Man From 'Nek Minnit' Video Stars In Documentary About How He Dealt With Viral Fame
YouTube has provided people with hours of hilarious moments since it was created back in 2005.
When you were younger, you'd message your mates while armed with a slew of funny videos you'd seen and then spend ages on the floor laughing at 'Badger Badger Badger' or 'Charlie Bit My Finger'.
Ah, those were simpler times.
One of those videos that you would have stumbled across would have been 'Nek Minnit'.
While it's not all that brilliant in terms of production value, the phrase 'Nek Minnit' became a viral sensation and started being used by everyone instead of 'and then' or 'suddenly'.
If you're unfamiliar with the video, it shows a shirtless man complaining about his scooter falling apart after he left it outside the dairy.
The original video, which was uploaded in 2011, has received more than 6.2 million views and also spawned loads of imitations and remixes. According to news.com.au, when the video debuted that year, 'Nek Minnit' was the sixth most searched term on Google in New Zealand.
But it seems like that video was hilarious for everyone except the bloke on camera.
While everyone knows him as 'Nek Minnit Man', his actual name is Levi Hawken and he's at the centre of a new documentary that has looked into the effects of viral fame.
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"I've met so many people and it's made a lot of people happy," he's told the New Zealand Herald, "but you know what it's like, you see famous people and you think they're happy and they're not."
"It was upsetting. Well, not really upsetting, but... you have all these things you want to do and you think of how they would play out and then something happens and catches you off-guard.
"It wasn't so much that it was out of my control, it was that all these other people were controlling it and using it. I was really worried about what I was going to have my persona and my credibility assigned to."
He said people came up to him on the street and were surprised at the way he spoke because they thought he was some 'dumb poor guy'. Hawken said he felt people were mainly laughing at him instead of with him - and that hit hard.
The viral sensation found solace in skateboarding, calling it his 'escape' from 'all that s***'.
He's now dedicated himself to producing art that uses similar materials that are found in skateboards as well as the concrete that he rides on.
While he did use his viral fame for good, starring in a road safety campaign, he's tried to just get on with life and has even stopped talking about it in interviews.
But he wants to tell his story in the documentary Meme Me, which will premiere at the 2019 Loading Docs festival.
Featured Image Credit: AxstaBludsta/YouTube