With a global pandemic keeping many people at home but political unrest bringing others to the streets, 2020 has been a year to remember. So it’s not surprising that several of YouTube’s top trending videos of the year were made in reaction to the current state of affairs.
From the Black Lives Matter movement to the US presidential election, some of the videos on the platform's recently released list reflected what was happening in the world while others acted as a distraction, with clips focusing on good deeds to help lift spirits.
The top trending video of the year was a powerful Dave Chappelle stand-up special called 8:46 that dropped on June 12, amid ongoing protests after George Floyd's death.
The 27-minute monologue’s title refers to the length of time police officer Derek Chauvin pushed his knee against Floyd’s neck, leading to his death, in May. The incident triggered a series of ongoing protests calling for reform in policing and the end of police brutality in the US.
This second trending video was Saturday Night Live's take on the first US presidential debate. The show's cold open featured Alec Baldwin and Jim Carrey portraying President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Despite only being uploaded in early October, it quickly became one of the most shared videos on the platform.
Another video to make the list was the first episode of Some Good News with John Krasinski, a web-only series "dedicated entirely to good news".
The first episode, filmed from inside the star's home, is around 15-minutes long and was uploaded on March 29. In it, Krasinski shared heartwarming stories from around the world. It also included a special guest appearance via video link with The Office co-star Steve Carell to mark the 15th anniversary of the show.
Following suit when it comes to good news was We Cant Believe This Happened by YouTube personality David Dobrik, which was uploaded on April 24. In the four minute and 20 second video, he and his friends, known as The Vlog Squad, hand out gifts (including iPads, Xbox, PlayStations and even new cars) to people around their neighbourhoods.
Another video to make it on to the list is Dude Perfect's Quarantine Stereotypes video from April 27. The almost 10-minute video from the American sports and comedy group listed all the stereotypes that emerged during the pandemic, including The New Hobby Guy, Mr Homemade Mask, The Binge Watchers, The Gamer, The Conspiracy Theorists and more.
Here's the full list of the top trending videos of 2020:
1. 8:46 - Dave Chappelle – Netflix Is A Joke
2. First Debate Cold Open – Saturday Night Live
3. We Broke Up. – jeffrreestar
4. I Bought The World's Largest Firework ($600,000) – MrBeast
5. I'm Coming Out. – NikkieTutorials
6. Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters Grand Finale – Dream
7. Ricky Gervais's Monologue – 2020 Golden Globes – NBC
8. Quarantine Stereotypes – Dude Perfect
9. Some Good News with John Krasinski episode one – SomeGoodNews
10. We Cant Believe This Happened – David Dobrik