YouTube is around fifteen years old. That’s old for a website and my grainy memory would swear that it was even older than that. The earliest days of YouTube were, aside for the obvious stuff, lawless. There were not advertisers, no big content creators, no scandals, nothing that we associate with the YT of today. “Back then” people would just record stuff for fun and post it. Some of my favorite, “What the hell am I watching?”, videos came from those frontier days. Very little in them ever made sense and it didn’t need to.
Why are these German kids dressed as detectives chasing another kid with a pillow in his shirt wearing a pig nose through the woods? Not important.
Why is this guy dressed in a trench coat and fedora doing a bunch of random shit to Meatloaf’s “Bat Outta Hell”? Not important.
The “why” was never important, the experience itself was the gold. I didn’t know how to word that but let me get back to the main point: one of the oldest and greatest videos that I’ve managed to keep track of over these last fifteen years is “Bum Hand”. Bum Hand is less than a minute long, of pretty poor quality by the new standards of YT’s new enlarged viewing format, has practically no dialogue, and is, by every standard that I hold comedy videos to, completely and absolutely perfect.
Goofy, obnoxious guitar music playing over a sentient bum hand as it wanders the streets and encounters the trials one would expect a bum hand to go through with some zingers thrown in for good measure while a group of disembodied children “Ooooh” and “Aaaah” as if the whole thing were some demented education video about what happens when you don’t do your homework.
My Folder of Old Things, “The fOlder”, has taken a lot of hits over these long years as many of my most cherished finds either pass into oblivion with a channel deletion or get tossed aside in favor of completely rebranding an old page. It makes the few that remain from The Beginning all that much more precious and Bum Hand is one of the Greats.