PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — All you need to get on YouTube is a camera and someone — or something — to star in your video.
But what does it take to go viral? A pair of sisters in Forest Hills have fans across the globe.
A single episode of “Baby Teeth 4,” starring Jillian and Addie McLaughlin of Forest Hills, has been seen by 48 million people.
Bob McLaughlin tapes the newest entry at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in the Strip. Though he sometimes writes a script for his daughters, he says, “For the other ones, the candy reviews and so forth, that’s all off the cuff. Those are their own lines they come up with.”
The show even sells advertising. So, what’s the secret to going viral?
“I could say it’s my story writing,” Bob says. “But really people like the kids. They come across as real sweet. They’re not showoff-y or anything. That comes through in their work.”
For Anthony Moretti, who teaches communications at Robert Morris University, watching YouTube is actually part of the job.
“Many years ago,” he says, “the popular thing was, ‘If it plays in Peoria.’ Well, to some extent now Peoria is the entire country.”
Unlike television, anyone with a camera can do it. That can be a good thing.
“We see a kid laughing,” the associate professor says, “or a dog eating an ice cream, and I think maybe our faith is restored a little bit.”
So what do the stars think of this?
“They’re fun, and I get to spend a lot of time with my dad,” Jillian says.
For Jillian’s sister Addie, it’s about the candy.
“I like eating the candy,” she says, “even though some of the candy tastes bad.”
Bad candy or not, the show must go on.