At a recent football game, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got excited when one of the interviewers had an “orange peanut” for him. He said: “An orange peanut? For me? Wow! An orange peanut? I accept you.”
I’m kidding, that never happened. I don’t think anyone recalls Peterson asking for an orange peanut, though the Bad Lip Reader interpreted this conversation differently in his latest video giving his take on what he thinks NFL players and coaches are actually saying. The mysterious lip dubber has humored YouTube with his insanely bizarre interpretations of Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” the “Twilight” series, “The Hunger Games” and the 2012 Presidential Debates. In just under two years, the Bad Lip Reading channel has grown substantially and just today, it counted its 1 millionth subscriber.
NMR chatted with the elusive dubber on his significant 1 million subscriber milestone, what Bad Lip Reading fans can expect in 2013 and how he made his latest lip dub on the NFL.
How do you feel about reaching the 1 million subscriber mark? What would you say has helped you reached that level?
Bad Lip Reading: I’m amazed. When I first started the channel, I didn’t actually pay attention to the number of subscribers I had. It may sound naive now, but I didn’t really get that that was “a thing”. I just knew people were watching the videos and seemed to be liking them, and that was cool enough for me. People would sometimes say things like, “Dude, you hit 50,000 subscribers! Congratulations!” and I’d be like, “Oh, is that good?”. I just had no frame of reference for it. I eventually caught on to the importance of subscribers and began to realize how valuable they are, but even then, I never actually thought I would reach the one million mark. It seemed like such a remote, distant thing. Sort of like the way I feel right now when I look at channels with over a billion video views. That just seems inconceivable to me at this point. The million sub thing kind of snuck up on me. I’m honestly amazed and extremely grateful for all the views and support from fans.
I think that my viewership is sort of spread across a few different age groups now because of the variety of videos I’ve done. The original music videos I did captured a primarily younger viewing audience. Then when I transitioned into the political videos, that brought an older crowd on-board and reached a much broader demographic. Moving into recent popular films captured an even larger section of the younger demo who seem to sort of devour the material more rabidly, which is fun. And then, most recently, the NFL video reached a very wide audience of all age groups and really pushed the subscriber count over the top.
What subjects will you look forward to dubbing in your next Bad Lip Reading videos?
I’ll keep doing some of the same things I’ve been doing, but will continue to remain open to anything and everything. I have a couple of new angles and twists in mind that I haven’t explored yet. It’s important to me to keep pushing the concept and experimenting with it. I hope that people are beginning to get the picture that Bad Lip Reading videos might be ANYthing. They’re not JUST music videos, or JUST politics, or JUST movies. I want to keep surprising people. And myself. At the end of the day, I have to be happy with a video when I upload it. I know there were a lot of my older fans that were sort of bewildered by the recent One Direction video I did (“Shadow Pico”), and I knew that would be the case as I was uploading it, because I’d never done one like that before. But I accomplished exactly what I set out to do in that video, which was push the boundaries of the concept in a way that was fulfilling for me. I was personally happy with it, and that’s the only real yardstick I can measure things by.
Tell me about how you came up with your latest viral video about the NFL.
I basically just follow my gut and creative instincts when it comes to choosing which videos to do when. It’s funny, because I’ve known for a very long time that sports would make for excellent Bad Lip Reading, but I wasn’t being drawn to do a sports video yet, so I did other things. Then, for some reason, the second week in January my Spidey-sense suddenly said, “You have to do an NFL video NOW.” I was actually in the middle of doing a totally different BLR video, and I just dropped everything and dived into the NFL. And it turned out to be a good decision. Thanks gut.
On the subject of the NFL, what are your predictions for this year Super Bowl?
I really feel like it’s going to be one of those games where, at the end of it, the time is going to run out, and one of the teams will have more points than the other. And it’ll be pretty obvious that, hey, that team won. I don’t think everyone will be happy about that, though. I predict that roughly half the crowd will be pretty annoyed. But it’s hard to say.