Understanding “Fred,” the Squeaky-Voice YouTube Star

Fred on youtubeFor weeks I’ve been perplexed by Fred, a squeaky-voice YouTube character played by Lucas Cruikshank (Fred’s real name). He caught my attention when I found him appearing in advertisements on my own videos. Lucas lives with 6 siblings in Nebraska, and has emerged as one of the fastest-growing YouTube personalities.

I couldn’t understand the Fred phenomenon and the best explanation anyone could provide (and I asked several of the most popular Tubers for their best theory) was that it’s what the key younger demographic wants. But that’s not an explanation, is it?

Alas I found this analysis by the Sydney Morning Herald, and it all makes perfect sense:

While many boys emerging from their tween years drift into the monosyllabic age of deep introspection and rebellion, the videos made by this teenager from Nebraska reflect a garrulous sense of childish fun.

So now I think I get Fred’s appeal. His manic moves and piercing voice may annoy me, but I understand why people are compelled to watch. The fast-paced and childish bits maybe allow people to forgive their own lack of maturity.

Anyway, I woke up this morning feeling compelled to impersonate Fred’s father. Of course, Fred’s father is in jail so maybe I’m his Uncle (which is ridiculous, but believable by many YouTubers that still think Dylan is my son). Anyway- would welcome ideas on where to go with it, as I’ve only watched a few of Fred’s videos. And if you’re a Fred fan, I could use any script tips that would ensure I dovetail off Fred’s plotline well enough.

What I’m thinking. Got ideas?

  • Fred’s Uncle explains why dad’s in jail. Maybe blames Fred.
  • The Uncle is squeaky voice too, but maybe it’s creepier. So I talk slow and deliberate before speeding up the voice.
  • There’s humor, but almost a playful sadness or dysfunction that’s revealed about Fred’s family- so we understand his behavior even more.

And I haven’t forgotten about the spoof of the paper car. 🙂 Thanks for your ideas on that!

46 Replies to “Understanding “Fred,” the Squeaky-Voice YouTube Star”

  1. Great idea… We should absolutely collab on this…

    * What if rather that pitched up, Uncle Susan’s voice is pitched DOWN, so that Fred can look forward to the day his voice changes…

    * “Playful sadness…” Kinda like Uncle Susan used to be Aunt Susan, and ever since the change, has developed an alcohol addiction, but only to Zima? Is that playfully sad? Or is that just dark?

    Other ideas:

    * Fred’s dad is in jail for kidnapping Steve Perry, lead singer from Journey, which led to their hiring the new guy after his discovery on YouTube (nice tie-in, huh?)

    * Uncle Susan used to date the guy who played the dad on Blossom

    * Uncle Susan has three nipples. Fred has one. There’s an unspoken bond between them as a result.

    Okay, this is starting to get a little weird, even for me…

    Seacrest out.

  2. Fred sucks.I’m happy that shopping malls are using high frequency sound to chase off the hoards of Freds that congregate there. Does that make any sense at all??

    That said, I think you should answer Fred with a very slow ponderous style to compliment Fred’s fast runaway style. That would amplify the communications gap between the two charcaters. Call it ‘Communications Breakdown’. Oh and Fred’s Mom talks almost as fast as Fred so there’s the reason for the split.

    Have you ever talked to a pipe smoker? That kind of slow.

  3. I despise Fred with a fiery passion deep inside me, and I’m a member of the younger demographic. I think he is talentless, annoying, and his fame is undeserved. People only like him because of the voice thing, and his videos have no good content. Maybe it’s just because he’s doing soooo much better than me subscribers-wise, but I absolutely hate Fred. If I could choose between him losing all his limbs, or me getting a sandwich, I would choose the sandwich.

  4. Hey Nalts, I think you should make me play Fred’s homicidal cousin with a lust for Fred’s blood.

    Actually, that’s a bit too creepy…forget I said that. But if you ever need me for this video, which you won’t, just send me an email! I’ve been in a Nalts video before!

  5. You’re a consumer marketing director….and you can’t figure out the Fred phenomenon?? Better not tell your bosses that!

  6. Don’t do the high pitched voice because no one can ever understand you when you do that. And by no one I mean me.

    You could be fred’s uncle trying to explain the birds and the bees to him, but in some ridiculously absurd fashion that makes absolutely no sense to anyone.

    Fred’s “uncle” could actually be the alcoholic mom’s new boyfriend. Or her pimp.

    Or you could use your nun costume, talk in a high voice like a woman, and continuously slap his hands with a ruler whenever he says or does something annoying. Although that would be a LOT of slaps.

    Or Fred’s uncle could give Fred a bath. Hilarity ensues.

    No it doesn’t. That’s just creepy.

