From poking fun at major cultural moments from “Beauty and the Beast” to the recent U.S. - North Korea summit, Randy Rainbow spares no one.
With hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, the social media sensation has struck viral gold, cashing in on the liberal rage in the Trump era with his quirky newsroom-style takedowns of the current administration and talking heads of the 24-hour news cycle.
His campy style, melding musical theater and political humor has become his trademark – along with his pink glasses – allowing him to shine among scores of internet stars.
“They [the pink glasses] kind of caught on,” he told “Nightline.” “People show up at my shows and they are wearing them and they’ve kind of taken on a life of their own.”
Rainbow, a self-taught theatre kid who made movies out of his spare bedroom in Astoria, Queens, is a one-man band who does it all – writing, shooting and producing himself up against the likes of the president and his cabinet – sometimes in a matter of hours or whenever the news breaks.
“If it’s a song, I’ll spend about two-three hours writing the lyrics, and then I’ll come over to my recording station, and then I’ll record for about two hours,” he said. “I stay up all night putting it all together.”
Rainbow, whose “Despacito” remix has been viewed over 1.4 million times on YouTube, has reached a level of fame that has come with some surprising moments – including a request for a happy birthday video for Hillary Clinton.
“I got an email from a woman claiming that she was Hillary Clinton's interior decorator,” he said. “I had nothing else going on that day, so I did it, and I sent it to her thinking it would live on this crazy woman's cell phone and then sure enough, a week later I got a letter in the mail from Hillary Clinton saying, ‘The rumors are true. I am actually a fan and thank you for using your voice.’ It was amazing!”
Despite his usual liberal slant, Rainbow insists he has fans across the political spectrum.
“I hear from people all the time from all sides of the aisle, and I hear from people strangely enough who say, ‘I don't agree with you politically…But I love your videos. They make me laugh,'" he said.
Making comedy out of controversy has been a winning formula for him since his first viral hit called “Randy Rainbow Dates Mel Gibson” in 2010.
“I would walk around my apartment and have romantic phone conversations with those horrible racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic rants, and that became a series,” he said. “People were responding to something so negative and horrific when I put that funny spin on it.”
He also said that he believes that comedy had become an “endangered” art form.
“People, I think, are more interested in being offended than getting to the heart of a situation. And to go after comedians to me is so counterproductive, because comedy is kind of a medicine,” he said.
In comedy, he believes, nothing was off-limits.
“The best comedy is truthful. So if you say something in a way that is amusing, but is rooted in truth, you can get away with it,” he said.
Despite the tough climate, Rainbow had an optimistic message for young comics.
“It's amazing that my career took off from my living room. It's an amazing time when everyone has a platform and everyone has the ability to get where they're going without the middle-man,” he said. “So, go for it."