The YouTube Hall of Fame: The Elevator

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Okay, the YouTube Hall of Fame exists only in concept at the moment. But it will one day be a real place where you can visit and receive little guided tours from people who used to be sort of famous. But it has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is here. So NMR: Weekend Edition is bringing you the YouTube Hall of Fame induction campaign. Every time we decide someone is a worthy inductee into the Hall of Fame, we build a case for why they deserve to be there. This does not mean they are in any actual HoF yet, we’re just telling you who we think ought to be in there and why they ought to be in there. Right now, we’re just saying, “Hey! This person, place or thing (yes, places and objects can be inducted — we’re like the Smithsonian that way) is/was an important part of making YouTube into the entity it is and is becoming.

This week’s entry: The Elevator

I’m not sure how the YouTube Hall of Fame will choose to showcase the induction of an elevator, maybe they will just put up a plaque next to the HOF’s actual elevators? But without question, when it comes to YouTube, elevators are the stuff of legend.

Here’s why:

The elevator is one of the most convenient props for pranksters — it has a perception of being slightly dangerous, though they are still the safest form of transportation on Earth. With their doors that slide open, they invoke a sense of mystery, and also they frame up THE BIG REVEAL. Like something out of The Price Is Right, elevator doors retract to instantly reveal some scene or character taking place within. And once you’re inside, you are essentially trapped, stuck for the duration of a trip between floors — or however long someone wants to keep you there.

Some of the best YouTube videos have revolved around using the humble elevator:






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Some notations:

– A clip of a stagnant elevator playing charming music for 10 hours (embedded above) has over a million YouTube views.

– One of the grossest and most bizarre unsolved mysteries of all time revolves around a young woman and a “haunted” elevator.

(The girl was later found decomposing in the apartment complex’s drinking water tank. Ew.)

– A Brazilian elevator ghost prank has 95 million views
– Italy has 850,000 installed elevators, the most of any country
– An office building in Taipei uses double-decker elevators
Vanity Fair recently wrote up a ode to the elevators of YouTube
– People engage in elevator surfing (riding on top of the elevator) and post the videos to YouTube; it’s one of the most dangerous stunts out there (particularly when they jump from moving car to moving car)

Qute simply: the elevator is one of the handiest free props in a prankster’s arsenal. Without elevators we simply wouldn’t laugh as much on YouTube. Also we’d have to carry furniture up long flights of stairs. They definitely belong in the YouTube Hall of Fame.

There is a lot of culture in the zeitgeist that is YouTube, some things will take longer than you want to “get in” and some things that you think are totally deserving will NEVER get in. There is no chronology at play here, only items as we come across them and weigh their merit. That being said:

If there is something you absolutely think deserves to be in the YOUTUBE HALL OF FAME, recommend it in the comments below. And do some article sharing, wouldja?