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3 Secrets I Used To Go Viral

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So I’ve gone viral AGAIN! (The first time being when I got infected in May, see last post).

More recently, a video of mine went viral on one of the highest-trafficked websites in the world (arguably the universe), World Star Hip Hop! For those unfamiliar with the self-dubbed “#1 urban outlet,” CBS News describes the site as “infamous for posting videos of violent fights and public sexual acts.”  My video was neither AND YET still yielded over 200,000 views. Let’s see what users are saying:

Okay Trillest Ever, it’s been over ten days and I haven’t forgotten, so looks like you aren’t as trill as your verification suggests! And yes Greg4422, white people love it!

Now, if you’re still reading you’re probably thinking, “DAMN I REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS GUY’S VIDEO, I’VE NEVER SEEN A VIDEO BEFORE, THIS SOUNDS SO INTERESTING.”  I sense some sarcasm in your tone, but first I want to share my secrets to success. Yes, take my hand and YOU can go viral too (see diagram).

Secret 1: Make A Video

This seems like the easiest part, but it’s not. You need to have a smart phone or know someone who has one. If you have money or are good at manipulating people, you can get a camera and crew, but you’ll feel like a jackass when your $2k project is outshined by the iPhone video of a cat eating its own p*ssy.

But that’s the cool part, even the poor can go viral. One night in 2012, I was at the dinner table with my roommate, fellow comedian Toby Muresianu, both of us eating stale chips and refusing to laugh at each others’ jokes, when we were struck with the stunning realization that he’s Jewish and I’m Palestinian.  We’d lived together for a year at this point and always wondered why we could never agree on whose cupboard was whose!

So we wrote a sketch about an escalating fight over the apartment.  Admittedly a simple premise–so simple a gorilla could’ve thought of it (A gorilla who’s well-read on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which is rare, but still more common than a human who’s read up on it).

After arguing over whose name should go first in the writing credit, we put together a cast and crew for no pay (what unites the Semitic people–Arabs and Jews: thriftiness). Well I did buy some burritos and cut them into thirds, and Toby passed out Dixie Cups half-full of Walgreens Cola for lunch. We had a tolerable shoot day at our apartment, and we didn’t even have to change out of our pajamas! I now see why so many comedians write sketches about roommates; our people lack motivation. Not Semites, the comedians. Which brings me to…

Secret 2: Post the Video

We wrote the sketch in 2012, but we didn’t post it until 2014. Why the delay? After we shot and edited, we showed it to some of our friends (or dream poachers, as I call them). They said things like, “umm… This is biased,” or “it moves too slow,” or “the acting is over the top.” Sadly, they were all right. It is biased toward the Palestinian side (reflecting Toby and I’s political views, or lack thereof), it’s not cut like an action movie, and we made it a little corny to lighten the mood of a dark topic. But, even though I know the poachers can’t distinguish art from a cat video, they’re still my friends, so I took their shots to heart and let them capture and skin my dream alive, when it should’ve been the p*ssy-eating cat. I considered re-doing the sketch and pumping some money into a big production, but, really, what producer in Hollywood is going to get behind a pro-Palestinian film? That’s right, Mel Gibson. Talk about career jihad.

I decide against posting the film, and then time passes and I realize…Wait, I hardly even have a career to jihad. I’m not on any type of comics-to-watch list, festivals and networks are passing on me, I can’t even book any FEG roles (Funny Ethnic Guy) that I audition for, all three of my retirement home shows get their plugs pulled, I go viral in my hands, feet, and mouth (how you can prevent this), and finally, I get to witness my distant relatives in Gaza, who’ve been dying off for years, get their worst shelling yet.

