I had a best friend in grade school who's older brother would show us things on the internet sometimes. Very early flash animations, funny websites, games, and the like. My favorite was a site called Stupid.com. It was a kitschy gift website that sold strange toys, useless kitchen gadgets, and goofy knick-knacks with snarky commentary (and it's still around today! Though looking much more modern, haha.) The colorful aesthetic back then was so much better...it feels kind of juvenile, but more cheerful and warm. That could just be my nostalgia talking, though. Despite it being primarily a store for adults, there were a lot of fun things on it that would appeal to kids--a jokes page, games, early flash cartoons...You can still see/interact with most all of this stuff using the Wayback Machine, which is awesome. (But be warned, some of the jokes/games are kinda racist in this day and age. Ack...Little me didn't remember that part.)
Fantastc MS-paint aesthetic~
Anwyays, my favorite part was their "theater" page, which showcased some very simple, silly flash animations. I'd say that those little cartoons were my introduction to internet humor. My favorite one was called "Stupid Potato Story"...
Such a masterpiece!
God, the nostalgia still hits me like a wave, watching these animations. (The Escalator and the Maynard shorts are also fantastic, and still make me laugh today!) I could recite these from memory so well--so much so that it upset my Mom, who was terrified of the internet and all of its unknowns at the time. "Why is she spending so much time on a website that calls itself stupid? It can't be a good influence," she'd demand to my Dad. Someone told must have told my dad about Homestar Runner, because that's what I'd be allowed to watch to satisfy my cartoon craving. (Which is also amazing, can't complain about that, haha)
I kind of wish I could have bought some of the silly toys they sold, considering how much time I wasted on there...I distinctly remember wanting this talking brain doll, for whatever reason, lol...but even if my parents didn't approve, it was a fun introduction to wasting time on the internet.