirt and his son Cody’s cat Fatso. The video was uploaded to Youtube in 2007, many years after Fatso had died, and since then it has been gaining popularity as people use Keyboard Cat to “play people off” as a kind of bookend to bloopers and other absurd videos. As my friend Felan put it: Keyboard Cat is the band leader of the late night talk show that is life.
3. Christian the Lion
The story of Christian the lion is enough to bring tears to the eyes of even the most cynical person. As a cub, Christian was acquired by Harrod’s department store of London in 1969 and was bought by Australians John Rendall and Anthony Bourke. The pair cared for Christian in their London residence for a year, but it became quickly apparent that they would eventually be unable to house and tend to a full-grown lion. Sometime around 1970, Rendall and Bourke sought the help of wildlife conservationist George Adamson, who helped them reintroduce Christian into the wild at his compound in the Kora National Reserve. A year later, Rendall and Bourke returned to the reserve in the hopes of seeing Christian again, and the result is the video you see above. The video of the heartwarming reunion was uploaded to a fan site in 2002 and it spread from there.
2. Dramatic Prairie Dog
Often mislabelled as “Dramatic Chipmunk”, the Dramatic Prairie Dog made its first appearence on a Japanese TV show called Hello! Morning. The clip was uploaded to Youtube in June of 2007 and has been steadily accumulating popularity ever since. It was even featured in the music video for Weezer’s song “Pork and Beans”, which features a number of internet celebrities singing along with the song and interacting with eachother. Since being uploaded, this instance of the video has accumulated no fewer than 23,000,000 views as of this writing. Not much to say beyond that, except…that is one dramatic look he’s giving.
1. Sneezing Baby Panda
It’s somehow fitting that one of the most popular internet celebrity animals should also have the simplest story of all of them. It’s a cute little sneezing baby panda who startles its mother. That’s it! Little to no information about this video is readily available, but we do know that the video was shot at the Wolong Panda Breeding Centre in China’s Sichuan province. There really isn’t more to it than that – it’s just an adorable baby panda, and it’s easily one of the most popular videos on all of Youtube, with over 73,000,000 views at the time of this writing!
Pedobear doesn’t make the official list because he’s not a real animal, but he’s probably just as famous as any of the animal celebrities listed here. Pedobear started out as a mascot called Safety Bear, featured on the popular Japanese forum 2channel. Net community 4chan soon got ahold of the Safety Bear image and adapted it into Pedobear, a creepy pedophile bear who is after your children. The image of Pedobear pops up frequently when