The rise of the YouTube “celebrity” has given rise to all the strange ways people seek “likes” on the internet. Some of these people, like Logan Paul, do absurd things like uploading a YouTube video depicting his reaction to discovering the corpse of a recently deceased man in Japan’s “suicide forest. Others, like 19-year-old Marcella Zoia, do dangerous things like throwing a chair off the balcony of a Toronto condo building.
Then there are people like Stevin John, the man behind the children’s presenter Blippi, who do stupid things––albeit in a former life as a gross-out comedian named Steezy Grossman––like take an explosive dump on a friend for the lulz.
According to a report in Buzzfeed News, John now “regrets” the video, which was engineered to go viral in response to the popularity of the “Harlem Shake” and the subsequent memes it spawned.
The actual video isn’t up on YouTube anymore––it’s presumably too nasty, unlike neo-Nazi propaganda, amirite?––but it lives on in the form of reaction videos.
Like this one:
And this one:
“At the time, I thought this sort of thing was funny, but really it was stupid and tasteless, and I regret having ever done it,” John said in his statement to BuzzFeed News. “I’ve grown up a lot since then, and I trust people will see me as the person I am now, not the idiot I was back then.”
Here’s an artist’s representation of what the video was like since we can’t exactly show it to you (probably NSFW):
Because of a cease and desis from Blippi's lawyer, we decided not to publish the video. Here is my artist's rendering… pic.twitter.com/cyyjdrLi8G
— Katie Notopoulos (@katienotopoulos) February 14, 2019
The internet doesn’t appear to have hard feelings for John’s sordid past. In fact, they want to see the video. (Feel free to give it a whirl for yourselves, that’s on ya’ll.)
roses are red
violets are blue
when you harlem shake
do you even poo?https://t.co/H5a3UHYEPG
— julia ???? alexander (@loudmouthjulia) February 14, 2019
why hasn’t anyone sent me the blippi video yet
— Jake Kemp (@NotJackKemp) February 14, 2019
No, YOU searched for the Blippi video.
— Brian Duffield (@BrianDuffield) February 14, 2019
Pretty amazing that if you search Blippi, The Clown Who Shat In Some Guys Face Years Ago on Youtube, this is the first video that pops up. pic.twitter.com/ajdvDGAjZT
— Joe Earp (@joe_o_earp) February 14, 2019
John’s come a long way since then, currently commanding more than 3.6 million subscribers as children’s personality Blippi, and as Buzzfeed News observes, he was bound to go viral.
“Beneath the surface, Blippi and Steezy Grossman share two traits: a willingness to debase themselves — be it clownish antics or taking a literal dump — for entertainment, and a methodical, calculated effort to use social media and its algorithms to reach as many eyeballs as possible,” the report notes.
Blippi has proven so popular that John’s past hasn’t proven a dealbreaker for some parents.
Look, everyone has a past. It was a stupid video made by a kid in his early 20’s. It’s not sexual assault, it’s not racism, it’s not homophobia. My kids will still watch #blippi https://t.co/hE8uEg5oCX
— raneydays (@davidrane) February 14, 2019
“Blippi single-handedly got my son to wash his hands for longer than two seconds because in one of his videos he says you have to say ‘Blippi’ over and over and over again while washing your hands. He has quite possibly saved us from norovirus, the flu, pinworms,” said Angie Greenspan, a parent in Los Angeles.
“Do I want my kid to go and give him a hug? Probably not,” said parent Rebecca McBride Wilcox. “But I also don’t want to deprive my kid of his construction videos that have actually really helped boost his language skills. I just might not watch that chocolate factory video again.”
Life goes on, right?