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Summary:

Sometimes I just feel so…out of touch. Who is “Fred” and why is he so freaking huge on YouTube? Seriously. He has four of the site’s top 20 videos this month, attracting a total of more than 12.7 million plays. Of the 16 videos he’s posted, […]

Sometimes I just feel so…out of touch. Who is “Fred” and why is he so freaking huge on YouTube? Seriously. He has four of the site’s top 20 videos this month, attracting a total of more than 12.7 million plays. Of the 16 videos he’s posted, only three have not cracked the one million-play mark (and one of those three was just added today).

Watch his latest video and please explain what, exactly, is going on?

So the key to being a YouTube phenomenon is to be a mop-headed eighth grader who talks like Alvin and the Chipmunks and mugs for the camera?

I first learned about Fred from Videogum‘s Gabe Delahaye earlier this month, but the gravity of the situation didn’t hit me until now. Delahaye put it best when he wrote:

At some point in the future, this child is going to be the president of our country, and you are going to be like “wha’ happened?” and the country is going to be like “deal with it grandpa” and you’re going to be like “but he doesn’t know anything about running a country” and the country is going to be like “he is the candidate I most want to LMAO with.”

I contacted Fred through YouTube to request an interview. His response was to send me his manager’s contact information.

Wait, he has a manager?

I called his rep, but haven’t heard back yet. We’ll let you know when we do.

  1. As a film maker who’s seen his videos ignored time and again in favor of cute animals and kids smacking themselves, I understand the frustration regarding Fred’s popularity as well as anyone. That’s why I feel like a traitor when I say, “I sort of get why Fred is so Popular”. I’m not saying he’s not totally annoying or that I actually LIKE any of his videos, but I feel I can understand why young kids (his audience) would. He’s like any other class clown- I saw my peers get huge laughs from the same basic act all the time as a kid. He’s just a goofy, hyper, scardey-cat showing off to his classmates on a global scale. Is that soooo crazzzyyyy? Personally, I had a much harder time understanding the lonelygirl phenomenon than Fred’s. That being said… he is pretty unbearable… now if you’ll excuse me, my programs are starting.

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  2. This is why when people say, “The Internet is going to replace TV” my brain explodes a little.

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  3. fred is genius!

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  4. Make no mistake, Fred cashes in on YouTube.

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  5. Absolutely horribly annoying. What’s wrong with this country?

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  6. Anyone else notice the Zipit? It’s a “Smart Phone” for tweens. Go to their website and they list all the “Fred.” videos as commercials for their device. This is totally aimed at that market and I wouldn’t be surprised if a young hip marketing firm produced this with a young but ADULT actor. Anyway to verify those millions of views as unique?

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  7. Here are some of the FIRST comments on his FIRST video:

    “Even though I’ve seen this almost a billion times, this video rocks! Go Fred. XD “

    “Yay!! My favorite one!!! CANT WAIT FOR TOMORROW!!! “

    “wait is he gonna uplaod all the ones he did on the other channel too>? “

    “So, are you going to upload all of the Fred videos on here? “

    “i saw this vid already on jklproductions account. but i still love the vid anyways.”

    JKL Productions?

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=85203099

    http://www.youtube.com/user/jklproduction

    So, there is a reason why this became so popular so quickly. It’s not new, it is a spin off from another very popular channel that is almost 2 years old.

    Here is their first big hit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjfhIbBBfMk

    So there you go, mystery solved. Is it so surprising that this is popular on YouTube considering the kinds of juvenile comments the site is ridden with?

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  8. That was the best thing from YouTube I’ve seen in a while.

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  9. @Aaron – yeah, I noticed those ZipIt things. I also noticed that those video ads are popping up all over the place through the Google AdSense for video network.

    @Tom – the YouTube audience is international – it might not be ‘this country’

    Nobody here hangs out with 11 year olds anymore, huh? For some odd reason I was researching the Billboard Hot 100 yesterday and saw all the crap they sell to kids anymore – it’s really amazing. But I can see how the YouTubers (avg age 13?) love Fred. Not a big mystery.

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  10. [...] – The Weird World of Web Fame Jump to Comments I really feel for Chris Albrecht over on NewTeeVee as he tried to understand what the hell makes something like “Fred” [...]

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