Have you seen the Kid President videos yet? They've struck a chord in this political season. These tongue-in-cheek addresses feature a handsome young boy dressed in a suit who says wise things and dances at the end of each offering. Since the self-appointed president surfaced online several weeks ago, the videos have gained a sizeable online audience.
The clever send-ups are the work of Brad Montague of Somerville, Tennessee, and his brother, Robbie. Brad is a comedian and musician who also runs the nonprofit, Love in Stereo. The two have worked on a variety of projects together, including a CD of songs. The genesis of the presidential series was simple, "I got the idea to dress him up in a suit and demand things because that's his natural thing," says Brad. But it was also in response to the opinionated political posts he was seeing on Facebook.
"I thought someone needs to say something about this. So I was trying to make him subversively wise, to include a nugget of truth, because when you're hearing it from a kid, it makes it more profound."
At age 8, "Robbie is super goofy and silly all the time but also very opinionated. He's pretty good at knowing what he wants and how he wants the world to work."
"I'm not in a party, I am a party."
The second video was up on YouTube for several days before suddenly going viral, showing up first on popular blogs, and then being picked up on more heavily trafficked websites like Comedy Central, The Chicago Tribune, and Huffington Post.
"It was a complete fluke," says Brad with a laugh. "We were just playing around doing something funny to show our family and friends. The first episode got like 2,000 views. After the second episode, I looked at the links and realized they weren't family members, so then it became a game to figure out where they were coming from." It's now received more than 75,000 views.
In addition to being funny, Brad has a higher calling: to make the world a better place. The creation of the Medal of Awesome is something he plans to give to people the two admire.
"If it doesn't make the world better, don't do it."
The first one went to cartoonist Pendleton Ward, the creator behind one of Robbie's favorite cartoons, Adventure Time, on the Cartoon Network. Brad was able to connect with the artist and set up an interview on Skype. Ward played along, pretending to receive his medal live as they spoke. Robbie was in awe.
Brad doesn't know where the series will lead them, but he'd like to create a campaign kit to help fund different kids projects. "I'm amazed that this worked. I've got tons of ideas. Ultimately, it's the power of a kid's voice. When Robbie and I get together, this is what happens." • To see the latest video, go to kidpresident.com