You remember this, right? Moldovan pop group O-Zone released "Dragostea din tei" in Romania in 2003, and it got really popular when it had its worldwide release in 2004. Then callow youth Gary Brolsma of New Jersey posted a video of himself lip syncing and dancing along to the song. Obviously, because it was 2004, he posted it on Newgrounds. And then, like Hamster Dance before it, it went viral.
Except this was a normal dude in his house instead of an adorable animated hamster. So as with many instances of normal people doing things, The New York Times was curious and ran some articles about "placing on the Internet a brief clip." Reading those Times pieces throws the evolution of internet fame into stark relief. I didn't realize there had been such a major arc, but looking back we are definitely not in 2004 anymore. The Times says, "Mr. Brolsma's performance could only be described as earnest but painful." If only they could have known what the future would bring. Dare to dream that every video posted on YouTube would simply be painful and mitigated by earnestness.