HK’s Greatest YouTube Moments
Our fine city in video.
YouTube launched in 2005 and a mere two years later, dozens of video-hosting sites have popped up and the web is rife with home-spun shorts of everything from Bus Uncle to covers of the Backstreet Boys. Here are some of Hong Kong’s best.
Fun on Public Transport
At first the taxi driver seems like any other, spouting wisdom about the English language, peppered with plenty of “fucking, fucking, fucking!” Soon, he descends into complete gibberish in between bouts of maniacal laughter, while the two kids filming egg him on.
A bespectacled young fella refuses to let an old man sit in the empty seat next to him, and calls the police on grounds of hostility from the old man. He also accuses the old man of lacking culture and tells him, “If you had any manners, then I would let you sit.” In the end, the young man is led off the bus to speak to the police and the other passengers cheer.
A man and a woman start screaming at each other when the woman’s daughter takes what he thinks should be his seat. Blows are thrown. The fight ends when the train reaches its next stop and the man gets off.
Fellow passengers yank a chubby guy kicking and screaming off the MTR. He had been taccused of touching the girl in blue (0:20) for the past several weeks on the train, until she finally spoke out and passengers apprehended him. “Don’t film me,” he says as he’s dragged off.
So that’s what it’s like in those tunnels. Relive the horror (actually just people milling around quietly) of the evacuation from a train on fire inside Tai Lam Tunnel on February 14 this year.
Hilarious staged video with three people pretending to play Counterstrike on the MTR. One guy starts yelling at his screen, “I told you there was a ghost! Run! Run! That way!” causing a mother to drag her child away. Poor kid will never get to enjoy the pleasures of online play.
Classic Hong Kong ad for a removals company, and extra awesome for the old guy at the end. They should have more old guys giving the thumbs up in ads.
Everyone loves Chuk Yip Qing, especially the big boss foreigner who pours himself a full glass and speaks some accented Chinese. Ah, the imperial sons of dogs are people too.
The famous ad that was claimed to show a ghost child. Filmed in the woods, the ad featured six kids playing the “train game,” but at around 0:27, an extra young girl with loose hair pops up. The director swore he only used six children, and according to legend, the boy the ghost girl was holding onto died soon after filming.
Nowadays, Pepsi might be shilled by teen princesses, but way back when, they had enough street cred to be associated with one of Cantopop’s founding fathers, Leslie, 32 when he shot the ad. Plenty of 80s synths and oversized suit jackets.
Big strong man shoots tiger, saving four fearful damsels before schooling them in the restorative properties of the oil. Uber old-school, with vague sense of patriarchal dominance.
Anita Mui shills for a watch company in a romantic, old-glamor sort of way.
The school gets schooled by the Bruce, naturally.
Bruce Lee fights Kareem in this clip showing off his martial art, Jeet Kune Do. A classic.
Edmund Leung’s song lamenting a lost love is covered a capella by British Cantopop singer wannabe Kemis. He says later in an interview that he always wanted to be a Cantopop singer since 16 so he started to learn the lyrics with the help of a Chinese-English dictionary. At the end of the day he even got himself a Chinese name – meet Law Kai-ming, our new Cantopop sensation.
Stephen Gan, the “White Flower Oil Prince,” is in charge of a local embalmment company famous for its, duh, white flower oil. He might be a businessman, but he loves to perform – he sings all of the songs for his company’s jingles and appears in most TV ads. Hey, there’s a reason he’s the prince.
Another hilarious video from the Backdorm Boyz, who have quite the back catalog by now. Love the roommate, sitting as always in the background, computering away.
A hilarious Cantonese dub of the Cinderella ‘toon, where Cinders and her fairy godmother engage in a lengthy exchange about barf and the Prince is a gigolo.
The whole reason for camera phones. A homeless man, naked but for his boxers, a belt and a witch’s hat, directs the traffic on a busy intersection in Sheung Wan, in time to the Star Wars theme song.
A kid dances outside an MTR station in Mongkok, incorporating hip-hop, popping and a little bit of tai chi.
In a Chinese variety show, Cantopop star Yumiko Cheng Hei-yee performs on the trapeze. Her partner grabs her by the legs. Her leggings slide right off and Yumiko plummets face first into the safety net. Yowza!
Accountants try to sell the sex in accountancy by grooving to ghastly R&B beats and rapping about “the ‘Tute.” A Victorian grandmother would be more down with the kids.
A loutish, uninvited Jackie Chan grabs the mic during Jonathan Lee’s concert and tells the audience they’re annoying, then swears at them. He then joins Lee for a duet, but only after stopping the music once, saying “I forgot the lyrics. Come again.” In a later video, he issues a public apology, saying that people see him as a saint and he will try to behave like one. When the reporter eagerly agrees, he cuts her off and repeats the statement.
A surprisingly fresh-faced Jackie lectures on rising Aids cases in Hong Kong. For some reason, there are numerous scenes of Jackie crashing through glass panes and running from burning buildings. Because that’s what Aids does to you? We can only guess.
Lots of pretty ladies in production lines stringing flowers and operating abaci. It’s black and white, set to Chinese opera and even has a shot of those old-school round-corner TVs with a dial for channel-changer. Retro and sure to annoy a rabid feminist near you.
You shouldn’t need a video to be reminded of our grandparents’ dark age but we bet most of you haven’t even seen this in real life. This one features lots of valuable clips shot in Hong Kong from December 8, 1941 to August 15, 1945, the day when Japanese troops surrendered.
Our new airport might be one of the best in the world but nothing beats old Kai Tak, which has been labeled by pretty much all pilots around the world as the toughest airport to land. See for yourself. Ah, olden times... ■
Baby, I’ll Make You a Star
The Star Ferry has been in so many films, it could be a model slash actress.
It all started with 1960’s “The World of Suzie Wong,” when Richard Lomax met Suzie Wong on the ferry and they arrived at the Central pier together. And when the government announced its intentions to tear down our venerated institution, bloggers-cum-filmmakers flocked to the place to honor it in digital. One clip is a brief history from its inception in 1957, till its demise this year. Another, particularly poignant clip simply shows the very last time the Star Ferry bell tolled. Then there’s footage from last December’s protest when a group of 20 formed a human chain around the pier before demolition was meant to start. Alas... Now most of the clock tower can be found in a landfill in Tuen Mun, while the clock-faces and chimes are in possession of the History Museum and the Star Ferry company. But perhaps the most lasting collective memories were gathered by you guys and put on YouTube. Thank you.