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The world’s first YouTube video just turned 15. These 5 are our favorites

They grow up so fast. Celebrate YouTube’s 15th anniversary with these 5 classic YouTube videos.

Clockwise from far left: Rick Astley, Simon’s Cat, Fandango, David Letterman, and GloZell Green in various YouTube videos. YouTube’s first video was uploaded on April 23, 2005.
Screenshots via YouTube

April 23, 2005, isn’t a day that will live in infamy. But it forever changed our lives online.

On this day 15 years ago, the first video was uploaded to YouTube. That video, titled “Me at the zoo,” now has 90 million views. Not bad!

Shortly after “Me at the zoo” was uploaded, a beta test of YouTube went live. And when the site officially launched the following December, it was already getting millions of views per day.

To celebrate the anniversary, each member of the Deseret News’ Entertainment and Trending news staff picked their all-time favorite YouTube video. Join us as we raise our glasses.

‘David Letterman | Are Those Your Drums?’

For years I laughed at this joke whenever Letterman made it, never realizing it was a recurring bit, until I saw this supercut. (Whether that speaks more to Letterman’s brilliance or my own stupidity, I don’t know.) Letterman loved — and I mean loved — asking musicians if their drums were rentals. And his “Late Show” featured better musical guests than any talk show ever, before or since. Every few months I’ll remember this video exists. Man, I miss Letterman. — Court Mann

‘You’re not even a real journalism’

The best part of YouTube, I think, is it gives us the ability to immortalize moments like this, that may have otherwise been forgotten. In this video, WWE wrestler Curtis Jonathan Hussey, more commonly known by the name “Fandango,” is interviewed by Canadian sportscaster Renee Young. She confronts him about a move she considered a bit shady, and Fandango whispers the world’s best comeback: “You’re not even a real journalism.” A fellow student in Brigham Young University’s News Media program put this video in their presentation. And ever since then, it’s been a humorous and meaningful reminder to strive to be “a real journalism” throughout my career. — Anne Wallace

‘Simon’s Cat’

Cat videos have ruled the internet from the beginning, and YouTube definitely played a part. “Simon’s Cat” might not be a traditional cat video, but it perfectly captures the “cattitude” that people are so drawn to. Anyone who has ever owned or been acquainted with a cat can easily relate to these simply illustrated videos of cats being, well, cats. And, though the “Simon’s Cat” videos started in YouTube’s early days, the illustrator behind them has since grown them into a brand complete with books and mobile apps, which just goes to show the influence that YouTube videos can hold. — Valerie Jones

‘Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up (Video)’

It wouldn’t be a proper list of YouTube videos without one of the most common ones out there — one we’re never gonna give up on. The music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” pops up all the time when you’re surfing YouTube. Sure, it’s been painful to click on a video for the latest movie teaser — a film you hoped was coming — and then see Astley’s video pop up: a time-honored tradition known as “Rickrolling.” We’ve all been there. But still, you can’t deny the hilarity this video brings. Hopefully we never say goodbye to this one. — Herb Scribner

‘Hot Pepper Challenge - Harmonizator’

This YouTube video never fails to bring me to tears — but unlike the poor woman messily devouring a hot pepper in the clip above, I’m talking happy tears. The original video, of YouTube personality/rapper GloZell Green screaming in pain as the cherry she was eating turned out to be a hot pepper, garnered 37 million views. But one musical genius took an already great moment and made it even better, putting notes to GloZell’s cries and transforming her coughs into chords. Who knew a moment like this could be so ... jazzy? Things really ramp up at the 1:30 mark. — Lottie Elizabeth Johnson