If you go on YouTube and do a search under the Late Show with David Letterman, odds are that within the first few results netted in your seach will be a clip of the Letterman show posted by active YouTube member MangoFace247. One of several YouTube members who religiously post Letterman clips, MangoFace247 has been a member since last July when he began posting clips with the Letterman show as his specialty. Since then he has posted over 220 clips, an average of one a day, selectively choosing Letterman monologue, interview, and live performance clips to post on YouTube, which he will usually do within hours or by the following day of the actual TV broadcast.
But it was one particular Letterman posting that catapulted MangoFace247 to fame (in YouTube land) when on September 28th, 2007 he uploaded the Paris HIlton interview where Letterman grilled the pouting heiress on her jail stint (which she clearly did not wish to discuss). This clip (below), which he had posted on YouTube even before CBS, created a buzz and ended up getting well over four million hits-- even more than the original broadcast itself. (Note that on average Letterman TV broadcasts get 3.6 million viewers nightly.)
It also made MangoFace247 an instant YouTube celebrity. His name was linked to Paris Hilton's and he was mentioned in gossip columns in papers like the New York Post. I recently caught up with the anonymous "Mango" (who likes to remain incognito but did say that he lives in LA and works in the music business, and also that he sells T-shirts online) via YouTube messages and email to interview him for the Amoeblog.
AMOEBLOG: For people like me, someone who doesn't own a TV anymore, your YouTube postings are how I can depend on regularly catching up on the Late Show without ever having to watch TV. Are individuals like me, people for whom the Internet is their main information/entertainment lifeline, becoming more common?
MANGO: It’s already happening. This is part of the basis for the writers strike centered here in Los Angeles. People will go to the movies for that experience, but the Internet is where pretty much everything else will end up.
AMOEBLOG: You came to fame with that Paris Hilton interview. Exactly how many views and how many comments did that get? And what was it like when suddenly one day you have so many people coming at you?
MANGO: Yes, that Hilton/Letterman clip took on a life of its own. I was stunned to see how many people (4,409,716, but who's counting?) were interested in that clip. I’ve lost count of the comments-- over nine thousand last time I checked. YouTube allows you have notification sent to your email when a comment arrives. Well, that email also went to my phone, so every two minutes a notification arrived, and that went on for a week straight, so I had to disable that feature. I wish I had known it was going to be seen by so many people -- I would have dropped an ad for my T-shirt company at the bottom of the clip. I have another new clip that is working on 700.000 views, ummmm!!!
AMOEBLOG: Why did you first start posting and was it planned or did it just happen?
MANGO: It wasn’t planned at all. I’m a geek with an addictive personality (I'm glad I don't drink). I had some cool high end video editing software along with my TiVo and was experimenting with making short clips. When I first started posting, my clips looked awful and the YouTube watchers would tell me all about it. I knew I had to step my posting game up so I worked on the resolution and tweaked the clips. Now I don’t hear any complaints and of course now I’m addicted.
AMOEBLOG: How much time do you put into your YouTube posts?
MANGO: On average, about forty five minutes to pick out the clips I want to post, then edit them into 10 minute segments and upload them. (YouTube needs to allow me to post 15 min clips-- I've tried everything,no-go.)
AMOEBLOG: Do you plan ahead, i.e., check the upcoming Late Show schedule and know that such a band or such an interview will be a popular one?
MANGO: I don’t plan ahead but I do have TiVo record every episode -- I’m not always home when Dave comes on.
AMOEBLOG: Have you ever heard anything from CBS or Worldwide Pants, who produce the show?
MANGO: Nope, I’ve never heard a note from them. I do wonder if they are watching because Dave was flicking his pencil on the show and said ...”I bet I’ll see this on YouTube.” Sure enough, I grabbed that clip and made it repeat a few times. LOL.
AMOEBLOG: How do you see your role? As a kind of Letterman appreciation outlet?
MANGO: LOL-- Well, I see myself more as fan of that dry sense of humor. I was born and raised in London, England, growing up with comedy from ... Benny Hill, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Spike Milligan (I would see him at my local park), John Cleese, Peter Sellers, Norman Wisdom, Terry Thomas, George Formby (of course, all the Monty Python classics), Micheal Crawford, Sid James, Hattie Jacques, Barbara Windsor, Terry Scott...That type of humor is tough to find in today's comedy. Of course I prefer the Letterman of 15 years ago, when he was way less forgiving with his guests. That Paris Hilton/Letterman interview was a flash back to that era.
AMOEBLOG: Do you think YouTube will still exist in its current form five years from now?
MANGO: I sure hope so. It’s a great outlet for those creative and not so creative people who want to share with millions all over the world. Of course, with anything like this, be careful what you post because you never know who’s watching, now or in the future.
AMOEBLOG: Anything to add?
MANGO: I want to say a big thanks to all my Mango fans out there. And a BIG thanks to Dave for getting back to work. I hope this strike comes to an end quickly for all concerned.