When aspiring comedian Danny Vega returned recently to Casa Grande, Arizona, he came prepared to roast the hell out of his hometown.
"If you ever wanted to go to college next to a dead mall, you can do that," Vega says in a now-viral video.
"They say there's nothing to do in CG. But there's an old water slide that you can slide down, and die," Vega says, standing in front of what looks like some hazardous industrial equipment.
And for those viewers who don't speak Spanish, Vega explains that the name "Casa Grande" actually means "Victim of the housing crisis."
The 29-year-old comedian, who currently lives in New York City, skewers his hometown in the December 26 video, which has since racked up nearly 700,000 views on YouTube, plus several thousand more on Twitter.
The video also gained viral traction on the social media site Reddit, where a user describing himself as Vega's brother posted a link and said that the Casa Grande comedy "somehow made it to the front page of the local paper."
Vega now has approximately 4,700 subscribers to his YouTube channel, where he has been posting videos since 2012.
His Casa Grande takedown is part of a series, "I'm Walking Here," where Vega lambastes other locations, mostly in the New York area. Other videos in the series include an edition from Penn Station ("Proof that the devil is real, and he is winning") and LaGuardia Airport ("Italian for 'shitty airport'")
The Casa Grande iteration of the series is Vega's most popular video by far.
In case you think the evisceration of Casa Grande's abandoned fast food restaurants, doomed development projects, and bullet-ridden speed-limit signs is too harsh, please note: Vega told the Casa Grande Dispatch's Kevin Reagan that he is playing up his over-the-top ironic humor in the video. In reality, he doesn't have a problem with his hometown, he said.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
“I actually really like it," Vega told the Dispatch.
Nevertheless, Vega has continued to take shots at his hometown as the video's view count climbs. In a comment below his YouTube video, Vega wrote last week, "There are unconfirmed (but credible) reports that Casa Grande’s powers-that-be want me dead."
He might be right. When reached on Monday, the city of Casa Grande had nothing to say about Vega's viral hit.
Phil Burdick, public information officer for the city, told Phoenix New Times, “We’ve seen it, and we’re not commenting on it.”