Given the immeasurable fervor with which the Internet consumes media, it's no wonder these fine examples of "early" web media have been lost in the churning seas of Internet time eternal. Most of these predate the dawn of YouTube, or at least the YouTube era of the web, and were thus difficult to come by and known chiefly through word of mouth.
  1. Yatta!
    758341f7 db79 4f45 8da5 82b4f3f64935 In 1999, the only way to watch this video was to download it from an MIT student's web space. This Japanese sketch comedy skit seemed 100% legitimate to me and my friends at the time. Billed as a hit music video from a new J-Pop Boyband sensation, Yatta! defied our collective comprehension. Discovering in college that it was, in fact, a parody lessened the fun a somewhat, but nothing will ever take away the magic of those initial viewings in High School Physics.
  2. Kids Show (Wonder Showzen Pilot)
    6f5a412f 55cb 4d01 a32a e5ff07bf7393 Another one of those "is this legit?" sort of videos, Kid's Show was billed as the failed pilot of a new children's TV show created by somebody with good intentions but a twisted notion of age-appropriate content. In reality it was a pilot for what would become MTV's Wonder Showzen, which was something of a relief to learn. Some college friends and I still quote parts of this one today.
  3. Cautionary Tales of Swords
    04db7e5e ceef 4599 a998 93e8a1993bad A Channel 101 classic. The often heralded community of original web series produced many gems in its glory days, but this was always my favorite thing to come out of that site. The video series transitioned to YouTube when Channel 101 did, and was arguably the easiest thing on this list to find, both then and now.
  4. Sockbaby
    B340ed51 100f 42fc adbf edee31cf97b6 See Also: Still one of my all time favorite web video series. Another pre-YouTube gem conceived by some excellent minds that was notable for its unique style of absurdity, loads of heart, and production values that were high for the time and medium, yet still paled compared to those of the big budget movie this series clearly aspired to be.