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Summary:

We told you about the Fred web phenomenon last week. Now’s your chance to meet the man, err, boy behind the high-pitched YouTube domination. “Fred” is actually 14-year old Lucas Cruikshank, and while age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, these other stats might impress you: According […]

We told you about the Fred web phenomenon last week. Now’s your chance to meet the man, err, boy behind the high-pitched YouTube domination.

“Fred” is actually 14-year old Lucas Cruikshank, and while age ain’t nuthin’ but a number, these other stats might impress you: According to Cruikshank’s rep, Cruikshank and his two cousins made a total of $14,000 on YouTube for 7 million video plays on non-Fred projects during the month of February. Cruikshank did 23 million video plays in May on his own with Fred, which at the previous rate would earn him $46,000. (What did your paper route earn you?)

UPDATE: Cruikshank’s rep contacted me to update some of his data. The $14K actually included some of the Zipit money. So the projections for May will be different, and also dependent on how many people click on the ads.

Yes, Fred pimped the wireless device Zipit, but the character isn’t just some shill created by an ad agency. This was a five-figure deal in which Fred was supposed to do three “viral” videos for the Zipit. Performance benchmarks were set with bonuses paid out for when these spots hit 500,000, 1 million, 1.5 million and 2 million plays. Fred hit all those with the first video in the first week.

Cruikshank agreed to answer a few questions via email about his Internet stardom and his future plans.

NewTeeVee: What has changed for you now that you’re famous? What’s it like going to school for you now?

Lucas Cruikshank: Going to school is still pretty much the same thing. I mean, I’ve known all of my classmates and friends before I started making the videos so they don’t treat me any differently. Whenever I’m outside my hometown now, I get noticed by lots of kids. It happened in LA at my very first audition back in February –- I was at Fox Studios for an audition and other kids waiting in the casting office started raving about my vids, which was weird because they all had these Hollywood resumes I was dying for, and mine was pretty much a blank piece of paper — and they’re asking me for my autograph! I was just in Iowa for a dance competition and went to an amusement park, and a gaggle of kids followed me around asking for my autograph and to take pictures with me. It’s kind of surreal; I keep wondering why’d they want my autograph?!

NewTeeVee: Where did the idea of Fred come from? What do you want to do with the character?

Cruikshank: Two years ago my mom bought me this new video editing software as a gift, and when I was playing with it I realized it had this effect to make a voice sound all squeaky. I thought it sounded hilarious, and came up with 6-year-old Fred and posted “Fred on Halloween,” which was kind of a tongue-in-cheek way of poking fun at people on YouTube who post video blogs showing and talking about everything they do. I actually hated “Fred” at first and at one point wanted to kill him off, so I sure understand why there are people who don’t like Fred and find him annoying. Fred IS the person you wouldn’t want to be around in real life because he’s annoying, but he’s also got heart and vulnerablility, which is part of what I think draws the fans to him too.

NewTeeVee: I heard that you release new episodes on Thursdays for a reason. Can you go into what your strategy is to get the biggest audience?

Cruikshank: With JKL we used to post videos on Sundays, but May 1st, the FRED launch date, fell on a Thursday, and NBC used to have their “Must See TV” Thursday night line-up that got all that Friday water-cooler buzz, so I liked the idea of posting FRED episodes as schools were getting out Thursday afternoons. My strategy isn’t just to get the biggest audience; it’s to get a loyal audience.

NewTeeVee: What do your parents think of the whole thing? I mean you refer to your dad as being in prison and your mom isn’t shown in quite the best light.

Cruikshank: They’re really supportive and think [the videos] are hilarious. That said, obviously Fred’s parents aren’t based off my real-life parents, haha.

NewTeeVee: Do your siblings get jealous of your fame and money? If so, what do they do?

Cruikshank: No, I have an extremely close and supportive family, and they think it’s really cool. Also, whenever I make a new video, they’re the first people to see it to make sure it’s funny enough.

NewTeeVee: Who are some online people, or what are some online series that you like?

Cruikshank: I love The Onion videos, those are amazing.

NewTeeVee: What do you wish YouTube offered or did differently?

Cruikshank: I think they’re doing everything pretty good. There’s nothing I’d really want to change. I think the social networking capabilities on the site could be improved, but it really wasn’t designed for that.

NewTeeVee: The editing is really quite good on your show. Do you do all of the work? How did you learn or what were your influences in putting your videos together? How long does each episode take for you to make?

