Friday, August 1, 2008
Chris Crocker is a 21-year-old Internet celebrity most famous for his ‘Leave Britney Alone’ rant.
Crocker has a YouTube video channel where he posts videos which are really "monologues about life" and often deal with what it’s like being an openly gay and effeminate teen in a "small-minded town" in the Bible Belt.
He lives with his grandparents who home-school him after he was bullied too much at school. His grandmother occasionally appears in his videos.
His videos have received over 153 million views on YouTube alone. Although he has produced dozens of videos, Crocker gained the most fame from his viral video tearfully defending Britney Spears.
The video received international media attention, hundreds of parodies, criticism and even death threats.
His strange, over-the-top rant is bizarrely captivating. Mascara runs down his cheeks, and he looks totally distraught as he yells “You’re lucky she even performed for you” He also lashes out at gossip columnists such as Perez Hilton, and reality TV star Simon Cowell, who criticized Britney Spears' onstage music performance at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas.
The video received worldwide attention and earned Crocker interviews on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Today Show, Maury, The Howard Stern Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Ryan Seacrest's KIIS-FM morning show. YouTube named it one of the top videos of 2007 and Wired magazine named it their top video of 2007.
Nearly 2000 people have posted video responses and parodies, including ones by Perez Hilton, Jimmy Kimmel, National Lampoon Inc., Rove McManus, Joe Cartoon and Charles Firth.
Actor Seth Green made a parody to promote his she Robot Chicken. He calls for people to "leave Chris Crocker alone!" Other parodies include one of a George W. Bush impersonator begging people "to leave General Petraeus alone" (a reference to the Iraq War).