It seems like every internet meme is getting the NFT treatment these days. The latest is “David After Dentist,” one of YouTube’s earliest viral videos. In 2008, David DeVore recorded his then-seven-year-old son, David Jr., babbling now-iconic lines like “Is this real life?” in a medication-fueled haze after a tooth extraction.
The video has racked up more than 140 million views since it was posted in 2009. And now, 12 years later, the younger DeVore’s moment of viral fame is helping to fund his college education.
The DeVore family is auctioning “David After Dentist” as an NFT, with proceeds going toward college tuition for both David and his brother, according to a press release.
“It kind of feels like 2009 all over again,” the elder DeVore said in an interview with the Verge Thursday. “NFTs are like the wild west right now, it’s like back when we went viral and social media was in its infancy.”
The auction went live on Thursday and is open for 24 hours but could be extended for late bids, DeVore Sr. told the outlet. His son, who is now 20, is studying computer science at the University of Florida and has perfect teeth, he added.
The “David After Dentist” NFT is the first offered by Views, a collective launched by viral video distributor Jukin Media and influencer management firm Night Media to help creators mint their meme-worthy content using NFTs. NFTs of other viral videos, including “Pizza Rat” and the “Ok Boomer” TikTok, will also be going up for auction at a later date, according to Forbes.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are unique digital tokens tied to the blockchain that signify ownership of a data asset. The art world became obsessed with them earlier this year, with collectors shelling out millions of dollars to own essentially digital trading cards, and now everyone from toy manufacturers to video game companies and influencers is getting in on the buzz.
Stories like that of David and “Disaster Girl”, who also NFT-ified her meme to help pay for college, have me wondering: Is this the new American dream?