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Series / Virtually Famous

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We promise they're famous

Virtually Famous is a British comedy Panel Show broadcast on E4. It could be compared to @Midnight for the only reason that it is a celebrity panel show about the Internet that started in 2014. From 2014 to 2016 it was hosted by Kevin McHale with Chris Stark (the guy who asked Mila Kunis out to get chicken and watch football during a radio interview) and Seann Walsh. For season 4, McHale was replaced by Chris Ramsey, and Stark by Vicky Pattinson. Season 4 also introduced regular panel member Scarlett Moffatt — the three additions are all Geordies from Im A Celebrity.

The show focuses on current internet memes and YouTube hits, and features various British celebrities and reality stars as panellists, bringing on the Internet famous as special guests as well as the subject of round "Meet The Makers". This round is the only one that has remained in every episode, and it involves guessing which virtually famous thing the individual brought into the studio created. Other special internet guests include having Tyler Oakley as a panellist, and Korean Billy as a score master (something they only had that episode).

The show began airing progressively earlier in the year, moving from summer (2014) to spring (2015) to winter (ending up with two series in 2016 — the third at the start of the year, the fourth starting in December through 2017). The first two series featured regular Shout Outs to Glee, which Kevin starred on, even though E4 (who had once been the British broadcaster of the show) no longer was affiliated with it, until it ended in 2015 — at which point it was never mentioned again. Series 1, 3, and 4 are available on Channel 4's web player.

These tropes are virtually famous:

  • Art Imitates Life: The episode after Trump's inauguration in January 2017 unintentionally mimicked the election a bit: there were more people on Vicky's side, but Seann (who was dressed as Trump) still won.
  • Butt-Monkey: Chris Stark.
  • Catchphrase: "I'm Kevin McHale and you're watching Virtually Famous!"
  • Disability Superpower: The episode with the egg-throwing contest also had Alex Brooker as a panellist — Alex was born with malformed hands and no digits. Kevin said he'd give him 100 points if he could hit the bullseye with an egg from across the studio. He only went and bloody did it (then joked that he'd have his benefits taken away).
  • Egging: One episode used this as a competition.
  • He Who Must Not Be Heard: All the creators brought on in the "Meet The Makers" round aren't allowed to speak at all, lest their voice give away what they made.
  • Instant Web Hit: The reason for bringing in time-topical round "Ramsey's Round-Up".
  • Old Shame: Even if just for humour, Kevin gets annoyed when people mention he was in NLT (and also sometimes Glee).
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Kevin's close friend Tyler Oakley was once a panellist on the show.
  • Punny Name: The name of the show, Virtually Famous, is used to denote that it discusses things that are famous in the virtual - i.e. online - world. Another synonym of virtually is 'practically' or 'saying that it is, but it isn't', leading to mockery that the things aren't actually famous.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Kevin and Chris handing out points as they want.
    • A specific example, in one January 2017 episode after Trump passing many executive orders, Chris decides to parody the President by making an executive order that he can change up what points the rounds are worth — complete with a Photoshopped image of him signing it.
  • Shout-Out: Many, including to the DC Phantom Zone when a video shows a man fall off a treadmill and be thrown off so far he appears to have disappeared and to The Legend of Zelda with a chibi-fied version of Seann.
  • Subverted Punchline: On the show, James Acaster came up with the game "what's under my hat". He hid things that could be found in a kitchen under his hat and each time it was revealed he would make one of these gags.
    "Until next time, keep it [anything but under your hat]".
  • Running Gag: Making jokes about Kevin being on Glee and in boy band NLT.
  • Wrong for the Right Reasons: One episode Vicky guessed that a creator made the video filmed in France because she assessed that he was French. He was French, but he made the cat video instead.