Cruikshank: Thanks! I do everything myself –- writing, directing, editing, camera. It’s not because I’m a control freak, though, lol. I basically taught myself; I mean with the instructions manual and everything it wasn’t that hard to get the videos to look/feel the way I wanted them to. Editing usually takes about two to three hours, depending on the effects I have in the video, and filming is usually a 30-minute deal where I just kind of have the thread of the story beats in my head and improv everything from there.

NewTeeVee: Do the comments people leave impact you? They can get pretty mean. Do you pay attention to them?

Cruikshank: The mean comments don’t impact me. I focus on the people who like the videos because at the end of the day, those are the ones who I’m making these for anyways. I get 800 to 1,000 emails a day and they’re from people who write how their day was miserable so they watched my videos and were happy, and who write that I’ve inspired them to make videos, and, a lot of emails after Fred on Father’s Day from people who, like Fred, don’t have fathers in their lives and appreciated the video’s heart. I don’t worry about the negative posts because my fans are very protective of their FRED character and they pounce on the “haterz’”with a fury that boggles and impresses me at the same time!

NewTeeVee: What’s next for Fred? What’s next for you?

Cruikshank: When the first FRED season wraps next week I’m headed back out to LA for more meetings and auditions, etc. I’m an actor so I’ve been pursuing movies and I have some TV series ideas to pitch too.

NewTeeVee: How do you feel about advertising? What’s your position? Do you worry about getting kids to buy more stuff?

Cruikshank: The Onion has the best videos online imo and I certainly think they should be compensated for that. If their arrangement with sponsors or advertisers allows them to keep putting out content like that where the viewers don’t have to pay per view or to download it, I’m not sure how that’s a bad thing for anyone. As for kids buying more stuff, I am worried. It’s a tough ecomomy and I hope that doesn’t prevent kids from buying all the FRED merchandise they’ve been asking for!

  1. Nice scoop. First Fred interview I’ve seen since his ascendance.

    I believe a 14-year old would say “imo” but not “Friday water-cooler buzz.”

    40 may be the new 30, and 60 the new 50, but 11 is the new 18, and i feel old.

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  2. [...] and the medium in which has struck the most recent viral lode. Read the whole NewTeeVee interview here. “NBC used to have their “Must See TV” Thursday night line-up that got all that Friday [...]

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  3. [...] is now everywhere, being interviewed on NewTeeVee and receiving a write-up on such esteemed websites as The LA Times and of course [...]

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  4. [...] recently did an interview with NTV, where he confirmed that he made a total of $14,000 on YouTube for 7 million video plays (in [...]

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  5. [...] is similar to another teentrepreneur on the other side of the camera, 14-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, who’s high-pitched “Fred” videos not only dominate YouTube but have pulled in a [...]

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  6. How can anyone NOT like this kid??? He’s clever, thoughtful, and creative. And unlike the other YouTube phenomenons with which he is constantly and unfairly lumped, Lucas has created something unique and enduring. I sure hope he manages to make it. I, for one, am a fan.

    http://therecshow.com/2008/06/19/i-love-fred/

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  7. [...] maintenant les auditions, déterminé à se tailler une place de choix dans le monde du showbiz. En entrevue à NTV, il confie avoir voulu tuer son personnage de Fred au début de sa carrière et trouver fort drôle [...]

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  8. i LOVE LUCAS!

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    1. shut up i love him more like this ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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  9. Omg thankz so much for posting this article! Im like a Lucas finatic!! (not only Fred) i think he is amazin! I cnt believe tho in one of his broadcasting vids he said he didnt feel famous, and he saiud he wasnt famous. He is definately making his way up the fame-ladder, and is doing great at it!!! I wish the best for him!!!! (and by the way lucas is only 1 yr older than me, so thats a plus!) All my <3,
    -Ali

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  10. [...] User Data to Viacom If you wanted to keep your obsession with hyperactive YouTube phenomeon “Fred” a secret, you’re in for some bad news. A federal judge yesterday ordered that records of [...]

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  11. Lucas is the type of reason we made fanflows. You can’t monetize on YouTube, but assetbar lets you send twitter-style messages to your subscribing fans for a monthly fee. Win. win. Now I have to see if it works with that Zipit thing.

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  12. [...] Last week, Andy pointed to a series of YouTube videos about a character named Fred, writing: LA Times on YouTube’s Fred — insanely popular with tweens, he has 242k subscribers and a sponsorship deal; here’s an interview. [...]

