Could that stack of camcorder videos contain the next YouTube hit waiting to happen?
A few recent clips have raised the question – and eyebrows.
Take "David After Dentist." The video of a 7 year-old reacting to the effects of a dental procedure has been viewed just under 6.5 million times since it was posted a little over a week ago.
Then there's "Charlie Bit My Finger," which has stacked up more than 80 million views in a year and a half.
And commercial versions are gaining in popularity too – who can forget the E*Trade baby's Super Bowl spots? And what about the laughing baby that AIG turned into a commercial before it started feeding kids grown-up sounding lines to read?
Speaking of grown-up sounding lines, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's FunnyOrDie.com caused controversy last year with "The Landlord," a sketch that featured too-cute 2 year-old Pearl McKay spouting expletives, demanding rent money, and berating Ferrell. Some wondered if posting the child's acted-out antics didn't amount to exploitation. McKay insists he wasn't exploiting his daughter and claims she was at a stage of repeating anything said to her without retaining it.
The Wall Street Journal caught up with the man behind the "Dentist" video and addressed these concerns:
David’s father, also named David DeVore, says his son was safe the entire time and finds the video very funny. Mr. DeVore says he filmed his son to help ease his fear of doctor’s appointments. “I was trying to teach him that the anticipation is probably much worse than the actual event,” Mr. DeVore said. “This might not have been the right case to give an example.”