Getting into a car accident was probably the best thing that ever happened to George Lindell.
In case you haven't seen it, Lindell's recounting of the wreck was ultra-energetic and extremely animated, peppered with phrases like "Bam!", "Foom!", and "Wham!" Plus, he uttered the statement that's become his catchphrase: "Reality hits you hard, bro."
As with any sort of wacky TV broadcast, it was posted on YouTube, went viral, and scored thousands of hits. (As of this writing, it's been viewed more than 285,000 times.)
YouTube video artists The Gregory Brothers also saw Lindell's rant and used it for an episode of their popular "Songify This!" series.
As a result, Lindell's become the Valley's latest Internet celebrity. He's appeared on FOX 10 several times, been featured on a few local radio stations, and his friends are trying to land him some endorsement deals and commercial work.
Jackalope Ranch recently spoke with Lindell about his over-the-top personality and rise to fame ...
What's your reaction to becoming an YouTube sensation?
It's been so cool man, I'd been living in my damn van.
Yeah, because of the stupid economy. I managed to find a little place since then. It's an apartment below a dude's house and the bank recently repo'd the house, so he's telling me I gotta get out now. Dude, it sucks.
What's your background?
I grew up here in Phoenix and went to Maryvale High School. I've been a house painter since I was 11 years old. And I'm good at it. Damn good at it. And I like to do it. I like to work at least 50 hours a week. I can do anything that has to do with paint. I'm an expert on color.
What did you do after high school?
I had to go right into painting. My dad was a painter and because my dad had a lot of kids, everyone needed to work.
When did you start drumming?
I started drinking when I was 5. Oh yeah, I started playing drums when I was 11 (laughs).
Okay, when did you start drinking, then?
When I was 5. Whatever I could steal out of the refrigerator (laughs). It was easy man. I was good at getting whatever I wanted. I could smile at my mom and in the meantime I could be stealing candy right out of the cabinet. I could always trick my mom into anything. I was on the nipple until I was like four years old. Shit, I was smart baby. I was a genius when I was a baby. My dad used to buy six packs of Coors in cans and a lot of time it wound up on the bottom shelf, and so I'd sneak 'em past while my mom was cooking.
Have you always been an excitable guy?
I've always had a lot of energy. People think I'm really crazy. But I don't care. I'm a crazy guy. My IQ is like 145. But like my friends, say I like to water the grass when it's raining. My whole family is a bunch of crazies.
What were you thinking during the car accident?
I was at a job, setting up everything, getting ready to spray, and I didn't have an extension cord. I left my damn extension cord at home. So as I was going home I was also debating about maybe getting something to eat. So I thought, "Albertson's kinda sounds good. Boston Market sounds even better, but Albertson's kinda has a lot bigger..." BAM! Never saw it coming.
So was the other driver cited?
Who knows. The insurance company doesn't want to pay me. They said that the guy who hit me claims his brakes went out, so they don't have to pay me. It sucks, bro.
How's your car?
It's a thing of beauty. The doors are all smashed. It's in front of my friend's house.
Did you ever watch the old Batman TV series, which had plenty of "bam's" and "pow's"?
I did watch Batman. I thought Batman was cool when I was a kid. I probably wouldn't like it as much today if I looked at it.
Did the YouTube video blow up immediately?
It went viral right away. There were something like a couple hundred thousand hits in the first three hours. Everybody started playing it right away.
How long did it take for the Gregory Brothers to create their video?
They had that thing out in a week. The way that they put together that video was great. It was catchy, hooky, and artistic. Everything they've did was pure art. I'd never even heard of them before. I'd never really watched YouTube before. I don't even have a YouTube account. My internet is so freaking cheap [that] I can't get video. I have that $40 Cricket Wireless thing that you plug into the computer.
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Who told you about their video?
Kari Lake on FOX 10 News called me and she told me. She must've been the first to find out. They were doing interviews with the Gregory Brothers. Kari Lakes loves me, she's already called me like five or six times. She tells me everything and she's helping me find lawyers, people to help me.
So you're selling t-shirts with your catchphrase "Reality Hits You Hard, Bro." How else are you trying to capitalize on your fame?
My friends are helping me get into commercials or get endorsement deals. They're talking to a publicist and everything. I'd really like to do a Miller Lite commercial. Or a commercial for an accident lawyer. Like, "Hi, I'm George Lindell. Reality hits you hard, bro." It could be fun.