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  13. you fuckin rock man !! i love you

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  14. I LUV FRED/LUCAS!!!

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  15. I LUV LUCAS !!!!!

    HE IS MY IDOL !!!!!!

    YAY !!!!!

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  16. u rock lucaas im a big fan cant wait to c the video when u find your mom on youtube c ya

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  17. hey u rock lucas i love your videos big fan cant wait to c the video when u find your mom and yes my real name is sunshine well c ya

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  18. wow lucas is really getting famous. he’ll be in a movie or have his own TV show in no time!

    luv ya lucas :]

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    1. lucas is a litte cute but not so much!!!lol!

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  19. hey! fred i love you! seriously i do! please mail me at… im not telling you! LOl but please visit my youtube its called webshows101! ITS HILARIOUS! anyway bye bye fred! love you!

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  20. wow, lucas is really in a busy life. i live in pender, nebraska, which is only about 45 miles from were he lives. my friend, caleb, his cousin told him, and he told me, so now i’m wondering if i’ll ever see him at the columbus waterpark!

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  21. IMO I think that Fred is a great character and that JKL Productions vids are pretty good! Lucas will be a pro actor in no time!

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  22. oh my god, i love you Lucas! you are so hot and funny!

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  23. Hi! I am one of Fred’ s # 1 fan! I saw the 94 videos of JKL PRODUCTIONS and the 19 videos of Fred I thinkhe is a very good actor, seriously! I have never watched all the videos of a creator except for him, I find it dull that I live in Canada! =D I would like to meet him! I do get my video inspirations from him and his videos do make me smile! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK Lucas Cruikshank, I BELIEVE YOU WILL BECOME A STAR! =D KEEP HOPING AND WORKING HARD, IT WILL HAPPEN SOON OR SOMEDAY, FOR ME, THAT’ S FOR SURE! =D

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  24. M eand my friend have been making some shows as well on youtube and the first person to show me Lucas’s videos was my best friend Nicole (Toni). Since then I’ve been influenced by the stardom that Lucas has gained and I also live in LA so I pass by the Nickolodeon Studios like every day on my way to school and I start to wonder if Lucas could meet us some time when he comes here to LA. I’ve also always had thaoughts of what it would probably be like if I was in a show like Lucas is doing in ICarly. And I’m the same age as Lucas so it really makes me eager and curious what its like to be a Youtube phenom like he is!
    I also think he’s pretty HOT!
    Lucas really makes me want to strive to stardom!
    He’s 1 in 1,000,000 to do this and I want to be 1 of those million too!
    I play Athena in our videos!
    our channel is Tiedyeandskully!

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  25. [...] terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we know that the 14-year old Cruikshank has made a pretty penny from previous sponsorship [...]

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  26. [...] the first public appearance by “Fred,” a.k.a 14-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, a.k.a. the biggest thing on YouTube. We are also adding speakers spanning the topics above, in the hopes we can top last year’s [...]

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  27. [...] regular de mini-episodios, así que colgamos su primera temporada completa por aquí, puedes leer una entrevista (en inglés) que le hicieron en NewTeeVee por aquí o ver un par de (mini) episodios de su segunda temporada a [...]

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  28. I love lucas. He is the best. He is also added to my “cute boys” list. I love him more and more everyday! <3

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  29. Lucas rocks ;)

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  30. fred/lucas you rock every time im sad you always can make me laugh! love ya ur hot

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  31. [...] revenue through YouTube, Cruikshank gets outside sponsorships. Wireless device company Zipit paid for placement in three viral Fred videos, and bigger companies are hopping on the Fred bandwagon as well. Walden [...]

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  32. omj…..fred is halirouis…..but extremlly anoying even lucas the creator thinks so…he does cher me up….but lucas is kinda nasty….

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  33. Oh my gosh, the FRED videos are hilarious! It always makes me laugh to watch them. The real Lucas also sounds like a really good person and it’d be cool to meet him one day!

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  34. lucas!you are the funniest thing ever! does the fred character annoy you at all?? in your videos i notice alot of farmland , do you live in the country? any way i have the biggest crush on you!you crack me up!

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  35. Hey Fred,
    I think your very cute, funny, hilarious, and really HOT. I love your episodes because after school I’ll usually feel gloomy, and when I watch your videos it makes me laugh that I want to pee in my pants. Well I hope you keep on making FUNNY videos and I don’t think your weird, like some kids say in emails, I think your a great guy that people would like to hang around!!!! well BYE see ya!!!

