LAFAYETTE, La. — If you’ve been online the past couple of days you’ve most likely seen this video.
It has been watched more than two million times. Its creator, James Bates, says although he has his videos down to a formula, the attention he’s receiving is still overwhelming. He tells KATC he received calls from Jimmy Fallon’s team after this video went viral.
“It’s surreal because I don’t really know what to do with all of the attention,” said Bates, who is from Vidalia, but currently lives in Lafayette. “My background, I'm really shy, and I’m quiet, so... The fact that I'm in entertainment is wild, even to me. People who know me are like “you do that?’ And I’m like ‘yeah, that’s me’.”
The video in the spotlight this time around is based on a news story about a passenger taped to a seat after attacking flight attendants on a flight to Miami. Although that did happen, Bates' video is just for fun.
He plays the flight attendant that allegedly taped a man to his seat. A lot of his content is parodies of interviews you might see on local news channels.
“In the interviews, I always make some type of sound. I didn’t know they were that good. But let’s try it,” said Bates as he recreated the video of a tape gun.
He's now about to hit the 200,000 subscribers mark on YouTube. He looks back at the moment he received the site’s Silver Creator Award.
“It was in October of 2020,” he recalls. “A lot of things change when you get something like this because it means that most likely you’re credible, and you’re doing something so people want to be a part of that.”
And that’s why he does it.
He says some videos go viral, and some don’t take off quite as well. But for him, it’s all good.
“I already know that sometimes, things might not work out,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for like four years, so I've seen the highs and lows, and I just take it all in. Bring it all in, I don’t care... Whatever happens, happens to me.”
He says he’s happy to make people laugh or have a better day.
“And that’s my goal... To make you have a better day than you did before you saw me,” said Bates.
The most viewed video on his channel has more than 7 million views, but he tells me, all over the internet he estimates his content has been watched more than 200 million times since people might share the video on other sites.
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