Chris Crocker and the Tale of What Happens After Internet Fame
This week’s issue of V Magazine had an interesting profile of Chris Croker, the YouTube star behind the infamous 2007 “Leave Britney (Spears) Alone!” video, who’s now featured in the documentary Me at the Zoo, which has been getting alot of buzz and publicity lately.
I’m intrigued to see what the fuss is really all about; not only did it get selected for inclusion in this year’s Sundance, but it’s also premiering June 25th on HBO. I’m especially curious since it seems the style of the doc is a somewhat scattered collection of his Youtube videos, response videos, and other miscellaneous Croker material.
Overall I feel kind of conflicted about the idea of a Chris Crocker comeback. On one hand, his interview with V Magazine made it seem like he has some substance and an interesting perspective of what it’s like to be gay and growing up in Tennessee. But on the other hand, while watching his YouTube videos, he also seems extremely narcissistic – me, me, me and more me.
A lot of his content and persona pertains more to the early Social Media internet famous era, when Facebook was still a new platform and most of our time was spent on either YouTube, Blogs, or MySpace. But with a fanbase of 100,000 Twitter followers and over 253 million YouTube views, he’s isn’t completely irrelevant and is well respected within the gay community.
So the real question becomes is he a genius or just another Internet fame whore attempting a comeback? I guess only time will tell. The only commentary and reflection I have is that it seems like the online world is quickly dividing itself between the content producers and the watchers and how your status quo is only based on how many followers you have.
Which really got me thinking — who was Internet Famous in 2007 and where are they today? I found a Forbes List of the top 25 Web Celebs of 2007, and it’s definitely a mixed bag compared to the current top stars of the web. Some are still around and popular like Perez Hilton, but most of their Internet buzz quickly faded away to make room for the next overnight meme.