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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is enough iffy behavior on this Web site 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 six-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.
Is it any good?
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. As Fred Figglehorn, a boastful, insecure six-year-old who 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 Web site 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.
Online interaction: There's no way to interact with other viewers of the Figglehorn videos unless you visit the YouTube link where uncensored comments can be left, and these can contain harsh language from people who are not fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Young teens can yearn for their fifteen minutes of fame, whether it's on the stage, in their living room, or on YouTube. You can help by encouraging kids in their creative pursuits, and making sure they channel that energy positively. Fred's subject matter can get a little wild and you wouldn't want your kids to try and outdo him.
Fred is a YouTube sensation. How did YouTube become such a pop-culture phenomenon? Learn more.
Fred's teen creator hopes his YouTube videos are a ticket to movie stardom. Lots of people have gotten noticed through YouTube -- or just use it as an outlet for their creativity. Learn how to upload a video to YouTube.
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