The Conversation: Who Is Fred Figglehorn?

ABC News' John Berman chats with the teen star of "Fred" about his new movie.

ByABC News
September 15, 2010, 12:07 PM

Sept. 15, 2010— -- A teen enters his living room speaking in a comically high-pitched, tinny voice, inviting his friends from school to his party.

This teen is a YouTube sensation watched by millions of viewers worldwide, and his name is Fred Figglehorn.

Actually, his name is Lucas Cruikshank, and the 17-year-old is behind one of the most popular series on YouTube, "Fred." The amazingly high voice is not his real voice, but is added during editing.

ABC News' John Berman was able to speak with Cruikshank about how he got his start, more than 50 million Internet followers and his upcoming movie.

Unassuming, Lucas Cruikshank seemed unaware of his own celebrity.

"I know all this stuff is happening, but it never really fully hits me because I don't live in L.A.," he said. "I just commute back and forth from Nebraska to L.A., so I have, like, a totally normal life here in my hometown. ... It feels pretty normal."

But he is no ordinary 17 year old. He has the second most subscribed account on YouTube, with 1,984,212 subscribers and 93,959,205 views and counting.

"I'd always been interested in creating videos," he said. "I mean, even way before YouTube, I'd be messing around with my mom's old camera, my friend's mom's camera. ... I've just always been making videos. And then I just put them online and, luckily, they all took off.

But who is Fred?

"I would describe Fred Figglehorn to someone who hasn't heard of him as a really hyperactive, temper-throwing teenager who's stuck in the mentality of a 6-year-old," He said.

But Cruikshank readily admits Fred has helped open many doors for him.

Earlier this year, he was offered a movie deal with Nickelodeon for "Fred: The Movie."

His videos also have the benefit of advertisements and have garnered him his first album, "Who's Ready to Party?" to be released on Sept. 21.

"I've always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember so I'm so excited about that," he said.

As Fred's fame has grown, so has the production value of his movies. In the beginning, it was simply Fred appearing in videos by himself. Now, other characters are incorporated, special effects are added and there are guest appearances.

Most recently, the band, Weezer, appeared in one of his webisodes.

Now, with his movie is set to debut on Sept. 18, Cruikshank works with writers, producers and crews to help bring Fred to life. It's a far cry from being a 13-year-old teen who shot videos of himself in his living room.

"I think with the 'Fred' videos online, I prefer doing it by myself," he said. "I mean it's YouTube. You want to have all the creative control because that's the only place in the world where you get that.

"But... I love working with crews," he added. "Filming the Fred movie, for example, was a blast. You get to be around so many creative, talented people all day, so it's a blast."

What is his advice to others trying to become Internet superstars?

"I think the main thing is just to have fun with it," he said. "I mean, I'd always loved creating stuff and writing and acting, so it was a perfect fit. I think that some people, when they start posting videos, they expect them to just take off overnight and they lose patience. And the main thing is ... just stick with it and, if it's fun, just keep doing it. And when it stops being fun, that's the time to stop."

Was there a key to this Internet sensation's success?

"I just do what I think is funny," he said, "and, hopefully, it makes other people laugh, too."

Watch today's conversation and learn how this kid from Nebraska rocketed to Internet stardom.