The first viral video


Where were you the first time someone sent you a link to something and said, “you have to watch this!”? Of  course you clicked it, because you trust your friend’s taste and want to share in the excitement with them. You watched it and liked what you saw so much you sent it to two other friends. What was that video? Where were you? Why did you share it?

Before YouTube existed I made a lot of silly videos with my friends. We didn’t have anywhere to post them so I uploaded a video file to a server and sent an email to colleagues at work who then sent it to a few more colleagues. It didn’t go much past that point (Those videos are out there, you can easily find them yourself 😉 ).

One of the first videos I remember people at the office sharing around on something called YouTube was a video of two Chinese guys sitting in their dorm room lip-syncing to The Backstreet Boys’ hit “I Want it That Way”.  You have to watch this!

(This doesn’t appear to be the original 2005 upload. I have no idea where that is)

What was YOUR first viral video experience?

Here is my own first “viral” video. It was featured on the then hand-curated front page of YouTube in 2006 (somewhere I have a screenshot). This page slowly cycled through hand-picked staff favorites throughout the week. I think my video was up there for a few days. Back then a video like this one with 60k+ views was considered “Viral”!

“Trainwreck” (starring my roommate Chris).
Music: Theme to “Magnum P.I.”
Shot on a Sony Mini-DV



Hamster Wars – Star Wars With Hamsters


obi wan hamster from hamster wars by keith hopkin
It’s that time of year again for another Star Wars feature. But before watching Rogue One in theaters catch up and see where it all began in this hamsterized version of Episode IV: A New Hope. Starring the amazing hamsters of the Westchester Rescued Hamster Haven. Enjoy!

Hamster Wars

Video by Keith Hopkin & Laura Vitto
VFX by Loris Ravera & Peter Carlson
Music by Tommi Kelly
Additional Illustrations by Bob Al-Greene

Hamster Skywalker from Hamster Wars by Keith Hopkin

The force is strong in this one

4 Videos, 1 Couch

I hate waste especially if I know something can be used for a future video. Should I throw away the couch I just used for one video? Should I throw away this new Tiffany lamp and side table? Thankfully I am only talking miniatures!

When I built a small hamster-sized set last year for a Friends “Central Perk” video I acquired some small dollhouse furniture at a shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of these items was a cute brown two-seat couch. I never thought I would repurpose it so heavily. Here is how I used it in four different videos.

1. Hamster Friends

The  “Central Perk” coffee shop centerpiece is an ugly, fuzzy orange couch.

Friends Central Perk

So I took my new tiny brown couch…

Hamster Friends Couch

And painted it orange!

After the shoot this small furniture set sat near my desk for many months , sometimes giving a place for  mini Fox Mulder and his Mario Bros. friends a place to kick back and have a drink after a long day of conspiracy hunting.

Fox Mulder on Couch

2. Hamster Things

Back in September I decided to recreate the now-iconic lightbulb filled Byers living room of Stranger Things. Their couch is more or less a light brown and had blanket and pillows thrown on it.

Stranger Things Season 1 Byres Couch

So I painted the orange “Central Perk” couch back to brown:

Hamster Things, Stranger Things Couch
My Mashable colleague Laura Vitto drew yellow lines on  a paper towel for the blanket and I gotta say it worked really well!

You can watch Hamster Things here.

3. Hamsterfeld

I recently recreated Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment in Seinfeld. One of his couches was somewhat of a  blue fabric. So I took the same couch from “Hamster Friends” and “Hamster Things” and painted it over once again for “Hamsterfeld“:

hamsterfeld couch by keith hopkin

What’s the deeeeeal with couches??!

4. Hamster Yule Log

And finally, here’s the same pre-painted one-seater from all of these videos that appears in “Hamster Yule Log”. It’s a 12 minute video you can throw up on your big screen on loop while you enjoy the holidays!

You can watch that one on a 4-hour loop here!


Hamster Yule Log by Keith Hopkin

Special thanks to the Westchester Rescued Hamster Haven for providing all of the talent to use all of this tiny furniture!

Where will I use this couch next??!!

Keith Hopkin Behind the Scenes with Hamster Friends

100 Years of Pomeranian Beauty

100 Years of Pomeranian Beauty in 60 Seconds by Keith Hopkin

Quincy came by the Mashable studios again. This time she demonstrated the past 100 years of Pomeranian beauty. (Hint: Pomeranians have always been cute.)

Watch now and follow Quincy on Instagram and she will love you forever 🙂

Video by Keith Hopkin  & Laura Vitto

Have you had enough cute?  Watch this little rescue hamster from the Westchester Rescued Hamster Haven show us a thing or two about hamster beauty standards throughout the decades.  You’ll never believe what happens next!

Video by Keith Hopkin


Seinfeld Things

As I was dismantling the last bit of my “Hamster Things” set I decided to mash it up with my “Hamsterfeld” set and take a photo. I give you SEINFELD THINGS:


Seinfeld Things