What parents need to know about Fred Figglehorn

From the October 2009 edition
Parents need to know that there is enough iffy behavior on the super-popular website FredFigglehorn.com that they should preview it before they let their kids watch.

The site features the YouTube antics of a 16-year-old boy impersonating a loud, hyperactive 6-year-old, "Fred." A viral sensation among teens, the parodies poke fun at every type of childhood trauma from school crushes to absentee parents, all through the eyes of a kid with a chipmunk voice and a seriously dysfunctional family. But the language is clean and some "fredisodes" teach life lessons, such as it doesn't pay to cheat in elections.

Channeling his idol Jim Carrey, teen YouTube phenom Lucas Cruikshank has created a character capable of annoying the bejesus out of adults while entertaining kids. Fred Figglehorn deals with neglectful parents and bed wetting by talking incessantly and screaming, Cruikshank is by turns painful to watch and hilarious. He addresses poignant, universal themes like fitting in at school, then takes it over the top by giving whitebread Fred a death-row dad and hooker mom.

The Fred Figglehorn website showcases the best of the 30 videos Cruikshank has made so far in a clever interface where the links are wadded up pieces of paper. You can see the rest of the videos on YouTube. Cruikshank is getting rich off endorsements and now possibly a TV deal.