Antoine Dodson became an unintentional internet sensation back in 2010. The Gregory Brothers, a comedy group, autotuned a local TV news broadcast featuring Antoine Dodson, who spoke passionately about a home invasion that happened to his sister at the family's home in the Lincoln Park housing project in Huntsville, Alabama. His catchphrase "Hide your kids, hide your wife" is just one of many soundbites that made it into the Gregory Brothers' autotuned version of the interview, called "The Bed Intruder Song." The song sold thousands of copies on iTunes and even hit the Billboard Hot 100 list.
Melissa Sander has given up grape stomping — and possibly reporting.
Melissa Sander was a live feature reporter for WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, in the late 1990s. In one segment, she reported from a local winery, and participated live in a grape-stomping contest. Sander fell off the stage, and the video was uploaded to YouTube years later, in 2007.
Sander went from Atlanta to Albany, becoming a weekend meteorologist for the city's News10. However, her bio page at News10's website doesn't exist anymore. It seems Sander has moved on, and there's no trace of her on the internet today — she's presumably trying to keep a low profile in the wake of the nightmarish grape stomping fail.
Tay Zonday is still cashing in on his "Chocolate Rain" fame.
In 2007, Tay Zonday's song "Chocolate Rain" went viral. The keyboard-driven song and Zonday's deep vocals rocketed "Chocolate Rain" to YouTube viral stardom. He's racked up almost 100 million views on the original video since it was originally uploaded, and he's appeared on late night TV shows. He's also provided voiceovers for the Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken," and he even had an appearance on America's Got Talent.
Today, the 32-year-old is still making YouTube videos. he's also done commercial work for companies like Dr. Pepper and Comedy Central. He appeared in the 2009 video for Weezer's song "Pork and Beans," too.
Rebecca Black has become a YouTube star and internet personality.
If you were on the internet for any length of time in early 2011, you probably remember the so-bad-it's-bad YouTube video for the song "Friday," produced by ARK Music Factory. Black removed the original video, dubbed by many as "the worst song ever," when it had 167 million views, but later reuploaded it. Sure, "Friday is not among the earliest YouTube viral videos — but Black's song and video left a solid mark on the YouTube landscape: Today, the reuploaded "Friday" video has 71 million views and counting.
When David DeVore uploaded a video of his 7-year-old son David to YouTube, he didn't intend for the video to be viewed by millions — he just wanted to share it with family and friends. The video famously showed a dazed and anesthetized young David sitting in the car after a dental procedure, asking questions like "Is this real life?"
In 2010, DeVore told us that he had made almost $150,000 since the video went viral. The Devores became YouTube partners, meaning they allowed YouTube to air ads before their video in return for a cut of the money. In August, David entered eighth grade.
Chris Crocker was the subject of a documentary about social media.
In his video "Leave Britney Alone," Chris Crocker tearfully and passionately defended Britney Spears after the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. The original video has more than 45 million views, and though he's uploaded scores of videos since then, he's still best known for the original Britney video. "Yes, I did Leave Britney Alone," Chris Crocker says in his Twitter bio.
Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe are still doing what they do best: making viral videos.
Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe are the "scientists" behind the "The Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments" video. After the video went viral, Grobe and Voltz performed on late-night TV shows like "Late Night with David Letterman" and they even had a cameo appearance in the meme-laden 2009 video for Weezer's song "Pork and Beans." Voltz and Globe also won the first-ever Webby Award in 2007 for their original video.
Today, the two are still working on producing viral videos at EepyBird, the studio the two cofounded to produce branded video ads for companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and OfficeMax. Every few months they upload a series of videos to their YouTube channel.
Judson Laipply is a motivational speaker.
In 2006, Judson Laipply uploaded a six-minute video from 2001 of himself dancing to popular dance songs to YouTube. He named the video "Evolution of Dance." The rest is history: The video went viral and received 70 million views in less than 8 months.
Ghyslain Raza, the "Star Wars Kid," is speaking out against cyberbullying.
In 2002, 15-year-old Ghyslain Raza recorded a video tape of himself in his high school wielding a golf ball retriever like Star Wars Jedi knight handling a light saber. Raza never intended for the video to be seen publicly, but a classmate found it, converted it to an electronic video file, and shared the video. When it surfaced, the Canadian attempted to distance himself from it, but was ridiculed anyway. With the advent of YouTube, the video spread further. One estimate claims the video had been viewed 900 million times by November 2006.
Raza left school to be privately tutored because of the bullying and cyberbullying he received as a result of the leaked video. Since then, he's graduated from law school at Quebec's McGill University. He went public about his identity in the video, hoping to help other young victims of cyberbullying. Raza is also the president of a heritage conservation society in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
Liam Kyle Sullivan is most famous for his viral video "Shoes," in which he plays Kelly, "a girl who is going to get what she wants, no matter what," and spends a lot of time talking and singing about shoes. "Shoes" now has more than 54 million views, and helped propel Sullivan to internet fame.
Sullivan went on tour in 2007 and 2008, performing live and screening new videos in cities across the country. He starred in the VH1 series "I Hate My 30's," appeared as Kelly in FCKH8's anti-gay bullying videos, and he's still making comedy videos and music.
Gary Brolsma — the Numa Numa guy — hasn't stopped performing.
His name is Gary Brolsma, but he's best known as the "Numa Numa" guy. In 2004 Brolsma uploaded a video of himself lip-syncing to the song "Dragostea din tei" by Moldovan pop group O-Zone to the website Newgrounds. From there, the hilarious video spread to other websites — including YouTube — and has now been watched 700 million times.
Since then, Brolsma has starred in a 2009 Geico TV commercial and showed up in a 2010 Super Bowl ad for Vizio. No stranger to performing in front of a captive audience, Brolsma is a pianist and vocalist for a Saddle Brook, New Jersey-based band called The Backroom Deal.