In early 2006, I received an email from my friend and co-worker Pedro Coelho with a link to a YouTube video. The video was one of a series of videos titled ‘Ask A Ninja‘ in which ‘viewers’ wrote in asking all sorts of questions to ‘The Ninja.’ The short three to five minute clips were absolutely hilarious, and as new episodes, or ‘webisodes’ were released, Pedro would continue to send them to me… each one being just as clever and witty as the last. This is how I first stumbled across YouTube.
Coincidentally, Sean Gallo, another good friend of mine had been discussing the idea with me of doing some sort of creative project. I had known Sean since the second grade, and we had both been part of the Humanities program at Council Rock (the schools program for the gifted and talented). Sean and I shared quite the common background in regards to the creative itch, and we both were searching for something… but we weren’t sure what.
It wasn’t long before Pedro and I included Sean in our ‘Ask A Ninja’ loop. The three of us worked together at Cutting Edge Entertainment and would sometimes sit together after a gig mulling over ideas and concepts into the wee hours. We knew we wanted to do ‘something,’ but what specifically we had no clue of. Our think-tank just sat and thunk (or is it thank?), never quite coming up with a solid idea that we all agreed upon.
During one of our dead-end think tank sessions one late Saturday night/Sunday morning another Cutting Edge employee happened to return from a job as we began our musings… and that employee had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Katie sat down with us, and began to rant to us about a date she had just had, and how all men – or ‘penises’ as she called us – were out for the same thing. The three of us naturally felt inclined to defend our gender, but to no avail. Regardless of what defense we tried to mount against her absurd theories, Katie was quick with a retort which not only justified her theory, but was in some twisted way arguably correct. We laughed together for hours trying to shoot down her ideas but no matter what she stuck to her guns.
It was just before sunrise when the three of us looked at each other, then at Katie, asking “Hey Katie… Have you ever heard of YouTube?”
In June of 2006, Pedro, Sean and I, calling ourselves ‘The Big Wheel Gang’, unleashed the character ‘Katie Sah’ on to the unsuspecting internet. Katie was the ultimate misandrist (man-hater) in an internet dominated by uber-geek guys who would come to love to hate her. Katie herself has said that if it weren’t for the ‘haters’ on YouTube, she would never have achieved the notoriety she has attained.
Over two years and millions of views Katie’s antics have become almost reknown. Her love for Kelly Clarkson and The Philadelphia Eagles, her male-bashing hijinx and her backwards fashion tips (“Don’t wash your hair girls, just put baby powder in it.”) are all trademarks of a character – and partially real person – known as Katie Sah, the ‘Poison Ivy’ of YouTube. Katies personae is part of the YouTube sub-culture and will not soon be forgotten.
Katie and The Big Wheel Gang have produced over one hundred viral video clips (vlogs) for YouTube, while also appearing on DIRECTV‘s ‘The Fizz’ as well as doing viral videos for companies like Cactus Tube Amps and Coors Light. The katiesopinion channel on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/katiesopinion) currently has over 20,000 subscribers and is a part of the YouTube partnership program.
Although the katiesopinion project is not officially finished, Pedro left the team in mid 2007 to be replaced by ‘Crazy E,’ or Eric the Drummer. In the summer of 2008 Katie moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, California, and The Big Wheel Gang have gone back to brainstorming…
Factoid: The katiesopinion episode ‘The Philadelphia Eagles‘ which was produced in September of 2006 has the director of the episode listed as ‘Broccolihead.’ In fact, Broccolihead is none other than Justin Guarini, who directed and edited the episode. If you listen closely during the closing credits, you can hear Justin singing the Eagles fight song ‘Fly Eagles Fly.’
The katiesopinion channel on YouTube
If you are interested in finding out how to create your own viral video and optimize its visibility on YouTube, contact The Big Wheel Gang through Cutting Edge Entertainment. firstname.lastname@example.org