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David After Dentist is the name of a YouTube video uploaded in January 2009 featuring David DeVore Jr.‘s reaction to anesthesia after a dentist appointment. The clip is known for receiving more than 3 million views in three days, becoming YouTube’s second most watched video in 2009.
In May 2008, David DeVore took his seven-year-old son, David DeVore Jr., to a dental surgeon to take care of an extraneous tooth that was caused by hyperdontia. Since his mother Tessa could not make it, DeVore decided to film David before and after the procedure to show her later. After the surgery was completed, DeVore filmed David’s reaction, in which he asked deep questions including “is this real life?” “Why is this happening to me?” and “Is this going to be forever?”
After sharing it with his family and friends on Facebook, DeVore uploaded it to YouTube on January 30th, 2009. Within three days, the video had 3 million views. As of April 20th, 2012, the video has 109,979,313 views, an average of 93,520 views a day, and 1,742,940 shares on Facebook.
The week after the video came out, it appeared on a variety of news sites and tech blogs including The Wall Street Journal, Videogum, Laughing Squid, Buzzfeed, and Gigaom. On February 4th, 2009, DeVore registered the domain DavidAfterDentist.com where he continues to blog about David and his life. That month, DeVore became one of the first viral videomakers to become a YouTube partner In April, Urlesque included the video as #7 on their list of the 100 most iconic internet videos. PC Mag announced in December 2009 that the clip was the second most watched video on YouTube that year, second to Britan’s Got Talent competitor Susan Boyle.
In March 2010, David After Dentist came in at #3 on TIME’s 50 best YouTube videos list. An official Facebook page was crated on March 16th, 2009 and has 53,3463 likes as of April 2012. DeVore also maintains a Twitter account with 2,600 followers. The family has also used their internet fame to raise funds for charity, partnering with Operation Smile, which raises money to provide surgeries repairing cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities across the globe.
As early as February 4th 2009, many viewers felt that the David After Dentist video was exploitative of David, thinking that DeVore had filmed his son solely to gain YouTube hits. A user of Yahoo! Voices was the first to draw attention to the negative sentiment YouTube commenters felt about David’s video. Mashable and Wired also discussed whether or not his father should have put the video up in a public space. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on February 9th, 2009, DeVore stated that he was trying to prove to his song that his anxiety leading up to the appointment was a worse feeling than the outcome, noting that he felt bad for his son’s reaction but David found it as funny as he did when he watched it later that night. DeVore also appeared on the Today Show and the O’Reilly Factor (below) to defend his actions.
In August 2009, NPR reported that the DeVore family had made $25,000 from the video, which had only been viewed 28 million times at that point. By June 2010, the family had reportedly made over $150,000 with $100,000 of that coming from their YouTube partnership., and the rest coming from appearances and merchandise. The DeVores’ monetary gains were covered by the Washington Post, Geekosystem, the Inquisitr, Motherboard and CNN.
In January 2010, David and his father appeared on a Tosh.0 Web Redemption segment. Later that year, the DeVores were guest panelists at ROFLcon, where they spoke about their personal video becoming unintentionally famous online. In September 2011, 20/20 published a follow-up on the family, stating that David is still a normal kid who loves football and videogames.
References in Pop Culture
Outside of the internet, the video has been referenced by television shows including My Name Is Earl, Glee, and Regular Show. Additionally, the address to the original YouTube video is used as the example for how to upload a video to microblogging site Tumblr.
fn17, Yahoo! Voices – ‘David After Dentist’ Video Stirring Emotions
The Huffington Post – Bill O’Reilly Goes After Father Of ‘David After Dentist’ For Some Reason
Business Insider – YouTube “David After Dentist” Family Rolling In $150,000
The Inquisitr – Parents of ‘David After Dentist’ explain how they cashed in