If you spend any time on the Internet, you’ve no doubt seen “David After Dentist,” the YouTube video of a woozy 7-year-old boy in the back seat of a car, struggling to understand the effects of anesthesia.
According to CNN, the viral clip has been viewed almost 54 million times and gave rise to the catchphrase, “Is this real life?” It was the second most-watched video of 2009.
It’s also been an unexpected bonanza for the boy’s Orlando, Florida-area family, who, despite some criticism that they exploited their child by posting his image online, has turned the one-minute, 59-second home video into a lucrative sideline.
“We embraced it,” said the boy’s father, David DeVore, who shot the famous clip on a Flip camera from the car’s front seat. “We said we will make a family adventure out of this and see what happens. Nothing has happened that we felt uncomfortable doing.”
He would not say exactly how much the family has earned from the video but said it’s in the “low six figures.”
The video’s popularity may also help pay for David’s college tuition. The family earns money from licensing use of the video and gets a cut of revenue from the ads placed around the clip on YouTube. They’ve also started a Web site where they sell T-shirts and other “David After Dentist” merchandise.