In January 2010 Paul “Bear” Vasquez, a burly, cheerful man who lived just outside of Yosemite National Park in central California, posted a home video to the website YouTube. A handful of people saw it.
Six months later, late-night television host Jimmy Kimmel discovered the clip and shared it on Twitter, calling it “the funniest video in the world.”
A fad ignited. Kimmel’s fans watched and shared, and the dormant video instantly shot to 1 million views. Within two weeks, it hit 5 million. Kimmel invited Vasquez to appear on his show, further boosting the video’s exposure. Suddenly the video was being spoofed on Cartoon Network and College Humor, parodied by Jimmy Fallon and indie musician Amanda ...