Josh Lasser’s 10 moments of YouTube happiness of 2014

Welcome to my first ever year-ending top 10 list.

In the gallery below you won't find the 10 best movies of the year or the 10 best videos or the 10 best songs or the 10 best TV shows or the 10 best games.  No, what you have below are my top 10 moments of YouTube happiness. 

All 10 of the items in the gallery are clips placed on YouTube by the producer/distributor/creator of the content in question.  These things range from movies to music to TV to Broadway shows.  It is an eclectic list, but it's a list that ought to make you smile.  It makes me smile every time I watch any of these things, and that's why they're there.

In short, below are the reasons-this year-that I love the entertainment industry and look forward to another year of what it has to offer.

10 – Tyrion's “Game of Thrones” Speech

Of course he was nominated for a SAG Award.  Peter Dinklage is utterly outstanding as Tyrion Lannister, a case where perfect casting meets incredible ability.  And, it's clear from sitting down to talk with Dinklage about the show and where it's headed, that he loves doing it just as much as we love watching.  This moment here from the show's most recent season is a perfect example of just how good he is in the role.

9- “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer

I remember watching the “Phantom Menace” trailer oh-so-many years ago, and hoping against hope that the film would be something special.  Whatever those prequels were (or weren't), there's a reason that Disney is betting big on the “Star Wars” franchise in years to come.   Watch the Millennium Falcon soar through the sky in the trailer and tell us you're not excited.

8 – Derek Jeter's final Yankee Stadium at-bat

Some corners of baseball fandom will tell you that Derek Jeter is overrated.  I suggest you count the rings, count the hits, and count the number of ballots it's going to take for him to get into the Hall of Fame (hint: only one of those is less than his jersey number).  The Captain ended his time in the Bronx in a way that everyone would have hoped and few would have predicted.  Re2pect.

7 – “Doctor Who” Season 8 trailer

The coming of a new Doctor is something special.  How will the long-running series change with a new person front and center?  What new stories will get told?  What old ones will be dredged up?  No, the new season wasn't always perfect, it didn't always fire on all cylinders, but this trailer holds so much promise and so much hope that you can almost forgive it.

6 – Emma Stone and Alan Cumming in Cabaret 

Living in NY, I'm lucky enough to get to Broadway a couple of times a year and when I heard that Emma Stone would, finally, being making her Broadway debut with this show, there was no way I was going to miss it.  It was, undoubtedly, one of the best shows I have seen in years and no small part of that was Cumming as the MC.  He is a genius and spectacular in the part.   If you can see it before the run ends, it is not to be missed.

5 – “Muppets Most Wanted” – “I'm Number One”

This may not be the general consensus, but I think “Muppets Most Wanted” is a worthy successor to “The Muppets” and that the songs in the newest film are better than the ones in the last one.  Ricky Gervais makes a marvelous villainous sidekick and watching him sing with Constantine is a joy.  This particular tune in a toe-tapping masterpiece. 

4 – John Oliver and Pom Wonderful

When John Oliver's HBO series, “Last Week Tonight,” debuted, I am not sure any of us knew just how vehemently Oliver and his team would attack things they viewed as wrong.  One early example is Oliver's rant against Pom Wonderful.  Brilliantly, Pom Wonderful didn't slink away, they wrote Oliver a letter which showed both their amusement and dislike of the original segment.  In a season filled with great moments, Oliver reading that response is one of the best.

3  – Weird Al's “Word Crimes”

One of the first records I ever owned is Weird Al's “Dare to be Stupid.”  Ever since, I have awaited the singer's releases with bated-breath.  When “Mandatory Fun” rolled out with its new-video-everyday campaign, no one was more excited than I.  Not every entry is brilliant, but “Word Crimes” (along with “Tacky”) is a highlight.  It is a moment of the right parody at the right time.

2 – Baymax Fist Bump

The trick with kids' movies is to make them fun for adults as well, and when you end up with an entire family (mine) doing the Baymax fist bump after “Big Hero 6,” you know you have a winner.  My family isn't the only one doing it either, and after the film's release, Disney made the clip available to everyone, whether they've seen the movie or not.  Watch and learn the right way to fist bump. 

1 – James Bond “Spectre” announcement

There are few things in this world which excite me more than the promise of a new James Bond film, and Daniel Craig's time in the role has been a huge success.  The announcement of the film's title at the beginning of December marks a sizable moment for the franchise.  We haven't seen SPECTRE in years and the speculation that we may get a new Ernst Stavro Blofeld on top of the return of the villainous organization as a whole is almost too much to take.  How exactly will it tie back into QUANTUM (if it does at all)?  Where will future films take the SPECTRE tale?  It feels as though the stars are aligning for the Bond franchise and next November we'll get to see where they point.