Strahle's rise on YouTube
Loud screams, high pitched squeaks and the barking of what sounded like 10 dogs filled the hallway on an otherwise quiet Wednesday night. The closer I got to my door, the louder the incantations became. I reached for the doorknob hoping for the best, expecting the worst.
I walked through the door of my suite to find my roommates and neighbors piled tightly on couches and futons, their faces intent upon the screen of a small laptop. They leaned in, lips sealed and eyes wide until suddenly, unpredictably, the entire room erupted with screaming and laughter. On that night, I was formally introduced to the L.A. Beast.
Kevin Strahle, known by his YouTube personality, the L.A. Beast, has been slowly building a brand since his first video landed on YouTube almost three years ago. Since uploading, "Fatburger XXXXXL King Challenge- Over 3 pounds of burger domination" in 2010, the L.A. Beast has collected 101,000 subscribers to his channel, skippy62able. To date his videos have been viewed more than 18,000,000 times.
Almost all of Strahle's videos depict his attempt to complete a challenge bestowed upon him by personal friends or fans via Twitter or Facebook. Most of these challenges involve eating, though occasionally Strahle opts to perform outside the kitchen.
His most famous stunt, "Idiot Loses Toe After Butter Pranking Himself" was featured as Tosh.O's Video Breakdown last June and since then has gone viral on home video shows and internet humor websites. Inspired by the movie Dumb and Dumber, Strahle attempts to give himself brain freeze before running across a buttered floor while carrying a stack of holiday presents. While atypical in that it doesn't involve eating, the video nicely demonstrates both Strahle's sense of humor and lunacy.
Some of Strahle's other notable stunts include eating 96 Fruit Roll-Ups, ingesting 24,000 calories of pure olive oil, eating 50 cloves of fresh garlic, and drinking 50 raw eggs from an enormous glass chalice. His egg stunt was replicated on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno three weeks ago.
In addition to his amazing eating exploits, Strahle has also performed stunts involving tarantulas, fireworks and ipecac to the tune of Johnny Knoxville and his crew.
While YouTube is saturated with want-to-be daredevils, Strahle stands out due to his sense of humor and transparency. To build a repertoire and trust with his viewers, Strahle not only provides hilarious (and usually extremely stupid) original commentary throughout his videos, but shoots his videos without camera movements or cuts in order to prove that his feats are in fact legitimate.
In addition to reaching YouTube stardom, Strahle works as a sales rep for a beer distributor by day and is a competitive eater by night. Currently, he is the 16th best eater in the world according to Major League Eating's (MLE) rankings. Despite his success in the eating ring, Strahle is most entertaining on YouTube as the L.A. Beast, a claim he echoes in his MLE profile, acknowledging that "he is singularly responsible for some of the world's most foolish content on YouTube - a feat he makes no mention of on his LinkedIn page."
Constantly maneuvering and creating in a medium that combines comedy, stupidity and competition, Kevin Strahle's persona, the L.A. Beast is quickly becoming one of YouTube's most prolific, consistent, and entertaining personalities.
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