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Lucas Cruikshank
Background information
Born August 29, 1993 (1993-08-29) (age 16)
Columbus, Nebraska, U.S.
Other name(s) Lucas Cruikshank
Nationality American
Web alias(es) Fred, Lucas
Period active October 1, 2005 – present
Host service(s) YouTube
Genre(s) Comedy
Official site FredFigglehorn.com

Fred Figglehorn (stylized on his page and on T-shirts as FЯED) is a fictional character who is the primary subject of a channel on the video-sharing website YouTube. The videos are centered around a fictional 6-year-old, Fred Figglehorn, who has a dysfunctional home life and "anger management issues".[1]

The character of Fred is portrayed by American actor Lucas Cruikshank (born August 29, 1993), a teenager from Columbus, Nebraska.[2]

Cruikshank introduced the Fred Figglehorn character in videos on the JKL Productions channel he started on YouTube with his cousins, Jon and Katie Smet. He set up the Fred channel in October 2005. By April 2009, the channel had over 1,000,000 subscribers, making it the first YouTube channel to hit one million subscribers and the most subscribed channel at the time.[3] However, on August 20, 2009, YouTube celebrities Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi and their channel, Nigahiga, overtook the Fred channel as the most subscribed channel of all time.[4]

As of February 2010, the Fred channel has received over 77 million channel views, over 451 million video views since its launch, and with over 1.6 million channel subscribers, is listed as the number two all-time most subscribed You Tube channel for being overtaken by YouTube user NigaHiga.[5] Cruishank has made many television appearances both as himself and as Fred. Although Cruikshank voices Fred, the audio is digitally edited to sound higher-pitched than Cruikshank's true voice.

Contents

Content

Lucas Cruikshank has described the channel as "programming for kids by kids".[2] The Fred channel was established on October 1, 2005, but was launched officially May 1, 2008, and is the fastest-growing channel in YouTube's history. It now has over one million subscribers, with the millionth on April 7, 2009, at around 3:45 pm.

The series is intended as a parody of people who, in Cruikshank's words, "think that everyone is so interested in them." Cruikshank believes that viewers either "automatically love Fred or automatically hate Fred, there is no in between".[6] The character posts his videos to his YouTube channel, even though he is not supposed to be using his mother's video camera, or posting videos, or even have a YouTube account. Fred has a high-pitched "chipmunk" voice, making him sound more like a 6-year-old and less like a 16-year-old. According to Cruikshank, this effect and the hyperactive appearance of the character are achieved by speeding up the video.[7] The song "Watch How I Do This" by Kev Blaze can often be heard in the videos.

The character lives with his recovering drug-addicted and alcoholic mother, whose voice is heard often in episodes. (Fred usually communicates with all characters off-screen unless it is an animal). But Fred's mom has been seen in one episode, called "Fred on Halloween". It is implied that Fred has been the victim of child abuse (like being locked in a dog cage for three days), but he frequently speaks of his love for his mother, particularly after she was at rehab. He also has a crush on a girl in his kindergarten class named Judy. Fred has described Judy as, "so mean... yet so attractive." According to "Fred Gets Babysat," Fred's birthday is sometime around late October because in the video at one point he says "My birthday is in like a month". This video was originally uploaded on September 29. Fred's grandmother is mentioned as briefly caring for Fred while his mother was in rehab, on account of alcoholism and drugs. In almost every episode, Fred sings a song he makes up. When his mother returns, in "Fred's Mom Returns", his grandmother leaves and his mother begins making him do chores such as picking up sticks. It is known that Fred has anger issues. In one episode, however, "Fred: A Star In His Own Mind", Fred dreams of being a famous actor, meeting fan girls and other famous actors, such as Saoirse Ronan. Fred's favorite meal is a TV dinner. However, in one episode Fred's mom takes away his TV dinner privileges. Fred's father was mentioned in the episode "Fred on Father's Day", where users find out that Fred's father (who left Mrs. Figglehorn while she was pregnant with Fred and is supposedly a rock star), is on death row in the state penitentiary.

Characters

See: List of Fred characters

Episodes

It's Hackin' Christmas With Fred

It's Hackin' Christmas with Fred is a four track EP released on November 10, 2009. It was co-produced with OMovies.[citation needed] The music video for the single "Christmas Cash" was released on YouTube on the same day the EP was released.[8] The album is available online via iTunes.[9] The music video for the second single, "Christmas is Creepy", was released on December 7, 2009.[10] Both music videos were released on December 11, 2009, on Disney Channel.

