Dane Boedig-heimer has always loved the notion of bringing inanimate objects to life and imagining how they’d react in the real world. Apparently, he’s not alone. Since uploading the “Annoying Orange” video two years ago, Boedigheimer’s series of pun-filled shorts featuring a very irritating piece of citrus fruit has received more than 800 million views on YouTube, making it the Web’s No. 1 series. Its fanbase on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter has nearly 9 million followers, an audience Boedigheimer chalks up to the series’ relatability.
“Everyone knows someone kind of like Orange who is annoying but somewhat lovable,” he says. “Plus, there’s just something funny about watching someone be annoyed.” Tapping into that comedy tradition has created a burgeoning empire for Boedigheimer that will include, in time for holiday shopping, a line of “Annoying Orange” toys and T-shirts. Boedigheimer has also produced a TV pilot, which he’s shopping to the networks. A DVD collection is in the works, too. “It’s pretty crazy,” Boedigheimer says. No crazier than James Caan and John Leguizamo guest-starring opposite his talking orange.