Unlike most of the YouTube creators you know today, Eric Schwartz aka Suburban Homeboy aka Smooth-E, originally found success on Myspace (yes, that Myspace) starting in 2005 by posting parodies of popular rap videos of the day inspired by Jewish humor and the suburban lifestyle. He admitted that as soon as people started looking for his videos on YouTube, he felt “like the guy who held on to his CDs too long while the rest of the world got iTunes.” In 2009, he released “Parodies Nuts,” a CD/DVD compilation of some of his most popular parody songs and videos like “Crank That Kosha Boy” and “A Milli Vanilli,” which poked fun at songs by Soulja Boy and Lil’ Wayne respectively.
Besides creating funny parodies of contemporary rap and R&B artists, Schwartz has worked as host of a man-on-the-street television series called “On the Spot.” NMR caught up with the bald, bespectacled comedian recently about his involvement with the YouTube NextUp Creator program and how the parody game has changed since he became famous on Myspace.
How do you feel about being selected as a NextUp Collaborator? What are you doing for the project?
Eric Schwartz: Being part of NextUp is a great opportunity. Not only do they give us camera gear, fat bankrolls and private yachts, I’ve learned the Harlem Shake. The key to NextUp is collaboration. So far, I’ve teamed up with several channels in the program, inlcuding EvelinaCutza, Qbanguy, TheNiveNulls, RecklessMike and Shep689.
What do you think you’ll get out of the NextUp program?
NextUp is teaching me how to be more effective on YouTube. YouTube has always been a supplement to my stand-up comedy career, but I can see it becoming a bigger part overall. The hardest thing for me is consistency. NextUp teaches the importance of releasing on a regular schedule, which is hard for me because of my high production value. I am trying to develop ways to adapt to a regular release schedule.
You said in your intro video that you were the #1 most viewed comedian on Myspace. Now that Myspace has pretty much gone the way of the buffalo and has become more music-oriented, how have you translated that success on YouTube?
Yes, I feel like the guy who held on to his CDs too long while the rest of the world got iTunes. Myspace actually birthed my YouTube career, but I stunted its growth. My videos were so popular on Myspace, people would also look for them on YouTube. I had a channel, but I should’ve been taking advantage of its community-building powers by urging people to subscribe, comment and like. I still have more friends on Myspace than subscribers on YouTube, but that’s finally about to change.