Who the Frack is “Fred?”


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.


none of your bZ and qZ

They do look kinda smiler but Fred is way more awesome……. don’t get me wrong i like Justin Bieber but he just cant compare to Fred.

 fed is just to awesome Justin is just not....hehe

 And P.S. Fred is not a kid

Agreed. I mean, what’s so great about an eighth grader or whatever making videos, adjusting the voice with some type of software, and putting them up on the internet.

I do have a slight problem… I speak sort of like the Fred character without any voice editting software and I’m hyper and I have been ever since I was seven and now that Fred came out, people think I’m “taking his material” when I’m totally not.

I’m Xavier and I do not find Fred funny…


It’s a really fricken smart ad campaign for this Zipit device – to call it a videoblog or anything else – I dunno – I mean it’s a viral commerical. So to throw him up in the air with all the other independent youtube video makers – doesn’t work for me. This is a marketing ploy – with scripts – and shooters – and paid actors made to look like its some crazy/funny 8th grade kid. The people that don’t get that – are they being bamboozled? Is it a kin to LonleyGirl? Is it made to seem DIY and homegrown – but is in fact fabricated to look that way? Or do you just walk away from it and say – it might as well be a Superbowl commerical – whatever the company that posted it – whatever the product – a million people still think its worth watching.

Tim Street

I’m sure Abigail already has a crush on him and will be making a special video just for Fred.

Watch out Lance Anderson I think you have some competition.


I hope somebody’s getting paid a lot of money for this. I suspect they are. And they deserve it. Like Kent said, this is the best thing I’ve seen on Youtube in ages.

Angela Wilson Gyetvan

Definitely promotional videos. I’m checking with my IM-addict tweener daughter to see if she’s aware of them If she is, then it’s effective marketing.

Interweb TV

It is a rather clever character, goood quality video and A/V editing, somewhat funny, and yes kind of annoying. However I do see why he has become popular. And let’s not forget that the majority of youtube viewers are also “mop-headed eighth graders who talk like Alvin and the Chipmunks”.

So ya see…

Mark Schoneveld

@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.


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?



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:


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?

Aaron M. Clay

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?

Tom Strong

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


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

Matt Enlow

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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