Student leads secret life as YouTube star

By Alicia Balderrama

By day Anthony Nguyen is a typical Cal Poly Pomona accounting student, but after class, he’s a full-fledged YouTube star.

The fourth-year transfer student and his co-host release a new comedy skit on their channel, “The Crazy Gorilla,” every Sunday. The channel has over 230 videos and more than 88,000 subscribers.

The channel’s premise is simple: “Just two guys making funny videos and enjoying every moment of it.”

Most of the videos parody or satirize current events and hot topics or poke fun at the annoyances of everyday life, such as “5 Types of Uber Drivers,” “That Friend That Smells” and “You Know You’re In College If.”

One of their most popular videos, which featured Donald Trump edited into famous scenes from the film “Mean Girls,” was even published on Cosmopolitan Magazine’s website.

“We like to make fun of and exaggerate things that happen in real life,” said Anthony Nguyen. “I think our videos are popular because they are relatable to a lot of people.”

As a full-time student, Anthony Nguyen said the key to balancing schoolwork and video production is time management. On average, each video takes about four hours to write the script, five to six hours to shoot and about six hours to edit. He tries to get all of his homework done at the beginning of the week so he can spend the rest of his free time producing that week’s video.

He attributes his work ethic to several years of Tae Kwon Do classes. He said that obtaining his black belt required a lot of self-discipline and taught him how to apply himself in pursuit of a goal.

School has not always been a priority for Anthony Nguyen, however. The San Bernardino native did not pay much attention to his grades in high school because he assumed that good grades weren’t important to get into college.

“My high school didn’t really emphasize college,” said Anthony Nguyen. “They mainly focused on getting kids to graduate. I would have tried harder if I had known about the importance of good grades.”

During his senior year, Anthony Nguyen managed to turn his grades around and get straight As in hopes of being accepted into CPP, but it was already too late. He attended Cal State San Bernardino for two years and worked hard to get straight As in order to transfer to CPP. This time he was successful.

According to Luz Nguyen, Anthony Nguyen’s mother, he started doing well in school once he began creating videos.

“It motivates him more,” Luz Nguyen said. “Since he started doing [videos] he’s been on the Dean’s List. If anything, it pushes him to excel.”

Ramon Guzman, a Cal State San Bernardino student, is the co-host of “The Crazy Gorilla.” The two YouTubers met in a high school math class and have been friends ever since.

“I think our videos are popular because we tend to focus on quality content and consistency,” said Guzman.

Guzman added that Anthony Nguyen and he work well together, despite the occasional difference of opinion on what’s funny and what is not.

Although acting is a major part of what he does on “The Crazy Gorilla,” Anthony Nguyen said he is more interested in all of the work behind the scenes. He prefers filming, directing and writing scripts, but his favorite part of the creative process is editing the videos.

In addition to using green screen technologies in comedy skits, Anthony Nguyen sometimes makes humorous edits to existing content, including music videos and films. He seems to have a natural talent for editing, and everything he knows is self-taught.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a creative aspect,” Anthony Nguyen said.

So how did “The Crazy Gorilla” get its name? According to Anthony Nguyen, it all started with a gorilla costume and a Selena Gomez music video.

The singer had asked her fans to make music videos for her song “Magic,” so Anthony Nguyen, being a huge fan, obliged. He thought it would be funny to have a friend dress up in a gorilla suit and dance in the background. He needed to create a YouTube account to post the video, and “The Crazy Gorilla” was born.

It wasn’t until a couple years later that he started creating consistent content, although the channel wasn’t immediately popular. But when a video making fun of shuffle dancing received 5,000 views in one week, Anthony Nguyen was hooked.

“Comedy has no boundaries,” said Anthony Nguyen. “As long as it’s funny, we’ll make a video out of it.”

Anthony Nguyen from The Crazy Gorilla

Malak Habbak / The Poly Post

Anthony Nguyen from The Crazy Gorilla

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