Shut Up, Little Man: How Things Went Viral Before the Internet

By Adrian Covert on at

Memes and Pop culture virality did not start with the internet. Long before that, underground sensations spread amongst fanboys who poured mass amounts of effort into staying up on mailing lists and trading groups to get their fix of audio and video clips. Prime example: The 1980s craze around a stash of tapes known simply as Shut Up, Little Man.

The tapes were compiled by two San Francisco roommates who recorded their middle-aged alcoholic roommates who fought and bickered incessantly. Soon they became highly-valued among underground traders, and even received a proper release from the venerable Matador records. And now, it's the centre of a documentary chronicling the tale of this phenomenon. [Netflix]