In the surreal world of YouTube fame, any video can become the next big thing, as the parents of Theo (aka "Baby laughing at the Wii") discovered earlier this year. After a slow start, the only video they've ever uploaded to YouTube has accumulated nearly two million views, resulting in an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live and a faux Gizmodo interview.
Here's a real interview with baby Theo's parents, about what it's like when your baby becomes the latest YouTube sensation. If you haven't seen it already, here's the video.
(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Wired News: So, does Theo always have that laugh?
Theo's Dad: His laugh is really like that, but him laughing at the Wii was a one-time thing. I was playing Wii Golf, and for some reason, he thought it was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
Theo's Mom: He thought it was funny for about a week ... but it was a little harder than he usually laughs.
WN: How soon did you upload it to YouTube?
TM: Fairly soon -- but not because we were thinking, "hey, look at our amazingly cute baby." We wanted to include it on our blog so we could show it to our friends and family. It surprised us that it took off, and we weren't expecting strangers to look at it. There are a lot of babies laughing on YouTube, you know.
TD: Then my cousin e-mailed that she had seen Theo on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
TM: And we got a call from Ellen Degeneres' show asking if we would sign a video release.
WN: What has your reaction been to all of this publicity?
TD: It got a little weird, because you're sitting there wondering, who's looking at my kid, and what do I have to be worried about? Can they find us? And you also think about, am I exploiting my son, which was never our intent, but the fact that it took off the way it did....
TM: I received an e-mail saying that we should be careful, because the video had a link to our website. It doesn't list our address, but says which city we live in and talks about things that are close by. It's possible that someone could figure out who and where we are. It hadn't occurred to me to be worried about that, but I took our website's URL off of YouTube.
WN: People say that Gen Y kids and younger don't care as much about their privacy....
TD: Yeah, you wonder if it's all become so saturated that it really doesn't matter anymore, or if you really should be worried about it.
TM: I had only posted a link to our website in the first place because so many people were copying the video and posting it as their own.
TD: We thought five or so people were going to see this thing, and over 1.7 million people have viewed it.
TM: 1.7 million views, and only half of those are us.