The L.A. Times notes a remarkable achievement that everyone in Hollywood who thinks they know what’s popular needs to acknowledge: Fred, the high pitched and super annoying (in a lovable sort of way) 6 year-old persona of 15 year-old Nebraska teen Lukas Cruikshank has surpasssed one million subscribers on YouTube.
He’s not only the first YouTube channel to hit that amazing milestone, he’s the first to do it by far. Only one other channel has over 900,000 subs and four have more than 500,000. In fact, of the 20 most subscribed channels on YouTube, only three come from traditional entertainment companies of any kind: Universal Music, the Jonas Brothers, and “Family Guy” creator Set MacFarlane.
Fred’s also the #1 most viewed channel of all time in the “comedians” category. Though UMG, Sony Music, CBS, and a few other big media companies can take solace that they’re ahead of Fred on the all-time videos viewed list. Then again, Fred only has 36 videos. CBS has 17,197. UMG has 9,451. The Jonas Brothers have 81. On a views per video basis, Fred is no. 2, behind only the slightly better known hip hop artist Chris Brown.
Regardless of whether you like Fred or not, his success gives new credence to William Goldman’s classic line that “nobody knows anything.” I highly doubt anyone out there could have predicted a hyperactive 15 year-old who makes his voice sound like its on helium would become the all-time breakout star in online video. If it’s your job to developed properties Americans will want to watch on TV or the big screen — or even worse, the Internet — watch Lucas/Fred celebrate his achievement and try to decide whether you want to laugh, cry, or blow your brains out.