Jonathon Ware, “I Like Turtles”
Jonathon Ware — aka “I like turtles” boy — was only on TV for 10 seconds, yet managed to capture the attention of an entire nation. Nerves kicked in when Ware, dressed up as a zombie, was asked what he thought about his face paint. Like most adolescent boys, he answered in the most logical way possible: “I like turtles.” That video has been viewed more than 60 million times and Jonathon, now 19, and is heading off to college. Though he still gets recognized today, he doesn’t mind reciting the three words that made him famous.
William Hung, “She Bangs”
William Hung wasn’t always a household name, but after covering Ricky Martin’s She Bangs on American Idol, he became one overnight. The video of his performance has garnered almost 5 million views since 2004, and though his pipes didn’t get him to the next round, his positive attitude eventually landed him a two-album record deal. Now, William is an inspirational speaker and business coach.
Sweet Brown, “Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That”
When Sweet Brown’s apartment complex caught fire in 2014, her interview with a local news station ignited the catchphrase, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Afterward, someone created No time for bronchitis, a remix of said interview. That video has been viewed more than 64 million times. Since then, Brown has appeared in TV shows, a Tyler Perry movie, and has gone on to create her own line of T-shirts and barbecue sauces. Her social media accounts have not been updated since 2014, but according to rumors, she still lives in the same apartment complex that made her famous.
Gary Brolsma, Numa Numa
The “Numma Numma Dance” is a video that is known around the world and is arguably one of the first viral videos to have ever been conceived. Before lip-syncing was cool, Gary Brolsma pretended to belt O-Zone’s Dragostea Din Tei, becoming an instant meme overnight. Today, the self-described “shy” web designer lives in New Jersey and is busy making music with his band, posting videos on his YouTube channel, and creating “Numa Numa” follow-ups.
Ghyslain Raza, Star Wars Kid
When Ghyslain Raza shot a video of himself using a golf ball retriever as a makeshift lightsaber, he never intended the video to be seen by anyone. When the video was found in the basement of his high school and released to the public, Raza’s life changed instantly. Sadly, Raze became a victim of cyberbullying, and later opted for private tutoring. Now, he is speaking out against cyberbullying, using his story as an example of how bad it can get. He also got his law degree and still resides in Canada.