We come across the most random shit on the Internet, don’t we? Whether it’s a headline of a story that catches your eye, something we see while mindlessly scrolling on social media, or whatever the hell it is, the Internet seems like it just feeds us more and more. YouTube has a video of just about anything you can think of. In a random corner of YouTube, I came across a channel that was pure chaos. With stunts too ridiculous to stage and a nickname like “The Local Idiot”, the chaos made me curious. I wanted to know more. When a guy calls himself that, you either click away or go down a rabbit hole. I chose the latter.
We are spotlighting entertainer, Youtuber, and creator: Nico Laffey aka “The Local Idiot.” A guy who describes himself as “a lifelong idiot”, Nico is 22 years old. If you are in your 20’s to mid-30’s, Jackass was a part of your childhood in some way or another. Watch his “West Millvale”, “How To Play Slap Jack the Right Way” round 1 and 2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9fvfV-vZXU&t=42s), “Natural Waterslide POV (Ohiopyle, PA)” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwjWCnLsf8g ), and you can see the Jackass influence in his videos. He describes that influence as the following: “I discovered jackass around my freshman year and absolutely fell in love, and shortly after I discovered people were making youtube videos doing pretty much the same stuff I was doing in high school and getting paid for it.” Describing one of his early filmed stunts “After years and years of planning, I decided to just drop off a bridge, film it, and post it.” So, in the Jackass world of Bam, Ryan Dunn, Novak, Knoxville, and others, he’s Steve-O. He jumped off into the one of the Three Rivers of Pittsburgh. That should tell you that he is not afraid of too much. He has gotten pepper sprayed on video. Now you know a friend has turned to you at one point (sober or possibly drunk) and said, “I wonder what it feels like to be pepper sprayed.” There’s a video for that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmtv1EHVdjk. He describes it as “The most painful video, which is also the most pain I've ever felt, was getting pepper sprayed. I refused to wash it out for a solid 10 minutes just so I could get better footage which led to about 2 hours of non stop burning followed by an intense 2 day headache.” I call that dedication, what do you call it? The aftereffects of the pepper spray look like it tore his ass up. Besides that, he has a video of him getting waterboarded, which would make Dick Cheney proud. Enjoy this picture below of the aftermath of his battle with police grade pepper spray:
Cue the question “How is Nico an entertainer?!” Under the idiocrasy and craziness of it all is a fearless factor in some of these videos. Have you ever wanted to slide down a natural waterslide? I have. It’s risky, an adventure, and from watching his video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwjWCnLsf8g), looks pretty damn fun. Nico might have crowned himself “The Local Idiot”, but the shit he does is entertaining in a sense. He even adds some humor/comedy to most of his videos. One of his latest videos, Free Gym Prank, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09HVbwJTjWY), is hilarious. Using Dunham’s and other local spots (a famous bookstore) as his personal gym, it’s ridiculous enough to be funny. Honestly, someone who is willing to risk his body, health, and life in some cases for his own form of art is a lot of things. But people who can laugh at themselves are some of the best entertainers. Something else that sticks out is his authenticity. You can tell this shit is not edited and even he says “One thing I've always sworn to myself is that I would pride myself on authenticity. I would NEVER consider faking or lying about anything on my channel. Everything I will ever do has my personal guarantee that what you're seeing is fully real.” Steve O made a career out of authenticity and being who he was, for better or for worse. Nico seems to be trying to make that happen for himself too: “the idea of making a living off of what has previously caused me almost nothing, but trouble sounds pretty amazing. I just want enough money to live comfortably without a job, and honestly be able to make a difference in people's lives.” Enough about my take on it all. Below are Nico’s own words about his channel, who he is, and where he is headed. If you want a laugh, to go “WTF”, see his cat Ruby, or to see what the hell he is up to, check out his channel:
“Being a youtuber has been my dream since before it was a realistic career for people”
Favorite video? “My favorite video to date has to be the caffeine overdose. While it doesn't have the most views, it's definitely caused the most outrage. Almost every comment is telling me how irresponsible and stupid it was, as if that wasn't the point! It was incredibly challenging but it paid off with a great video.”
Scariest stunt? “Scariest stunt would have to be breaking a glass over my head. I thought for sure I was going to cut my head open but it actually went pretty smooth.”
Long term goals, plans, thoughts?
“My plans for the near future include some rooftop "parkour, getting tased, West Millvale part 2, I'd like to try some more pranks, and more. Some long term video goals, like in a world where I do this professionally, include: Walking across the country, breaking at least 1 world record on camera (I have several in mind), getting kicked in the balls by jackass's own Steve-o, and I've even written 7 episodes of a scripted comedy show called "school daze" I'd like to make happen some day.“
What do you want to get out of all of this?
“To summarize it all into one sentence, my goal is to be able to wake up every day knowing i do what I love for a living and I'm doing a good job at it”