YouTube Influencer Blippi Outsources Influencing

Illustration for article titled YouTube Influencer Blippi Outsources Influencing
Screenshot: New York Post Twitter

Kids are not widely known for being logical or observant, which is why many believe fairies leave money for their discarded teeth, a man in a velvet suit brings their Christmas presents, or that a rabbit lays eggs filled with candy each year to commemorate Christ. So if a YouTube influencer called Blippi who is popular with children for being creepy in local businesses, like bakeries or aquariums, decides to skive off and hire a lookalike to be creepy during some public appearances, who is really the wiser?

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Parents, apparently. After announcing a tour and selling tickets for up to hundreds of dollars, Blippi creator Stevin John announced in the FAQ section of his tour’s website that he had “evolved” past doing his job and “is excited that a dynamic stage performer has been cast as Blippi to entertain and thrill audiences across all of our tour markets.”

As parents demand refunds because they expect the “real” Blippi to wear frameless glasses and suspenders while uttering inanities for their children’s amusement, Blippi says that, much like Santa, he simply does not have time to be in all these locations at once: “[Since] YouTube is a monster and all of these platforms are really crazy I can’t go on the road for many weeks or months at a time,” John told Billboard.

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Lying to kids about which man is in what costume is a time-honored tradition. If any kid even notices that this is a different adult man dressed like a Revenge of the Nerds-themed acid trip, just feed them the same story as when they ask how Santa can visit every home in the world over the course of a single night. It only works if you believe, kid, so don’t ask questions and eat your candy.

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DISCUSSION

As the (proud? constantly sleep-deprived?) father of two small boys, I’m all too familiar with Blippi. He was a bit of a crutch when the first was unruly, but we learned our lesson. Three anecdotes/observations:

#1: We tell our 2.5 year old that Blippi doesn’t work on our phones any more. He’s still young enough to believe that, despite having seen evidence to the contrary. Kids are both exceptionally smart and exceptionally dumb.

#2: My sister in-law thought it would be hilarious to buy me orange suspenders and glasses so I could dress as Blippi. I did not find this amusing and am still plotting some form of revenge. Fortunately my older son forgot that I received these...“gifts.

#3: My wife saw a Buzzfeed article about this same issue. But more interesting was the mention of “Blippi”’s previous career as a gross-out artist specializing in flying fecal matter. He can’t be paying his lawyer nearly enough money to keep those videos off the internet.