Until May 2006, 20-year-old Brooke Allison Brodack, a.k.a."Brookers," was working as a hostess at the 99 Restaurant in Holden,­ Massachusetts. After hours, she made quirky videos in herbedroom and posted them on YouTube. Response was so enormous, shekept making more clips, most of them featuring her dancing tosongs, making funny faces, or talking about her life. People beganto post other clips inspired by Brookers. There's even a fanwebsite devoted­ to her, www.brookerfanatics.com.

And then Carson Daly Productions called. The talk-show host was ahuge admirer of Brodack's clips and sensed a market - outside ofYouTube viewers - for her quirky creativity. She ended up signingan 18-month development deal, and then retired from the restaurantbusiness.

Another popular contributor is Smosh, a T-shirt company inCarmichael, California, run by Anthony Padilla, 19, and Ian Hecox,18. The two young men posted a cheap video they made of each otherlip-synching and play-fighting to audio from the MortalKombat game-and-film franchise. It's completely­ stupid, butmillions of viewers watched it anyway, and the Smosh boys quicklyposted another clip of similar nonsense, set to the tune of thePokémon theme song.

I don't understand the appeal of Smosh videos, and you may not,either, but clearly we just don't get it, because in 11 months,more than 21 million people have watched these two clips. ThePokémon video is the second-most-watched YouTube video ever.

But the number-one video in YouTube history, the Mount Olympus of homemade clips, is an unedited six-minute segment of a dancing man from the Midwest. Yes, that's right, dancing. Inspirational comedian Judson Laipply often appears at schools and organizations, and as part of his skit, he does a choreographed dance routine to popular songs by Elvis Presley, the Bee Gees, AC/DC, Eminem, and many others. This clip of a live performance, titled "Evolution of Dance," is consistently YouTube's most-viewed video, and since its posting on April 6, nearly 33 million people have watched it.

Laipply was besieged by media from around the United States. Despite the attention, he has never posted any other clips. But he does say on his website, www.lifeis
change.com, that he's working on a sequel.