So why not post the stupid video? No Hollywood producer is calling my phone, I’m sitting at home with skin peeling off my hands and feet, as if in solidarity with my relatives overseas, and if there’s an appropriate time to post a pro-Palestinian piece it’s when America is sympathy hashtagging #Gaza. I go into Toby’s room for the first time in years (I was never denied entry, we just usually text). I say, “Post it?” He says, “I thought you’d never ask!” We cry. I click “upload.” No, wait, I have my assistant do it (there’s all these buttons you have to press). Now, we change the world…

Secret 3: Wait

At this point, you’ve pretty much done all you need to. Sit back, relax, and watch the view count rocket over the Red Sea. I got tired of watching it over and over myself, so I went on Facebook and shared it. A comic friend saw the post and shared the video on Reddit, where it was seen by a guy named Abdul, who submitted it to World Star Hip Hop. So, another tip: make videos that guys named Abdul would like.

It’s clear that the video is atypical for World Star Hip Hop, which I guess makes it even edgier? Or less edgy since WSHH probably isn’t a Zionist enclave.  No matter what, it definitely caught users off-guard, garnering reviews like:

Again, ALL TRUE! I assure you poachers and your families that when I do my multi-million dollar revamp of this sketch, it will have two black guys as lead, some hot Israeli bitches, and exclusively albino producers. Honestly, I think THAT alone would solve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But before I send the pitch to Mel, all we’ve got to show is this simple sketch, which I made on a budget of three burritos while wearing my favorite pair of sweatpants:

I’m Palestinian, My Roommate is Jewish

P.S. My roommate Toby will tell you that it’s his video, but I assure you it was on my channel first.

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Doctor Tells Me I Have HIV

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Some of you are expecting a joke here.  Like HIV stands for “Hilarious Internet Vegetarian” or something stupid like that.  No, this time there’s no joke.  Last week at a Kaiser in West Covina, I was told that I have HIV. It’s not easy for me to put this into words, and it all happened so fast.  Just over a week ago, things were going better than ever.  I was finally back home after weeks on the road, had just won a $1,000 comedy competition, and was feeling, physically, in the best shape of my life.  I even thought to myself, “Man, this is like the best my life has ever been. I’m… Happy.”   My advice to you all is never have this thought.  Or else you’ll soon find out you have HIV. I’m at the gym on a pleasant Sunday, when I feel some eerie chills.  I … Continue reading

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Announcing My Retirement From Comedy

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Oops, I meant “Home,” not “From.” “Announcing My Retirement Home Comedy” is what it should read.  You are a sly one, auto-correct!!  Ugh, I don’t feel like going back and fixing it, but yeah, I’m still doing comedy. In fact I’m doing even more of it!  In even more adverse locations!  I’d like to announce a new series of shows that I’m producing at retirement homes in the LA area.  Well, so far just one in Torrance and one in Sherman Oaks, but watch out Glendale!   “Awww, what a proud humanitarian,” is what I hope you’re thinking. Though it’s probably, “Yeah right, he just wants stage time and is trying to make it look noble,” or “I’m still pissed about the title baiting me in.”  Truth is, my friends, it’s all of the above! Performing at a retirement home isn’t easy, as it requires extra charm, relatable material, … Continue reading

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I Got My Pilot License!

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In sunny Los Angeles we have two seasons: early summer and late summer.  Early summer is January – April, or what the industry calls “pilot season.”   When I first heard “pilot season,” I imagined a sky filled with planes twirling around awkwardly and crashing into each other as young pilots learn to fly.  Turns out that’s exactly what LA’s pilot season is!  It’s chaos and clutter, all of us scrambling around unsure of what we’re doing, networks and actors frantically trying to make fledgling scripts fly, and, at some point, almost everyone crashes.  Kale smoothie splattered everywhere. It’s weird how airplane pilots are expected to successfully lead us to our destination, while TV pilots are generally expected to fail.  Thousands of new TV show ideas are written each year but only a slim few make it to the screen, and even less will continue to fly the skies of television.  The … Continue reading

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Joke Thievery: How to Know if You are a Hack

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Joke thievery is a very sensitive subject amongst comedians.  Altercations break out over joke stealing, and a few comedians have even been killed.  Yeah, I know! … No, just kidding, no deaths.  At least I hope.  Friendships amongst comics have definitely been killed.  As well as careers.  All in the name of trying to kill on stage. Often we call someone a “hack” if they steal jokes, though it can also simply mean that they are unoriginal.  It’s important that we realize that most cases of hackery are not deliberate, but rather a product of inexperience.  It’s not like we get mad at fledgling surgeons for copying the moves from their textbooks.  So let’s distinguish. A Level 1 Hack is someone who’s just not that original.  It’s not like they’re flat-out repeating someone’s jokes, but they re-use tired premises or apply common mechanisms that other comedians use, whether … Continue reading

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SHOCKING Secrets I Learned About Utah, Mormons and Your CREDIT SCORE!

