Ten ways to remove your shirt–and what they say about you

Funny, right? Let’s unpack why this works so well.

There are NOT ten different ways

That’s the heart of this joke. Yeah, there are probably three legit ways to remove a T-shirt–maybe four.

What’s funny is the creativity involved.

This man had to think hard to smash through that upper limit of truly different ways a normal human can take off a shirt.

The descriptions are spot on

Every different method gets a perfect description, matching the style of shirt removal and/or the type of person who uses it.

That’s tough to do with just a few words and a couple of seconds of video each time.

My favorites: one-arm lifehack method, psychopath and toddler.

Proper structure

I’m being silly here, right? Talking about structure for a little snippet of viral video like t his.

Nope. Completely serious.

Reverse the order of the ten ways to remove shirts. Go ahead and do that in your head and this thing doesn’t fly at all.

Because it would go from hilarious to funny to normal.

This works as comedy because it creates the biggest possible contrast between the beginning and the end. The first couple of methods are totally normal and the last ones are insane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why this video has ALL the secret ingredients to go crazy viral

If that little 3-minute clip didn’t make you tear up a little, nothing will.

Here’s why this video has such viral power:

Sure, it features dogs, and cats, two common ingredients for getting spread all over the interwebs.

Anyone with (a) a working phone and (b) a dog or cat can easily film the furry pookie on a given day and (c) catch them doing silly things.

Most dog and cat videos are simply that: little sketches. Cats knocking things off counters. Dogs getting the zoomies or being derps. Slapstick, the oldest and most primitive form of comedy.

The story of the Takis shelter is much deeper.

There’s an actual narrative arc, with good storytelling structure. One of the few times real life matches up with Hollywood.

In the end, it’s a story of sacrifice and redemption, starting with happenstance.

He didn’t wake up one day and decide to sell everything he owned to help dogs and cats starving in a garbage dump. This began when he randomly found one dog.

And it’s not a smooth path. Even after he gets the shelter going, the finances don’t work and he has to shut it down–until average people step up to donate, and to start adopting these animals.

This is a story about redemption, and how life is about something bigger than yourself.

And that gives is more power and beauty than your average compilation clip of ninja cats ambushing toddlers.

Remember this Iowa college kid, the Eagle Scout with two moms? He just won a primary for the state senate

Zack Wahls was 19 when he came to the Iowa legislature to testify.

Now he’s 26 and a likely state senator after winning the primary last night.

It’s worth rewatching his speech and why it went so viral. Take a look, then we’ll take it apart.

A few thoughts:

He obviously practiced this speech a good amount, enough so he didn’t need to refer to his notes except for a couple of times early on.

There were a few spots where he stumbled, but those were also early. That’s an important point. If you make a few mistakes early, the audience often hopes you finish better. They root for you. And if you deliver on that, and don’t just smooth things out but finish quite strongly–like Zack did–that contrast between the beginning and end makes the speech stronger. It feels less slick.

In this speech, delivery mattered far less than the structure and emotion. As a speaker, you want to feel and express what you want your audience to feel. It would be easy and natural for him to show up angry, given the proposal he was testifying against. Anger wouldn’t be persuasive. That kind of speech wouldn’t have been effective or gone viral.

So: this speech isn’t memorable for impeccable delivery or for having beautiful phrasing, line by line.

It’s great because unless they removed your heart and replaced it with stone, you feel proud of this young man and the obvious love he has for his moms and sister.

Age and size matter not — attitude is everything

friendly friday friendly dog meme

The great thing about the Series of Tubes is that so many people are sifting through so much stuff, you’re bound to find random bits of awesomesauce. Things you would never intentionally seek out.

John Lindo is wonderfully random bit of awesomesauce, and I am happy to do a little Friendly Friday shout-out to him.

Watch this, then let’s talk about why it works, and why it went viral.

This works because there’s a massive gap between expectation and result.

As an audience, we’ve been trained to think of professional dancers as size zero models that come in male and female. They’re young, tanned and costumed. They dance with the stars, and sometimes date the stars.

John is proudly the opposite of all that. He looks like an average middle-aged dad from the suburbs and shatters your every expectation. He’s full of joy, competence and confidence. I’m not a dance expert or fan, and I’d happily watch more videos of him, and try to learn a bit from him. My wife would go nuts. If we men were crazy smart, we’d do Fight Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays, then get John to teach us to dance like this on Mondays and Wednesday while our bruises fade, then we’d surprise our wives or girlfriends on Friday nights. Continue reading “Age and size matter not — attitude is everything”