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Summary:

It had been popping up in my feeds every day for a week. I didn’t even watch it — I assumed it was that old instructional video they showed in health class, comparing the webs of spiders administered psychoactives. And by day three or four, it […]

It had been popping up in my feeds every day for a week. I didn’t even watch it — I assumed it was that old instructional video they showed in health class, comparing the webs of spiders administered psychoactives. And by day three or four, it just became background chatter. “Mark read, mark read, mark read.” When something becomes that popular, it’s hard to admit you’re the last person to have actually seen it.

I finally got to join in the internet-wide epiphany that is Andrew Struthers’ short-form masterpiece, “Spiders on Drugs,” when Liz forwarded me a link to the clip’s genesis myth, penned by the auteur himself. Struthers also happens to be a regular contributor to British Columbia’s The Tyee, and “My Million Hit Wild Ride” is a fantastic read detailing how a film festival circuit regular, locked in Comedy Central’s vaults, found its audience on YouTube and blossomed.

But not until after some drama:

Then I noticed there was a second posting called “Spiders On Drugs.” It had been uploaded by a guy I’ll call PaddyWagon. He already had 5,000 hits. It was a crappy looking bootleg with an “Ebaum’s World” logo emblazoned on the front…I e-mailed PaddyWagon, explained the situation, and begged him to take his reposting down. He told me to blow it out my ass. (I think he’s Irish.)

In classic dramatic form, the hero contends with forces beyond his control, is locked in battle with a villain and his swarm of henchmen, learns some hard lessons but in the end emerges victorious and finds his peace. While it has much in common with all the other viral success stories I’ve read — like this How To from Cult of Mac — it’s particularly well done.

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  1. Yeah, so I was the last person to see that. I only just sat through it. I see why its a success though, its hilarious!

  2. ctfo » Myahhhh #2 Friday, January 26, 2007

    […] And holy fuck holy fuck holy fuck you have to watch this shit […]

  3. NewTeeVee » Legend of Bridezilla: You Can’t Own a YouTube Hit Tuesday, February 6, 2007

    […] This isn’t the only case where it takes a bit of detective work to guess who’s behind a YouTube video. It’s no easy task to identify yourself as the creator of a clip, especially when it gets popular and replicated. Then the secondary market takes over, from well-placed parodies to carpetbaggers selling your video to sites that don’t ask where it came from. […]

  4. NewTeeVee » It’s All Motion Pictures, People Saturday, March 10, 2007

    [...] for the Latin American market; The hit clip “Spiders on Drugs” was originally a short film produced for the festival circuit. And the cheapest content to produce — ‘reality’ programming like news, [...]

  5. eBaum’s World Long Saga Comes to a Close with Layoffs « NewTeeVee Monday, February 2, 2009

    [...] of overdue justice for the ripped-off content the site had been known for. eBaum’s had often posted its own watermarked versions of other people’s videos from around the web and racked up massive views for them, especially [...]

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