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  36. YOUR AWESOME AND REALLY FUNNY LOL!!!!!!

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  37. hay Fred luv ya

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  38. OMG !! i luv ur videos!! ive been watching them and i wish i could totally meet u but i no that its like saftey required so i cant …watev…luv ur shows !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!<<<<333333

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  39. fred is FUNNY i dont care what anyone says hes the FUNNIEST thing on the web hes very very very very very very HOT! I MEAN HOT AND FUNNY! what more could you want?

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  40. Fred is so cool !!! His videos are awsome! I think they are funny. Fred is cute!I don’t care if Freddie on icarly says “u are not funny”.I still think u are hot and the greatest person in the world.I really like ur website.U rock! You are so hilarious that one day,i was watching u and I acually pead my pants it was so funny ! Anyways,I have a big,huge crush on u.Well I have to go so,see ya.

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  41. hey love your vids and if you do become an Actor mabye we can meet sometime in the future because thats what im going to be. Peace out home dog lol!!!

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  42. [...] The reality is that product integration and branded content deals already get cut without the help of fresh-faced startups. The brand content group at leading interactive agency Digitas, for instance, hooked up Holiday Inn Express with The Smart Show on blip.tv and Starburst’s support for Next New Networks’ Nite Fite. Talent agency CAA kicked off its own efforts in the online product placement space back in June 2007 by hooking up Neutrogena with lonelygirl15. Meanwhile, content creators and studios are regularly going out there and cutting these deals themselves, such as Katalyst Media’s KatalystHQ and Cheetos, and YouTube’s “Fred” and Zipit. [...]

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  43. [...] there and cutting these deals themselves, such as Katalyst Media’s KatalystHQ and Cheetos, and YouTube’s “Fred” and Zipit. One brand-content matchmaking startup we covered in the past, Trendessence, has already told us [...]

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  44. Fred (Lucas Cruikshank) may I have your e-mail so we can be close friends? I’m your biggest fan ever!

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  45. i llove fred, hes so hacken funny, my cousin lindsay showed him to me and i laughed out loud, ur so cool!

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  46. wuts his email

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  47. u rock

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  48. OMG! I LOVE FRED!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 i CAN’T BELIEVE HE MIGHT BE READING THIS RIGHT NOW!!!! Some might call me a freak for him!!! BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE I LOVE FRED! Everytime I am sad… or bored I go on youtube, and type in fred then the laughing begins! I just can’t believe some things can be SO FUNNY!!! I LOVE FRED!!!

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  49. Fred is not just funny but hilarious! he is a comical riot just waiting to happen! I LOVE FRED!!!! BEST EPISODE EVER WATCHED=fred loses his meds lolz!!! YOU ROCK MY SOCKS FRED!!!!!! Never stop doing what you do, its a very good talent that should continue to be shared with the world!!!! <3 FRED RULES!!!!!

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  50. [...] asked for comment, Lucas Cruikshank, the Nebraska teen who plays Fred (and was a hit at our NewTeeVee Live Conference last year) sent [...]

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  51. [...] y a deux jours la chaine dédiée à ce programme mettant en scène Fred (as Lucas Cruikshank) un gamin complètement déjanté qui raconte sa vie face caméra a dépassé le million [...]

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  52. lucus/fred you are the funniest person on youtube. When i come home from all the drama at school i watch fred looses his meds. it makes me laugh. my fav part is when you laugh like crazy. if you can it would be cool to make a video about your fans like me and other peeps.
    like fred would say peace out home dog!!!!!

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  53. pie159A.K.A.brianna Thursday, April 9, 2009

    i luv the show when fred gets detention and when he saves the neiborhood squirels . i luv the epeisods when you sing and take pics for Judy.well thats it then

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  54. pie159A.K.A.brianna Thursday, April 9, 2009

    does your mom let you say wat you wanna say? yes or no????????????????????????????????????

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  55. I think Fred/Lucas is wicked awsome. But some of his videos are getting less funny. I don’t know if its that Im getting use to Fred or not. He’s not as Hyper!!!! Its sad.
    Lucas Cruikshank is going to be in CA to meet his fans at a HotTopic store. I would LOVE to go and meet him but I can’t because it’s all the way across the country for me! My sis says “That sucks” an it does, but that’s life.

