Rebecca Black started 2011 started like most any other American girl. By the end of the year however, the 14-year-old was the stuff of Internet legend, hated and loved on YouTube, the recipient of death threats, the winner of a Kid's Choice Award, appearing in a cameo in a Katy Perry video, and called a genius by none other than Lady Gaga. And she owes it — or can blame it — all on her video "Friday," YouTube's most-viewed video of the year.
Pretty good for "the worst song ever," which is how the Internet described "Friday," the vanity song and video for which Rebecca's mom paid $4,000 to ARK Music Factory to write and produce. Rebecca is one of several YouTube sensations — along with a laughing baby, a talking dog, and some over-sharing seniors — who dropped by Thursday on TODAY to discuss her Internet infamy.
Then there's the baby who couldn't get enough of his daddy ripping up his job rejection letters — viewed more than 33 million times. Baby Micha was fast asleep, but his parents answered Matt Lauer's questions on the strangest and greatest things to come from their viral fame.
Meanwhile, Mishka the talking dog has been viewed saying "I love you" more than 65 million times. What's next for Mishka, the dog who captured hearts and eyeballs across the Web by saying, '"I love you"? TODAY's Savannah Guthrie gets the scoop from owners Alina and Trevor Gardea.
Then there's the fumbling webcam seniors, Bruce and Esther Huffman, who stole America's hearts when they couldn't quite figure out how to work their webcam. Any regrets? Well, the husband half of the couple wishes perhaps he hadn't mentioned his wife's ... um... assets online, but any embarrassment quickly faded when he and Matt Lauer shared a game of ping pong.
From a pint-sized Darth Vader to Michael Bolton's obsession with Jack Sparrow, here's more of year's viral videos that dominated the nearly one trillion plays on YouTube.
More on the annoying way we live now:
- Rebecca Black tops YouTube's 'most watched' list
- Can a Wikipedia blackout save the Internet?
- Gwyneth Paltrow's iPhone app for the 1 percent