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Some people hear “Utah” and think of Mormons, polygamy, and mountains.  Some people hear “Utah” and quickly think about something else.  Some people never hear “Utah.”   Today I’m going to address all three types of people. Let’s work backwards for simplicity. If you’ve never heard of Utah, it’s a state in a country called America.  Yeah, America.  Not North America or South America, just America.  WE OWN THE WHOLE THING.  Utah is the 50th state (if you count it last).  It’s somewhere between New York and California. If you’re traveling across the country by wagon, Utah is where you might start munching on your family! Okay, now onto the people who don’t find Utah interesting enough to think about:  first and foremost, it is physically attractive.  It’s filled with snow-capped mountains, red rock formations, rivers, and wildlife that likes to come out and say ‘hello’ as it … Continue reading

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3 Simple Steps to Find Love

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I am no more of an expert on love than Dr. Drew, though I definitely talk less about molestation.  My background is not in psychology or biology, but If there is a mathematical formula for love, I could teach the proof to children.  My credentials: UC Berkeley Applied Math’06,  3.91.  That’s GPA, not inches. I may not have the best track record with love relationships, but then again, who does?  That’s right, your old high school friends Dave and Suzie, who dated at 16, went to prom together, got married at 22, and now they live on a farm somewhere.  Or their house feels like a farm because of all the kids and animals.   Look, not everyone can be Dave and Suzie.  But there’s a valuable lesson we can learn from them: they simply gave up early.  There’s a fine line between committing to someone and just giving … Continue reading

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The Realities of Traveling the World

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I stand in line at airport security in Portland, watching the priority boarders pass us up like hot girls in a VIP line at the club.  Ah, the feeling of inferiority in the morning.  Reminds me of high school.  I can hear the guy behind me reading a sign: “Wow, so 12 year-olds don’t have to take their shoes off? I had no idea!”  What, were you born yesterday dude?  What are you thinking, that we go back in time and be 12 again so we don’t have to take our shoes off?  As if that’s an option.  Shut up.  Man, I’m grumpy today.  We split into two lines for two different conveyor belts for our luggage.  I always end up in the extra slow line… The one with the family that’s flying for the first time and tries to walk through with a can of hairspray in their … Continue reading

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The Last Month of my Twenties

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It’s fairly human to not appreciate your youth until it’s gone. I’ve never met a five year-old who says, “Wow, I’m so thankful to be young and taken care of. This is the time of my life! Y’all other ages ain’t sh*t! High five! Get it, ’cause I’m 5?” No, the five year-old wants to be the twelve year-old, who wants to be the 18 year-old, who wants to be the 21 year-old, who is confused and puking on his/her shirt. By the time many of us reach our mid-20s we realize we’ve burned our youth and then we start the stupid “I’m old!” speech. I admit, I’ve done it throughout my 20s, and it’s annoying to anyone older who hears it. Because the 20s are still young. In this country, at least. The median age of the world is 29– that is, about half of all people … Continue reading

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Booed off the Stage at my Home Club

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There’s a story comedians will often tell each other after a bad set, and that is the story of Dave Chappelle getting booed off the stage at the Apollo Theatre, back when he was a teen in the early 90′s. It’s a comforting story to a comic who just bombed, because Chappelle became such a huge success after what sounds like a bombing way worse than anything you or I (until recently) have experienced. Even back then Dave was funny, but he was young in comedy and this Harlem crowd was merciless. He recounts the experience as being one of the defining moments in his career, that shaped him into the comic he became later on. And thus, as a comedian, you hear this story and think, well, “Even if a crowd boo’s me off stage, I just might go on to be the next Dave Chappelle!” Sadly … Continue reading