    I adore and love Lucas Cruikshank….so yeah.
    (I think the word “fan” is stupid)

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  56. i luv fred vids especially the one when fred goes swimming. hahahahahahahaahahahaahahahahahahahha you make me laugh. is judy and kevin real or made up? peace out home dog

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  57. lollipop girl Friday, April 10, 2009

    i think you rock i luv lucus!!!!!

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  58. Kierstin White Monday, April 13, 2009

    hey i am LUCAS CRIKSHANK’S BIGEST fan because hes funny ,sweet and really really REALLY cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and im 13

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  59. OMG I love FRED! Lucas is sooo cute! I was watching it 24/7 the other day and was repeating phrases over and over again! My friends were getting so annoyed!

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  60. I love fred! Lucas is so cute! I wrote I love
    Lucas Cruikshank on my wrist and I totally forgot about it then everyone in my class seen it and was making fun of me! Peace, around the world, for generations!

                            Luv ya Lucas!
    
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  61. fred is hacken awesome!! i love him

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  62. I dont like to be crazy about u but ur cute and fred’s not annoying to me he’s ……… funny hey email me bac just 4 the record i ‘m 15

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  63. Hi, I’ve been trying to get in touch with Lucas to arrange my own interview. I’m assuming you either have an email for him or his rep – any chance you send it to me @ survive.the.net@gmail.com ? I’ll be eternally grateful (and leave a link to this page for you)

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  64. [...] income from his YouTube videos. That includes YouTube partner revenue and money from Fred’s ongoing ad deal with Zipit [...]

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  65. A section of “Fred goes Swimming” is my ringtone! I love Lucas!

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  66. A part of “Fred goes Swimming” is my ringtone! I love Lucas! He rocks! (He’s my screensaver!)

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  67. Lucas, you are soooo hot! I wish you would give me a call sometime!

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  68. [...] a series of rants, lip-syncs and sketches, is run by 19-year-old Ryan Higa. Fred, as we’ve written many times on this site, is the high-pitched brainchild of 15-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, a [...]

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  69. [...] a series of rants, lip-syncs and sketches, is run by 19-year-old Ryan Higa. Fred, as we’ve written many times on this site, is the high-pitched brainchild of 15-year-old Lucas Cruikshank, a [...]

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  70. [...] to tell whether bloggers genuinely likes a product they’re writing about. (Online video stars, including Fred, have been known to advertise certain products during their video [...]

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  71. Lucas your so amazing and cute too i watched every one wellnot every single one but most of them and there so halariouse..haha so yeah i love you sooooo much.

    Always chelsea

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  72. almost forgot im 15 yrs old and i swear im not liein eather im like ur number 1 fan i would totaly risk my life for u because ur so amazing and cute funny and u make me laugh alot haha well yea.xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Always chelsea

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  73. iKidsPlace online store gives users all the tools needed to open their own turnkey online business solution to profit from this expanding market. iKidsPlace are offering a free trial to users with shipping costs of ONLY $1.97!

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  74. u rock Fred and always will
    ROCK ON

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  75. You rock Fred and always will
    ROCK ON

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  76. read please Fred

    PLEASE PLEASE READ

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  77. up there;]

    PS:Im a girl

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  78. [...] Personally, I fall on the latter side — she’s figured out what works for her audience and figured out how to balance authenticity with the occasional shilling moment. And at least we can all agree on this: She’s not nearly as annoying as Fred. [...]

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  79. OMG! how can this loser still be around? Goes to show you the true intelligence of youth today… i feel the future is doomed with ignorance such as Fred, Lucas, WHATEVER, is being supported!

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  80. [...] Liz Shannon Miller Jun. 29, 2010, 4:00pm No Comments       When YouTube star Fred made his first feature film, it ended up getting picked up by Nickelodeon rather than receiving a [...]

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  81. [...] YouTube star Fred made his first feature film, it ended up getting picked up by Nickelodeon rather than receiving a [...]

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  82. [...] have to admit that the trailer, in comparison to the classic YouTube antics that made Fred a star, comes off as somewhat…subdued? Certainly the squeaky voice is much less present. As a [...]

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  83. omg i love lucas sooooo much hes so funny and cute and i have him as my background and i have thousonds of pics of him in my locker!!!!

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  84. I like the FRED GOES TO THE DENTIST one it was the first one I watched and I burt out laughing. I can’t watch it no more because me dad blocked youtube. GRRRR

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  85. OMG i love fred! I hope u
    you dont kill of fred because i dont know what else i could watch on youtube!

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