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Reality Hits You Hard, Bro is a catchphrase from a 2011 viral video of an interview with George Lindell, an Arizona man who was rear-ended on September 15th, 2011. The video was later autotuned by the Gregory Brothers. His enthusiastic response, similar to that of Antoine Dodson, has inspired a number of parody and remix videos.
On September 15th, 2011, a news clip aired on the Phoenix area news station Fox 10 after a SUV driver lost control of his vehicle, hitting another car before striking into a utility pole. The power lines attached to the pole fell on the car, trapping the driver inside.
A news reporter at the scene interviewed George Lindell, who was driving the car hit by the SUV, and a clip was uploaded to YouTube by the FunnyLocalNews channel on September 16th, 2011. Within 4 months, the video accumulated over 600,000 views.
Within the first 24 hours, the video was posted on Gawker, Uproxx Warming Glow, CollegeHumor, the Tosh.0 blog and Mediaite. Several Zazzle shops began offering items such as t-shirts and tote bags with the catchphrase on them almost immediately. He was re-interviewed by Fox Phoenix on September 16th to talk the success of the video clip. On September 21st, the Gregory Brothers auto-tuned the video, which has over 3.5 million views as of December 21st, 2011. The original video was subsequently covered by the Huffington Post, LiveLeak and Viral Viral Videos.
A Phoenix New Times culture blog, Jackalope Ranch, interviewed Lindell on October 6th, 2011, noting the video had over 285,000 views at that time. He stated that he had always been excitable and had never visited YouTube prior to the video’s release. He also noted that a local Fox News anchor, Kari Lake, was helping him find lawyers so he could collect damages to fix his car after the other driver’s insurance denied a payout. The interview was posted to NPR on October 15th, 2011.
Search for both the catchphrase and George Lindell’s name peaked in September 2011, falling quickly.
myFOXphoenix – Power Lines Fall on Crashed Vehicle, Driver Trapped