Tech

The 2009 viral video ‘David After Dentist’ sold as an NFT, following ‘Leave Britney Alone’ and ‘Disaster Girl’

  • “David After Dentist,” the viral video from 2009, was auctioned off as an NFT on Thursday.
  • The auction closed on Friday afternoon and the NFT sold for over $11,000.
  • Several other creators have cashed in on viral digital content through NFT sales.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

“David After Dentist,” one of the most memorable viral YouTube videos of the 2000s, was sold as a non-fungible token (NFT) for 3.30 ETH, a cryptocurrency that amounted to roughly $11,500 on Friday. 

David DeVore Sr. and his son — the titular star of the video — became an internet hit in 2009 when David DeVore Jr. was seven years old. In the video, a young DeVore Jr. experiences the effects of medication after a tooth extraction. He asks his father numerous questions, including the now-iconic line, “Is this real life?” shortly before letting out a primal scream.

The video has since garnered over 140 million views on YouTube and is known as one of the first major viral videos on the website.

The DeVore family joins a group of other internet creators who have cashed in on viral digital content through the sales of NFTs, unique digital assets purchased with cryptocurrency.

 

The DeVores told Insider in an interview Thursday that they were working with Views, an NFT-creator program founded by Jukin Media, a video licensing company, and Night Media, a talent management company, to complete the sale.

The creator program has also begun working with other digital content creators to help them release their viral videos as NFTs in the subsequent weeks, but “David After Dentist” is its first sale. The auction for the NFT began on Thursday and closed Friday. 

DeVore Sr. told Insider in an interview that when he saw headlines listing how much money was made from selling viral content NFTs, the large sale prices piqued his interest. He said he is also looking to bring more exposure to the NFT market and what it can do for digital content creators.

Zoe Roth, known to the internet as “Disaster Girl,” sold her famous meme as an NFT for around $450,000. The creator of the “Leave Britney Alone” viral video, Chris Crocker, made over $41,000 on an NFT sale. Even the original Nyan Cat GIF was sold by its creator, Chris Torres, for $600,000.

Unlike the “Leave Britney Alone” video, from which Crocker told Insider they earned no money, the “David After Dentist” YouTube video did generate some income for the family at the time, DeVore Sr. said. “We were actually one of the first viral videos to be part of the YouTube Partner Program when they had just rolled that out,” he told Insider. The program, still a staple for creators on the platform, launched in 2008, enabling creators to monetize their videos using ads. 

DeVore said the program “really saved” his family in the early aughts. “We were grateful for the revenue that it produced,” he told Insider. “Then the economy took a big nosedive and my real estate business dried up — fortunately, my wife was working, but it really saved us.”

With the money from the sale, DeVore hopes to finish paying for his two sons’ college degrees — DeVore Jr. is now a 20-year-old University of Florida student — among other things. “My wife and I will probably put some for retirement. Boring stuff, but it is fun entertaining the possibility of taking some of those financial pressures off,” he told Insider. 

They have both been able to appreciate the opportunity to experiment with new technology. “It’s really cool that we’re able to turn David’s video into a piece of art,” David Sr. told Insider. “It’s like 12 years old and it’s part of the early internet culture. It feels like 2009 all over again.”

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