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Web Monitor

16:47 UK time, Tuesday, 8 September 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

Web Monitor takes a day off from valiantly protecting you from the onslaught of cute kitten content online. But first, we ask if Lenny Henry is full of sound and fury.

Lenny Henry • In the most dramatic relationship since Romeo and Juliet, Lenny Henry is now declaring his love for Shakespeare. The stand-up comic used to be afraid of Shakespeare, as revealed in the Radio 4 documentary Len and Will, which investigated why he was Shakespearephobic. So it is a bit of a surprise that he mustered the courage to play Othello. Henry said in the Times that it wasn't his English teacher's fault - "bomber Nash", nicknamed due to his RAF-style moustache, even took the class to a performance of Romeo and Juliet which drove the toughest boy in the class to tears. Instead he puts it down to location:

"But the words were indecipherable to us, working class from Dudley. If you saw that on the telly you'd switch over and watch Rising Damp. We still didn't think, that's for us."

Wedding Dance• It seems viral videos are in their element in silly season, as charted by the Times' blog Comment Central's compilation of the 10 best viral video hits of the summer. As well as the silly wedding dance mentioned in Web Monitor previously, a highlight is the YouTube video of Hilary Clinton dressing down a Congolese journalist who asked her for her husband's opinion:

"Wait you want me to tell you what my husband thinks? My husband is not the Secretary of State. So you ask my opinion, I tell you my opinion, I am not going to be channelling my husband."

• Web Monitor normally braves the coalfront of constant clicking to give you the best bits of the web minus the cats. But the empire of kittens slowly taking over the internet have to be reported occasionally. Previously WM couldn't resist mentioning the "cute cat theory of censorship" put forward by Noam Cohen in the New York Times. The film Funny People proposed the "cute cat theory of publicity". In the film an amateur comedian gets millions of hits on his YouTube film by putting kitten in the title. This got Web Monitor wandering around the web and sure enough, the theory was confirmed. Whilst Re: Cat Talking, a Translation got over 12 million hits, cat-free comedy film Man Dates A Giraffe had only 700 hits at the time of writing and character comedian survivalist Peter Greves, a kind of northern Bear Grylls, had only 301 hits when Web Monitor checked.

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