SUNY New Paltz student Brett Cohen posted a video on YouTube, and his life changed just in four days.
In the 96 hours since the video was posted online, it‚Äôs accumulated more than 1.5 million views (as of 11:30 a.m.), 20,000 likes and 7,000 comments, reports Patch.
‚ÄúIt means that the very hard work that went into it definitely paid off,‚ÄĚ Cohen said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm very happy that people are getting to see this video. Whatever they think of it, I just hope they enjoy it.‚ÄĚ
Tourists and gawkers strolling down Times Square were duped last month when Cohen posed there as a celebrity and had fake paparazzi and a camera crew follow him around.
John F. Kennedy High School graduate uploaded a video of the July 27 stunt on YouTube titled “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City.”
Cohen later revealed that he and a pal, Edward Sturm, 23, thought out the plan about three months ago.
‚ÄúThe idea was, ‘I bet if we walked through with bodyguards and photographers, people would go nuts,‚Äô” Cohen told reporters. “And that‚Äôs exactly what happened.‚ÄĚ
The video begins starring Cohen wandering around Times Square during the day in a T-shirt and gym shorts, looking like a regular Joe, reports The New York Daily News.
“My whole life, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be famous,” Cohen muses in a voiceover.
Soon after he found with slicked-up tresses, faux-glam shades and a fresh tan, accompanied by two bodyguards and several planted shutterbugs snapping away.
The ‚Äėfake celebrity‚Äô later confessed that the he recruited though Craigslist were telling everybody that a “big star” was inside, but didn‚Äôt say who he was or what he did.
Cohen‚Äôs Times Square show attracted dozens of dopey bystanders, who gathered and asked to take photos with the baby-faced prankster.
‚ÄúUh, was he Spiderman?‚ÄĚ one person asks. “He‚Äôs a very good actor.” Another citizen says he liked Cohen’s first single on the radio. “I just took a picture with him, I feel special,” he says.
Later, another hoodwinked rube gushes, “I think he’s excellent, I think he’s absolutely awesome, I think he’s got a great future in the movie business.”
“The only thing I told people to say was my name,” Cohen said. “We really wanted people to come up with their own answer.”
“I had to pretend it was normal, but it was insane,” he continued. “(The crowd) kept getting bigger and bigger…It was hard to keep a straight face the whole time.”
SUNY New Paltz student, who lives in Bellmore, estimated he took 300 pictures during the three-hour stunt.
‚ÄúI got a taste of fame, and it was good, but it‚Äôs not something I would want as part of my everyday life,‚ÄĚ he said.
The YouTube star singled out that he is interested in pursuing a career in television, and on Friday, he was contacted by producers who want to speak with him regarding possible projects.
The Bellmore resident, whose life changed in a few days, said he can‚Äôt go anywhere without people asking for his picture.
‚ÄúIt all started with a conversation, and now it‚Äôs a conversation with the whole world,‚ÄĚ Cohen said. ‚ÄúI guess my life has been elevated to a different level. I don‚Äôt think my life will ever be the same after this.‚ÄĚ