Have I just stumbled upon the greatest Internet persona of all time?
The answer is yes, I have. Completely by accident, while perusing uploads of stranger’s birthday parties from the ’70s and ’80s (What? They soothe me), I arrived at the page of Weird Paul Petroskey. That was four hours ago, and I’m still there.
First things first, WTF?
Did Kurt really even die? ‘Cause this looks like a pretty convincing current day Cobain. If Weird Paul hadn’t been posting videos for the last 30 years, I may actually have peddled this conspiracy further. Alas, Weird Paul is a 48-year-old musician and YouTuber from Pittsburgh. Over the last three decades, he’s written and recorded close to 700 songs and had two documentaries made about him.
He’s obsessed with making music and uploading kooky review clips to his YouTube channel, like his whole series of ‘Old product label’ videos, where he just recalls breakfast cereal brands and soup companies from his youth. A lot of his videos also feature archival footage of him as a kid doing what is now known as ‘vlogging’, so it’s safe to say he was well ahead of his time.
A few years ago, an LA-based filmmaker stumbled upon his page and decided to make a documentary about his life, titled Will Work For Views: The Lo-Fi Life of Weird Paul. Apparently while filming they discovered that Paul spends up to three days to complete a single video, often re-writing scripts and shooting multiple takes. While it may seem like he’s taking the piss, he’s actually really serious about his videos and making his art, and his earnestness just makes me like him even more. Speaking of his art, I’ve left my personal favourite till last. Enjoy ‘Pot of Macaroni’, a masterpiece of Weird Paul proportions. You’re very welcome.