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Obama Boy: The story behind the president’s biggest fan on YouTube
Creator John Duarte said he was looking for a special way to celebrate the president’s public endorsement of gay marriage.
A longtime supporter of America’s current commander in chief, the Los Angeles-based filmmaker was just looking for a way to celebrate the president’s public endorsement of gay marriage.
“The idea was actually born the day of,” Duarte told the Daily Dot.
“I started getting texts from friends asking if I’d seen that Obama was pro-gay marriage now. Later that night I was sitting in the audience of a sketch comedy show, and I was like ‘You know what? America needs an Obama Boy.’
“I wrote the song and stayed up till like 3 o’clock in the morning that night. The next day, I started looking for an Obama Boy.”
The process didn’t take long. Duarte called up his friend Justin Brown, a veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade who’s done work for Barely Political and College Humor. The two had worked together before, and Duarte knew full well just how perfect Brown could be for the role.
“I called him up, had him sing the lyrics, and he got the part,” Duarte relayed. “I told him we had to go to a recording studio right away.”
Duarte paid for the studio time on his own dime—”Good investment, I guess,” he said—and started filming just a few days later. He pushed his other projects to the side to get “Obama Boy” out the door as fast as he could.
Since posting to YouTube Sunday, the video’s been a smash hit, racking up over 100,000 views in its first four days.
The biggest buzz came Wednesday, when “Obama Boy” hit the national circuit, receiving attention from outlets like CNN, Fox News, and ABC.
“We’ve been on the phone all day,” Duerte explained. “Our inboxes are full. It’s crazy.
“I’ve heard from a friend that someone we know sent the link to someone on Obama’s video campaign and they replied to him that they were cracking up and thought it was hilarious. I highly doubt that someone in Obama’s campaign is going to contact me and say, like, ‘That video is awesome, bro,’ but we’re huge supporters and hopefully it helps his cause and doesn’t hurt him in any way.”
Duarte said the two plan to let the buzz die down before they start thinking of follow-up videos, but he hinted at collaboration with 2008 campaign sensation Obama Girl.
“I talked to Politico today and I can tell that they want us to do something together with her,” Duarte said. “That’s sparked a few ideas. Justin has worked with the Obama Girl guys on some other sketches beforehand, so we do have a contact and way to get in touch with her. You just never know.”
Photo via YouTube
Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.