Comedy Rules Online Video (Or: Why Every Video You Post Online Should Be Funny)

Funny videos rule the Web. Here's why.

The above video features the only notable thing that will happen with the Toronto Raptors NBA franchise this season. In it, you’ll see their mascot tear his achilles doing a backflip. This injury means The Raptor will be gone for the season.

(P.S. It took me a good ten minutes of searching online to find, and then confirm, that the name of the Toronto Raptors mascot is “The Raptor” and not anything even remotely clever like, “The Dinosaur”, “Giant Red Lizard Thing”, and “Stevie”. I guess in reality the joke’s on me.)

The above video is also funny, at least to me. And if it’s not funny to you, I promise that this video is still more amusing than that guy trolling college students at Drexel University’s TEDx event. And here’s the important part, and the reason you’re reading this post in the first place: 58% of online adults, according to the people at the PEW Internet & American Life Project, view online comedy videos. 72% of the roughly 274 million American Internet users also watch, or download, online video using services like YouTube.

We know, thanks to books like Contagious from Dr. Jonah Berger, that funny content provokes a strong emotional reaction in people, which means they are more likely to share the video than they would something else. (This is also true with “How To” videos, which also are quite popular according to PEW.) And we also know that the human brain’s default setting, especially when it’s busy doing things like surfing the Internet, is to believe everything that it’s told, which is why if you tell people to “Share this” or “Please retweet” they’re more likely to do so.

So if you want to get people’s attention, these numbers are further proof you’re going to want to lead with something funny. Like video of a sports mascot getting horribly injured. You just might like the results.

Update: It looks like someone took down the original video, so check out the video below to enjoy another spectacular failure on the part of The Raptor. This one involving rollerblades.