Watching Until I Laugh refers to videos in which YouTubers and influencers watch various supposedly humorous content for a continuous period of time until it makes them laugh. In late July 2020, an edited thumbnail of the video “Watching female comedians until I laugh” gained popularity as an exploitable, with users altering the thumbnail, name and length of the video in that is being watched.
On July 17th, 2020, YouTuber orangepeanut posted a 16-minute video titled “Watching female comedians until I laugh,” a play on the Women Aren’t Funny trope. The video received over 180,000 views in one week and 3 million views in five months (shown below).
On July 25th, 2020, a Redditor D_HANDSOAP posted the first known meme using the YouTube thumbnail of the video (shown below, left), gaining over 1,300 upvotes prior to deleting the post. On July 27th, Instagram user die.schwarze.nachricht posted a screenshot of the thumbnail, gaining nearly 6000 likes in five months (shown below, center).
Prior to July 28th, an unknown Discord user posted an edit of the thumbnail, changing the shown video length from 16:15 to 23:45:06 (shown below, right). On that day, the meme was reposted Facebook group I Don’t Know. I’m Just Sharing (1,700 reactions and 1,300 shares), iFunny (4,300 smiles) and Instagram (30,300 likes). A similar edit, posted by iFunny user Patrick_Mahomes on July 30th, gained over 10,100 smiles.
Following the viral spread of the edited screenshot, it gained popularity as an exploitable, with users altering the thumbnail, name and length of the video in that is being watched. On August 5th, 2020, Twitter user @jojolionposting posted the first known derivative meme, changing the title of the video watched by orangepeanut to “Watching jojo memes until I laugh.” The post (shown below) received over 1,000 retweets and 4,700 likes in four months.
In addition to edits, the video inspired a YouTube trend. For example, on September 17th, 2020, YouTuber Tommylmao posted a video titled “Watching female v-tubers until I laugh” that gained over 608,000 views in two months (shown below, left).