Antoine Dodson: victim, comic, or both?

If you haven’t heard the name Antoine Dodson by now, you don’t spend a lot of time around viral videos. Dodson was just a couple of rather provocative soundbites in a news report by WAFF-TV in Huntsville, Alabama last week before becoming an overnight sensation via YouTube. We’ve heard this story before, right?

Here’s the original story, as of this writing viewed over 3 million times.

(NOTE: Raycom Media filed a takedown notice with YouTube, and the original video — with its 4 million views — was taken down. I’ve posted another version, but it will likely be taken down, too.)

My friend Holly sent me the link last week, and I’ve got to tell you that when I first saw it, I was struck by the matter-of-fact cloak of business-as-usual that wraps Dodson’s “interview.” He so jumped past the glass that it was hard to take the formal nature of that which surrounded him seriously. Antoine Dodson WAS the story.

And that’s the way the world around Huntsville has seen it. As of this writing, over 3 million people have seen the original story and at least that many have watched one of a literal sea of remixes and other uses of the video. It has prompted Facebook pages, a T‑shirt line, ringtones, and even songs. This one’s my favorite.

WAFF-TV did a follow-up report and noted that some people were complaining that Dodson was making Huntsville look bad. I’m not so sure. The guy is a real American character, and I’m surprised he hasn’t been on Letterman yet. Hmm. Perhaps I could represent him?

Once again, the personal media revolution finds someone in real life with which to entertain itself. The sheer volume of views on these videos, once again, makes a strong case this growing sector of media is something to take seriously.


  1. I love the guy. No, he doesn’t make Huntsville look well-educated. So what? He is a funny, entertaining, charismatic guy who stepped up to defend his sister. If I’m ever in bad enough trouble to be screaming for help, I hope he’s close enough to hear.

  2. He may not make Huntsville look well-educated, but neither do any of the
    toothless redneck Billy-Bob Methheads that are interviewed regularly on the
    news about the trailer fire next door. Where’s the outcry when one of these
    “gems of the community” makes it onto the newscast?

  3. Antoine as well as other viral video stars probably would have been noticed regardless, just a question of when and how. Antoine has a very charismatic personality and is doing well with the enormous and unexpected spike in popularity.

    Call him up and talk to the dude in person! Proceeds goto helping his family move as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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