The Real Story of the Oldest Viral Video Revealed
The oldest (and perhaps the most-famous) viral video of all time has been around before the term “viral video” was coined. We’ve all seen it more than once: It’s the video of the man smashing his computer monitor with his keyboard, and its original name was “badday.mpg.” The video first gained fame when it started being shared via e-mails in 1997. In those days, the Internet was still esoteric and not something that many people cared to know about. Perhaps you would see a person or two download a nudie picture over a slow dial-up connection here and there, but that was about it.
Guess What: The Bad Day Video Is Fake!
Sorry to break your heart, but I’m sure your heart has been broken a thousand times already. The man in the video, Vinny Licciardi, wasn’t even mad at the time of the filming. In fact, if you look closely, you can see him smiling. A smile alone isn’t proof that it was fake, though — I’ve smiled while fighting, smashing objects in a rage, etc. That computer monitor that you see getting lambasted in the clip was already broken, and the computer case was empty.
The whole scene was staged by workers at a company called Loronix that was developing surveillance cameras with fresh DVR technology. The video was converted to MPEG-1 and put on discs that were handed out to potential clients at trade shows. Vinny and the gang had forgotten all about the video until it was played on national television. The people who created the video have fooled a gazillion viewers without even trying. “Fool me twice, never get fooled again” — George W. Bush.
Mr. Liccardi said, “Loronix would get calls from these companies saying, ‘Hey you know this video of yours is getting passed around, and it’s crashing email servers.'” When the video was first released, it would often take viewers 20 minutes to open and download.