THE OTHER VIRAL FEVER
India Today|April 19, 2021
AS SHORT, FUNNY, HOMEMADE CONTENT BECOMES OUR STAPLE ONLINE DIET, ITS MAKERS ARE MAKING MOST OF THEIR NEW CELEBRITY
Bhavya Dore

In early March, a zany coronavirus-themed songand-dance video featuring Jamie Lever, her father Johnny and her brother Jesse collected a million views in two days. The idea to work together germinated several months ago when the veteran comic saw his children making lockdown content. He wanted in. “He was frustrated sitting at home not being able to [shoot] and he was watching me and my brother doing this craziness around the house,” says Jamie, a comedienne and singer. Eventually, it happened. “I knew it would break the internet,” she says.

In the past year, Lever has been experimenting online; toggling between singing, comedy and impersonations, and finding new fans for her work. “It wasn’t planned, but came out of boredom. I wanted to keep myself entertained.”

As artists and audiences were forced indoors, content creators breached new viral highs while a fresh generation of stars was also spawned. From Danish Sait’s antics to Varun Thakur’s struggling actor spoofs to Yashraj Mukhate’s memefied remixes, short, funny online content became everyone’s internet comfort food. “People had more time on their hands, they wanted more and more sources of entertainment,” says Prajakta Koli, among India’s top YouTubers.

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