After the heckler was efficiently and devastatingly put back into place, Steve Hofstetter and the standup comedians with whom he’s traveling retreated back to the Courtyard at Lake Lucerne in Orlando. Though the hotel’s Wi-Fi signal was spotty and slow and attained his life temporarily tedious, Hofstetter edited the action of the night and uploaded his latest videomaybe the video that they are able to induce him a staronto his YouTube channel.
He told his traveling partnersDanny Jolles and Matt Ritterthat he figured the video might get 8,000 opinions before they had to wake in six hours. He knew it was a good heckler video, but it wasn’t the best he’d ever done.
Yet Hofstetter rose the next morning, and abruptly, life was different.
The video hadn’t garnered just 8,000 hits. More like 50,000 since the night before. And the views counter kept on climbing.
Here’s the video that might shoot him into the standup stratosphere, the 206 seconds that could change everything.
The heckler video, though, from this week feelings different to Hofstetter. Some of his YouTube clips have eclipsed 4 million views. But 48 hours after his encounter with the older female in a Titusville, Florida, club called Bar IX, the most recent video had recorded 3 million clicks, and the rest of his channel had added another million.
For a gig that paid Hofstetter $ 70, the kind of publicity he’s received since running viral has been priceless.
“My success has been from the Internet, ” Hofstetter, who figures he’ll induce $10,000 from YouTube for that video, told the Daily Dot. ”I met my spouse online, and everything I’ve had that’s been worthwhile has started somehow on the Internet. I’ve said to friends, ‘What would my career is just like if I had been born 20 years earlier? ‘ But I’m the kind of guy who takes whatever opportunities are submitted to me and uses it.”
That said, Hofstetter had no idea how quickly this video would resonate. For that, he can credit a U.K. fan who posted the link on Reddit. From there, it spread on aggregation websites, hotshot comedian Joe Rogan tweeted about it, and former NFL receiver Chad Johnson wrote a blog on it.
“There’s an element of justice porn there, ” Hofstetter said. “She not only heckled, but she heckled in such an nasty style. That loud, ‘bullshit, ‘ was so rude. Everybody who’s ever given a speech or been an entertainer wanted me to get her. There’s an element of schadenfreude, I guess. It was all just kind of the perfect storm.”
To be clear, Hofstetter doesn’t care for hecklers( “I think they’re awfully selfish people, ” he said ), and he wishes they’d stop interrupting his present. But because he records every one of his sets and because hecklers seem to enjoy challenging him, he’s happy to publicly humiliate them.
“If someone interrupts the present, I don’t just move on, ” Hofstetter said. “I make an example out of them . … You want attention? You have no idea what the fuck you’re in for.”
And now that the blizzard has been unleashed, Hofstetter is trying to figure out what it entails. He, after all, is no overnight sensation. He’s been a standup comedian for 13 years. He’s been the host and executive producer for the Laughs TV present on Fox. He’s written for Sports Illustrated and NHL.com. He was Collegehumor.com’s original writer, and he’s released six comedy albums. He has his fans, but Hofstetter is no hotshot.
Before the latest video emerged, he and his two traveling partners were about to play to a half-full house at a small club in central Florida on Tuesday night. After the video exploded, the gig sold out.
“I don’t want to jump the gun, but it’s most varied than it was three days ago, ” Hofstetter said. “Whether that holds, I don’t know. I’ve been recognized a couple dozen periods in my career over the course of 13 years, but abruptly, there’s an awareness of who I am. What comes next, who knows? Perhaps, this will all fade away and I’ll be a flash in the pan. But I believe I have a real chance to turn this into something more.”
So, he needs a new strategy. He’s groups together new tour dates for the summer, and he has to carefully consider his next video.
“I had 95,000 YouTube subscribers before this. Now, I have. That’s a big culture shift, ” Hofstetter said. “I can’t just put up a pretty good video as my next video. If it’s a pretty good video, I have to save it. I have to follow with an excellent video.”
But as Hofstetter talked late Tuesday nightwhile driving back to the hotel from his gig and having to pause three different times to pay Florida toll farehe knew the real exam would be Wednesday night.
Every week, Hofstetter is at the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood. He’s either hosting the present or doing a regular situated, and on Wednesday, his name was on the marquee. If the place was fullif he and his heckler videodrew in a sold-out crowd, perhaps life would be different for good. If just the regular customers indicated up and it was half-empty, well, then, maybe Hofstetter simply had a fun week.
Reached late Wednesday night by the Daily Dot, Hofstetter sent this photo from the Laugh Factory.
As for what that means…