TODAY   |  July 08, 2012

Viral star who interviewed self: 'Completely' shocked

Jeremiah McDonald, 32, is the latest viral video star after a clip of him interviewing his 12-year-old self received more than 3.7 million hits. He chats with TODAY's Jenna Wolfe about how he came up with the idea and what he'll do next with his newfound fame.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> so they're called viral for a reason, the internet videos somebody e-mails you with everyone they know that you then watch and e-mail to everyone you know. there was the live lip dubbed marriage proposal that touched our hearts. the adorable baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper. and the harvard baseball team 's remake of carly ray jepsen's "call me maybe." now an interview between a 32-year-old filmmaker jeremiah mcdonald and himself, back when he was 12 years old. take a look.

>> is there anything in particular you wanted to know about?

>> is molly still alive.

>> is molly still alive? no. dogs don't live that long.

>> oh. and what about leon.

>> are all your questions going to be about pets?

>> yes.

>> then the answer is they're all dead. what do you do exactly?

>> you know what i'm like.

>> you must have hobbies of some --

>> you're interviewing yourself, look at you.

>> you left the tape. don't do the -- i'm not --

>> excuse me.

>> charming. no wonder i'm single.

>> i am you.

>> exactly.

>> that's great. jeremiah joins us now. jeremiah , good morning.

>> good morning.

>> do you laugh when you see that? i mean -- is it as entertaining to you as everyone who watched it online.

>> i don't know if it is entertaining for the same reasons but i watch it with some discomfort. part of my reactions in the video, some are genuine, but also i think -- i think my 12-year-old self would feel the same way. we're both looking at each other with mutual disappointment for different reasons.

>> you describe it when it first starts, 20 years ago you and a camcorder decided, age 12, you'll put together this video. how did this come about?

>> i was just playing. i had the camera on . i had been doing this since a very young age. i was making youtube videos before there was a youtube but i had no idea anyone would ever see it. even my parents. i was just doing it completely for my own.

>> when you were 12, you thought you were talking to a future you, right?

>> yes.

>> is there someone else you were talking to?

>> no, i was just -- i was obsessed with time travel stories. i constantly fantasized about what my future self would be. and so it was just a natural extension of that, just imagining what am i going to be like and what --

>> were you waiting to turn 32 before you released this and started editing it and putting it together. did you want to try this earlier?

>> i did try earlier versions of it and they didn't -- there was one i did about six years ago, which didn't quite work because people didn't -- when i showed it to people, they would watch and say, that's cute, who is that kid playing you? well, that's me. i was so naive, it didn't occur to me that people wouldn't think that kid was me. in this version, i had to prove it, which is why i start with the montage, i try to demonstrate and show the progression.

>> you put this thing on youtube . within 24 hours , 1.6 million people already watched. were you surprised by the success of it so quickly?

>> completely. it happened even for me just quicker than that. i put the video up, i saw some nice comments on facebook, i said, that's very nice. and i went to work. and, like eight hours later, i come home, it is on the huffington post and the top e-mail -- like the most recent e-mail i received was from the "today" show.

>> incredible.

>> just happened that quickly.

>> let me ask you this. you're 32 now. are you doing one for 20 years from now? are you going to put together something similar? you're a filmmaker. this is what you do.

>> i might have to. i haven't thought that far ahead.

>> you haven't planned anything?

>> not yet.

>> what is the next big project we can look forward to?

>> i have over 2,000 requests for drawings on tumbler. i don't know what i'm going to do. that's why i made this video to sort of launch this little side drawing thing. and so, yeah, i haven't had any time to draw anything in the last several days.

>> you may be launching a new career in time travel . jeremiah mcdonald, such a creative, neat, witty thing. thank you so much for sharing it