Fred: The Movie

Fred: The Movie will be a 2010 film based on the YouTube series about Fred Figglehorn. It features Lucas Cruikshank as Fred, Pixie Lott as Judy, Jennette McCurdy as Bertha, Jake Weary as Kevin, John Cena as Fred's dad, and Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Fred's mom. It follows the character as he tries to track down his crush, Judy (after she moves away). Along the way, he dreams about an invisibility suit, digs a hole from his house to Judy's, gets lost in some woods, and more. It is written by David A. Goodman, directed by Clay Weiner, and produced by Brian Robbins.[11] Filming began November 9, 2009, and wrapped up December 20, 2009.[citation needed] The movie is planned to be released to theaters everywhere on April 30, 2010.[citation needed]

Sponsorship and appearances

Cruikshank's "Fred" has been sponsored since its inception by the Zipit Wireless Messenger (Z2), which has several cameos in various videos posted to the Fred Channel. Although the collaboration had originally been kept low-key, Fred now has a separate website promoting the Zipit and has starred in television ads for the device on Nickelodeon. Cruikshank has generated in excess of US$100,000 from ad revenue and sponsorship, and has hired a licensing firm to market Fred merchandise. He made a cameo appearance as both "Fred" and himself on Nickelodeon's iCarly in "iMeet Fred", which originally aired on February 16, 2009.[12] Walden Media also hired Cruikshank to promote the film City of Ember, along with the sci-fi novel it was based on, and cameos from the film's star Tim Robbins in Fred episodes and a mock movie trailer.[13] Cruikshank recently launched a website to promote the Fred series and sell Fred T-shirts and other merchandise. The merchandise is also available at Hot Topic, Justice and Five Below stores. Cruikshank has appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, as well as in the Hannah Montana episode "Come Fail Away", which aired December 6, 2009.[14]

Awards and nominations

Year Category Award Result
2009 Favorite User Generated Video People's Choice Awards Nominated[15]
2009 Other Stuff Web Star Teen Choice Award Won

Other channels

Cruikshank was originally a part of JKL Productions,[16] a group comprising twins Jon and Katie Smet and Lucas Cruikshank, their cousin. Although Cruikshank formally left the group, JKL prefers to keep Lucas' "L" in its name. Cruikshank deleted all of his individual videos when he left JKL Productions, but he can still be seen in a few of their videos. In January 2009 he set up his own channel, called Lucas, in which he appears as himself.

References

  1. ^ Stephen Hutcheon, with Tom Burton (2008-06-20). "Fast-talking Fred is the toast of YouTube". http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/06/30/1214677897205.html. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Keen (2008-07-28). "Andrew Keen on New Media: Kids with cameras lead the way in giving web users their daily Fred". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/online/andrew-keen-on-new-media-kids-with-cameras-lead-the-way-in-giving-web-users-their-daily-fred-878508.html. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  3. ^ Editorial Team (2008-11-13). "BB Suggests: The Best of Web TV". http://www.batchbuzz.com/detailedStoryDefault.php?id=751. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  4. ^ 1,356,784 subscribers for nigahiga vs. 1,356,423 for Fred shortly after 6pm EST, August 20, 2009. As of October 27, 2009, Fred was not on the top 100, bumping everyone from 3rd and beyond up a spot, and as of October 30, 2009, he came back.
  5. ^ "Fred's Channel". You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/user/Fred. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  6. ^ Brook, Anderson. "The Teen Behind Fred.". CNN. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bi57YE9jon4. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  7. ^ Sioux City Journal: Nebraska teen making 'Fred' an Internet star
  8. ^ "YouTube - Fred Figglehorn - Christmas Cash - Official Music Video". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWCidnkhPtQ. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  9. ^ "YouTube Sensation Fred Releases Christmas Album and Premieres Music Video - Pynk Celebrity". http://www.pynkcelebrity.com/archives/21178. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  10. ^ "YouTube - Fred Figglehorn - Christmas is Creepy - Official Music Video". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPVNvJoljD0. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  11. ^ Barnes, Brooks (2009-12-07). "A High-Pitched Whine Brings ‘Fred’ to the Movies: Bigger Screen for a High-Pitched Whine". New York Times. http://nytimes.com/2009/12/08/movies/08fred.html. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  12. ^ Albrecht, Chris (November 18, 2008). "'Fred' Cranks Up the YouTube Views and Ad Dollars". Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2008/tc20081118_508970.htm. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  13. ^ Sanders, Pete (September 18, 2008). "Studios Hope YouTube Tie Sells Movie". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122169004968649685.html. Retrieved 2008-09-19. 
  14. ^ IMDb page for "Hannah Montana" Come Fail Away (2009)
  15. ^ People's Choice Awards Nominees & Winners:2009 - PeoplesChoice.com
  16. ^ YouTube - jklproduction's Channel

External links

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