YouTube in September: What’s Being Watched

This is a series that spotlights culturally significant and popular uploads to YouTube, curated monthly by ZEFR Insights.

1. Mean Tweets Live

In the latest segment of “Mean Tweets” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, celebrities read mean tweets
about themselves, this time in front of a live studio audience. This week-long segment included
A-list celebrities such as Kristen Bell, George Clooney, Bette Midler, and Halle Berry. The
best part was seeing the variety of reactions from each celebrity as they emerged from the curtains, phone in hand, to read the mean tweet directed at themselves. Some took the meanness with good humor, while others walked off looking sad and defeated. A few highlights include Andrew Garfield who burst into uncontrollable laughter and Benedict Cumberbatch who had a quick comeback to a tweet that involved a “cat’s anus.” In an age where it only takes a few seconds and less than 140 characters (for now) to tweet something hurtful, it’s important to remember that celebrities have
feelings too.

2. “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”

Yes, you read that correctly. But can you say it? Liam Dutton can. Channel 4 News weatherman impressively pronounced the 58-letter word with ease during the news broadcast. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a large village in Wales and has the longest place name in the UK. Today, the village is also known as Llanfair or Llanfair PG. The long-form of the village’s name was invented for promotional purposes in the 1860s. Clearly it’s working! The viral video now has over 12 million views.

3. Ryan Adams, “Shake It Off” (from Taylor Swift’s 1989)

Ryan Adams released a song-for-song cover of Taylor Swift’s multi-platinum album, 1989. Critics and fans have already compared the album to having similar vibes as Bruce Springsteen and The Smiths. The album debuted in the top ten of the Billboard 200, selling 56,000 units during its first week. Adams’ album is also available on Spotify and YouTube. By making the entire album available on YouTube, it allows fans to easily share and listen to their favorite songs over and over again. In fact, cover songs on YouTube are a giant trend.

4. Michelle Obama’s Post-White House Plans

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is off to a running start this month. In his interview with
First Lady Michelle Obama, he asks her about her post-White House plans. Her answer turns out
to be surprisingly simple. In addition to continuing efforts in girl’s education, she wants to “open
windows.” She also told Colbert that she wants to do little things like “go to Target! I want to
drive!” Over the weekend, Obama announced the #62MillionGirls campaign—the number of girls
around the world who are not in school—as part of her “Let Girls Learn” initiative. The program was created to help young girls overcome barriers to complete their education.