Adam Schleichkorn is my favorite sort of creator — the no-bullshit type who does what he does for the love of the game. It’s like B.O.B. said in his song “Airplanes”:
Ya, ya, somebody take me back to the days
Befo’ this was a job, befo’ I got paid
Befo’ it ever mattered what I had in my bank
Ya, back when I was tryin’ to get a tip at Subway
And back when I was rappin’ for the hell of it
But nowadays we rappin’ to stay relevant
Too much of YouTube’s current content is less about having fun, and more about having a paycheck. Many creators are jumping on the hottest trend, just seeking out the easy views because it’s a low-effort way to make some Adsense dollars. I thought that was the case with Adam, who connected with us over the virality of his Muppets-singing-the-hits-style mashup videos. Initially, I was like, “Oh brother, some creator doing another parody of ‘Blurred Lines’ and ‘Get Lucky.’” His YouTube name is even IsThisHowYouGoViral. But it’s more snark than earnest speculation. Adam isn’t getting paid to do what he’s doing; for him these days, it’s all about entertaining others. And that’s pretty damn cool.
Did you decide to cover “Blurred Lines” because you’d seen other covers of it and recognized its viral potential?
Adam Schleichkorn: I honestly only saw the Cosby/”Blurred Lines” mashup. I really just made that one to follow up my Daft Punk/”Sesame Street” video, and of course, because it’s the song of the summer.
How did you come up with incorporating the Muppets in the first place?
I originally came up with the Muppet idea from a classic YouTube video, where they mixed “Sesame Street” and gangsta rap. But with that said, for years I made videos in this exact style, except I used cats and dogs and music from indie bands, so I always wanted to attempt one that was a little more mainstream. I made a couple other “Sesame Street” ones a while ago which made me realize that it’s much easier to edit a Muppet singing than a live animal!
I notice you had a Revlon commercial play before your vid for the Daft Punk “Get Lucky”/Muppets mashup — how are you able to monetize your vids despite utilizing copyrighted material?
The ads on these videos aren’t going back to me. The song is automatically recognized by YouTube’s content ID program, which then puts the ads on there, and all the money goes to the record label. For years I was a full-time YouTuber and prided myself on only using 100 percent content that I own, but nowadays I finally got fed up of reading articles about how Ray William Johnson is a millionaire, so I figured what the hell. I sat through countless YouTube meetings at their offices, where they would go on and on about not using copyrighted content, yet then show us an example of a successful YouTuber, which always seemed to be a vlogger who used all sorts of material that they didn’t own. I was the first YouTuber to receive national news coverage for my video “Fence Plowing” back in 2007, which then went on to rack up a total of over 50 million views, but since I didn’t do cheeseball vlogs, fellow YouTubers and YouTube employees never gave me the time of day. After a solid two-year period of receiving over 40,000 views a day, everyday, YouTube changed their algorithm, which ultimately cut me down to around 2,500 per day and put me out of business. Long story short, I can now forget about profiting off of these and go back to just creating stuff for people to enjoy!
As for what’s next, I think it’s damn near a miracle that my second “Sesame Street” video received any coverage, so I’m planning on attempting something in a similar format, but with different characters. I’m kinda thinking something along the lines of a 90s sitcom star performing a hip-hop song.