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From America’s Funniest Home Videos to Youtube

May 27th, 2007

America’s Funniest Home Videos debuted in 1990, and with it came a new type of couch surfing voyeurism that has persisted to present day. A 1990 Newsday article noted that the show could be divided into eight categories: kids, weddings, falling down, adults, sports/hobbies, babies, birthday parties, and animals. Add in a little Bob Saget magic and you’ve got a recipe for some great low brow voyeurism. I don’t care how many times you see a three year old hit his dad in the balls with a baseball bat, it’s always funny.

The rise in people doing stupid things had less to do with a declining national IQ and more to do with the popularity and the availability of the video camera (cam corders as well called them back in the day). One of the strange revelations of the camcorder era was the fact that people will videotape just about anything they are doing. Uncle peewee is installing a new toilet? well break out the camcorder, that’s a moment worth capturing!

Looking back at the reruns of America’s Funniest Home Videos (and weaker variations which included “Show me the Funny” and “America’s Funniest People” which was hosted by fellow Full Houser Dave Coulier and some hot chick) we can begin to see how absolutely lame we were for being transfixed on the seemingly normal mishaps of absolutely normal people. Within two years the reality tv meme would take another step, and create the first season of The Real World: New York. The American reality television voyeurs had taken a bite, and they like what they tasted. Within 7 years the Reality Bug would head overseas to the Netherlands where the first Big Brother program was filmed.

Now we are living in the Youtube era where we have an estimated 65000 new videos every day uploaded. Thats a lot of wedding disasters. Youtube made it absolutely possible to see exactly what people want to see, and I can guarantee the method of who comes out first every day is much more scientific than an applause meter. Sure you’ve got the standard tits, ass, motorcycle accidents, and the new phenomenon of actually decent web cam punditry. However, the thing that youtube can also do is make and break careers. From Don Imus and Ron Paul to Lonelygirl15 and smosh, nobody can escape the glare. All we need is a animated Bob Saget overdubbing himself as a puppy dog.

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