Trending This Week: Weird Al, Tiny Ninja Warriors, and the Pizza Diet

July 18, 2014

What a week. The crop of new viral videos on YouTube was so rich, so bountiful, that our eyes bugged out around Tuesday afternoon and still haven’t returned to their normal socket position.

We forge on. This week on the Spotlight channel, we crowned the King of Parkour and paid our respects to the first non-human princess of pop (reality is overrated).

And here are a few other things that caught our meme-hungry eyes:

Weird Al - Word Crimes

Were you a dorky teen who hung on Weird Al’s every schticky pun and parody? Cool, us too. And gods be good, that curly-haired, nasal-voiced icon has endured for decades. He re-emerged this week, releasing a new video every day, including his take on current hits like Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (“Handy”) and Lorde’s “Royals” (“Foil”). We have a major soft spot for “Tacky,” his Pharrell parody (“It might seem crazy wearing stripes with plaid!”), but the web crowned a clear winner with his Robin Thicke cover, “Word Crimes.” The entertaining ode to proper grammar has 5 million views so far, putting it on the map of his biggest hits of all time. Relive the awkward memories in our ultimate Weird Al playlist.

American Ninja Warrior - Kacy Catanzaro at the 2014 Dallas Finals

We’re not regular “American Ninja Warrior” watchers, yet this video had us rooting for Kacy Catanzaro like she was about to win gold at the Olympics–or even clinch the Copa di Mundi (sic). The 5-foot, 100-pound warrior is the first woman to conquer their insane-looking obstacle course and qualify for something called “Mount Midoriyama.” Come for her spidery, superhuman maneuvers, stay for the incredibly hyperbolic commentary (they declare history in the making approximately four times a minute). You go girl.

Suntory - japanese school girl chase #ninja

In other tiny ninja warrior news, we took an exhilarating journey through the Japanese city of Atami with this butt-kicking pair of schoolgirls. The story starts off with some sort of premise (a smartphone pic gone awry kicks off an epic chase through town), but after three-and-a-half minutes of parkour, acrobatics and ninja moves, you won’t know up from down. Check out some more inspiring women in our Girl Power playlist.

Munchies - The Guy who Survived on Pizza for 25 Years

On a more somber note–this guy. This mini-documentary about Dan Janssen, who’s subsisted on pretty much nothing but pizza for 25 years, plays like an Edward Gorey-esque tale for young picky eaters. In other words: scary stuff. We found ourselves engrossed by his fiancĂ©’s gentle crusade to get him to eat even a single mushroom on his pizza and mournful for the moment when he says, while at a Domino’s, “It feels good to be home.” It just goes to show: sometimes a little kid’s dream is a grown-up nightmare.

-- Claire Stapleton