Charlie Bit My Finger
|This article is outdated. (October 2014)|
|Charlie Bit My Finger|
Harry and Charlie as seen in the video.
|22 May 2007|
"Charlie bit my finger — again !", more simply known as Charlie Bit My Finger or Charlie Bit Me (referring to a quotation in the video), is a 2007 Internet viral video famous for formerly being the most viewed YouTube video. As of February 2016, the video ranks as the 30th most viewed video on YouTube with over 830 million views. This video also won the 2014 VMA's Best motion Video.
The 52-second-long video, which was uploaded on YouTube in May 2007, features two English brothers, Harry Davies-Carr (who is aged three) and Charlie Davies-Carr (aged one). The two are seen sitting in a chair when Harry puts his finger into Charlie's mouth and gets bitten. "Charlie bit me," he observes and puts his finger back into Charlie's mouth, which gets it bitten harder. Harry, who is hurt, says "Ouch" repeatedly and his brother begins to giggle. Afterwards, Harry smiles and repeats "Charlie bit me. And that really hurt."
Howard Davies-Carr, the father of the boys, said the video was "simply an attempt to capture the boys growing up". While watching the finger-biting scene on his camera after recording it, it "didn't particularly stand out". It was not until he transferred the video onto his computer a few weeks later and played it again that he realised it was funny.
The Davies-Carr family lives in England. Howard uploaded the video onto YouTube so that it could be watched by the boys' grandfather, who was living in the United States. He chose YouTube because the size of the video file was so big that it could not be sent by email. Originally the video was set to private and he mentions, "I was just about to remove (the video) before it exploded[....] but once it had (exploded) I had lost control of the clip anyway so I left it." Howard commented on the video: "The clip only went up as I wanted to share it with the boys' godfather. I was naive about the whole YouTube thing. It became viral and once that happened there was nothing I could do. People have sent lovely comments and messages and I now upload a new video of the boys every six weeks."
"Charlie Bit My Finger" had received 2.6 million views on YouTube at the start of February 2008 and 12 million hits in March 2008. In December 2008, it was the twelfth most viewed video on YouTube with 65 million views. In April the following year, the video had received 92 million hits. It became the second most viewed video in August 2009, and took over the title as the most viewed video ever at the end of October 2009, when it replaced Evolution of Dance. As of November 2009, "Charlie Bit My Finger — Again!" had received over 130 million views. In addition to being the most viewed, it was also the "most favourited" and the second "most discussed" video on the website in the United Kingdom. In a May 2009 report compiled by Visible Measures, which measures video hits across 150 video-sharing websites, "Charlie Bit My Finger" was the thirteenth most viewed viral video on the Internet. In 2011, it was surpassed by Justin Bieber's "Baby", Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Eminem feat. Rihanna's "Love the Way You Lie", Shakira's "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" and Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull's "On The Floor", becoming the 6th most viewed video on YouTube. It has since been surpassed by many other videos including PSY's Gangnam Style, becoming the 30th most viewed video on YouTube. As of February 2016, it has had over 830 million views.
As a result of the video's inadvertent fame, the boys gained recognition. Following the video, multiple clips were uploaded by their father to YouTube. They feature Jasper, the third child in the family. Shelley Davies-Carr, their mother, told The Sun in 2010 that "a lot of people like seeing Harry and Charlie growing up and following the family story. They knew I was pregnant with Jasper and now they're watching him grow up." In the same article Howard noted, however, that he has "deliberately kept away from the personal bits. You don't see their birthdays, school plays or things like the first they cycled. All I do is put up one clip every six weeks and an awful lot happens every six weeks." Howard has stated that he will not continue to upload videos of his children when they grow older. He said in 2010 that "I don't know if they'll take it over. I'd like to think they'd have an interest, but it will be their decision." Shelley commented on the success: "Susan Boyle has never had the hits we have had. The video got on to a college networking site in the U.S. and from there it went viral. I think the British accents have helped make it so globally viewed." According to a 2008 interview with Shelley, the boys get embarrassed when they see themselves on television. She also noted that in 2008 they were "shy about their new fame." Howard commented in 2009 that his sons "are now almost legendary. People want their autographs, it's just crazy."
The video's lasting impact was underscored by the Davies-Carr family's appearance as mystery guests on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz of the '00s on 30 September 2012. Among the references to the video includes an episode of the U.S. television series The Office.
In a 2012 interview Howard Davies-Carr discussed the pitfalls of his sons' accidental fame saying, "There are an awful lot of unscrupulous people out there who will try and take advantage of people that don't understand what they have." When it comes to the topic of the boys getting older, the boys' father has reflected, "When the boys get to 18, I'd like them to think back and think, 'O.K., I've got something in my life which is more than just what I was when I did the 'Charlie Bit Me' video."
The parents have passed on invitations to talk shows and on making public appearances in media outlets.
In 2014, during his "After The Oscar's Special" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Jimmy Kimmel enlisted the help of many big name celebrities to showcase some of YouTube's greatest videos. The first video to be showcased was "Charlie Bit My Finger" and was parodied in a video entitled "Bitman Begins" and featured Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and brothers Chris & Liam Hemsworth. Chris played the role of Harry, while Liam played the role of Charlie. The video was a mock trailer for a film featuring the actors. The climactic scene takes place on the roof of a building where Harry wants revenge on Charlie for biting his finger. "Harry" screams the line "Charlie bit me, Charlie bit my finger!" They fall off the roof onto the street below. "Harry" then utters the famous line "Ouch Charlie, that really hurt" while "Charlie" just laughs.
In an April 2015 interview, Charlie said he thought it was "a bit odd that loads of people have watched it." Also according to the interview, Charlie and Harry's parents have made "thousands" from the video through advertising and sponsorship.
It was reported that in 2011 the family made over £100,000 in advertising revenue from the video. The profit from the video was enough that the family could afford to purchase a new house,
Their success has been compared to winning a lottery, a so-called "meme lottery". Since the "Charlie Bit My Finger" video was posted, other videos of babies have gone "viral" on YouTube and the families are monetising them, often making over US$100,000.
At one point in time, their father Howard Davies-Carr stressed that he didn't want to profit from the boys' success but realised that unlicensed merchandise was being sold based on their video. In response to requests from viewers online the family created "Charlie Bit My Finger" T-shirts, mugs and limited edition calendars.
The family signed into a partnership with a video management meme company called Viral Spiral. Viral Spiral, a viral meme video management company specialising in viral videos, has helped place the viral video in meme advertisements for companies like Sprint and helped to create a viral meme brand. There was also news of a web series featuring the boys in the works.
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- Charlie Bit Me online store
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- on YouTube
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