  7. You know, you could be Fred’s dad. It’s visiting day at the pokey, and Dad is trying to explain to Fred why he’s in prison. Come up with some totally ridiculous crime that only a moron would commit. Then there’s an uncomfortable minute where a big beefy man comes over to fred’s dad and it is made clear that fred’s dad is that guys bitch. you know, a very subtle reference to assrape.

    You don’t have to be behind the glass wall with the telephone for it to be visiting day. Watch “Lock Up” on msnbc at 3 am in the morning and you’lll see that lots of prisoners get to visit their families in person instead of through a glass window.

    Do it.

  8. Ahhh sukatra…I love it when Kevin does the high voice!

    Okay, so what you need to do is have Fred’s uncle talk to him in an extremely deep, slow voice and explain to him that you, indeed, are his REAL father.

    (Just like Star Wars…Uncle: “I’m your father!” Fred: “No, that’s impossible! Arghhhh! My father’s in jail for indecency with Nebraskan wildlife!”

    All the while the uncle is talking, have him popping pills literally one after the other. (use tic-tacs or something) and when Fred finds out that his uncle is his father have him swallow an entire prescription bottle of pills at once as his “uncle” watches in despair!

    Or the “uncle” can have the same type of voice as Fred and later in the parady pan to the “father” in jail and have him have an extremely opposite deep voice. Oh, and if you can cock-eye your eye (lol, am I saying that right?) that would finish the uncle’s demeanor off! :o)

  9. All of you individuals have such creepy ideas! 🙂

    There are grand parts from all of them, though, and I personally feel that Kevin Nalty could make a great video using a little bit from each. I really enjoy the idea of Fred’s dad being a prison bitch (for lack of better words), I think the idea of the pills is laughable, and I especially like the idea of Uncle Susan having 3 nipples. I also love the idea of youtube community member Reubnick playing a character (cousin, disowned brother etc.) and I think it would be perfect because of his similar appearance, and age. I can’t think of anybody better to play a part like that, besides Dylan from cinemafreaks, which I don’t think would work because of his notoriety on youtube. I feel Ruebnick would tie in greatly…though I don’t think he should be a blood thirsty homicidal maniac who wants to kill Fred, because that idea gives me shivers. Perhaps it would be possible to make a storyline using a bit of all of these elements, Mr. Nalty. That’s just my two cents, and I hope you read them. I’m new here, so I don’t know if Kevin Nalty reads all of the comments. 🙂

    Good day!

  10. JimmerSD is right; Kevin will NEVER read all these posts. For my two cents: I don’t know who Fred is, never saw him, don’t care.

  11. You don’t think he’s learned his lesson about reading comments after the great cheese episode? I would certainly hope so. If not, we should plot mayhem more often.

  12. Yeah, sukatra. Let’s plot more mayhem behind Kevin’s back. What should we do this time? I’d say we should pick a total nonsensical word and post it to each of his videos and blog posts, but he doesn’t read any comments, so that wouldn’t work. If we did, I like the word “i olo’d”. Look it up in the urban dictionary.

  13. That’s assuming Jan that Lucas will be responsible and mature and go to college instead of going to Hollywood and being the famous Fred that he is.

  14. OK. I just watched some Fred videos. My god, he is annoying!! Maybe it’s the old fart in me, but I really don’t see the attraction. I have to give the kid props, though. He came up with an idea that went viral (you must be seething with envy, Nalts), and will probably get his 15 minutes of fame before it withers and dies. If he is smart he will save his money and uses it for college.

  15. why not do what any good Fred hater- err, haters kind of a harsh word so… Fred not liker does and try yourhardest to pretend he doesn’t exist. It’s the only way to get him and his creepy voice, REALLY creepy voice out of your head.

  16. dude let lucas decide…they are his videos..he dont need advise….hes a masterpiece on his own…dont make up the stories for him……give him ideas and let him take them where he wants…you people….let him do his own thing….if you dont really get him at first…you shouldnt try to think about it…its simple….HE’S FUNNY!!!1 whats not to get?!?!?!

  17. you guys are dumb…..im glad you think that fred’s videos are all about YOUR entertainment! not the rest of america’s…its pretty sad that you guys make these videos seem more than what they really are…they were made for fun guys get real! you kno your comments are all from last year obviously someone like his videos cuz they stopped commentin’…plus freds hot so……own it….chew on it….AND MOVE ON…later

  18. i luv his vid there funni,i seen dylans vids and they suck his vids cant make me laugh worth crap not even if he gave 50 grand just to laugh at his vids,sure i’ll laugh at them cuz they suck lilke SH*T.

  19. OMG i love you fred i went to Hot Tropic and i got one of your amazing shirts. your badges are all over my school bag i love you did i mention that. <3 <3 your amazing and i love your squeky voice and your vids are awsome too. your so uber i<3ve you fred

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