The Birth of the Annoying Orange As Told on ‘Ear Biscuits’

/ Jun 29, 2014


The man who created the “Annoying Orange” could hardly have planned something that grew so big on the internet…and he didn’t, really. The pesky fruit’s creator, Dane Boedigheimer, told Rhett & Link why the Orange is an orange and other fun, fruity facts on this week’s “Ear Biscuits.”

Boedigheimer came up with the idea for the first “Annoying Orange” video in the place where many creators come up with their best work: in bed. However, the original concept had the apple and orange’s roles switched. Again, like anything great, the reason behind the change came almost completely by chance. Since Boedigheimer had yet to perfect the type of animation for which he would become widely known, he was still bumbling around with the fruit’s faces, ultimately deciding that the orange looked better, hence it’s central position in that first video. Also, apples getting sliced are a lot more dramatic than oranges getting peeled.

Boedigheimer’s story doesn’t quite mark an overnight YouTube video explosion. “The Annoying Orange” picked up steam over the course of a few weeks, eventually hitting the million-view mark. “It really was organic,” Boedinger described, probably no pun intended, explaining that no major personality touted the video. It was simply shared, friend to friend to friend to friend to friend.

Since most of Boedigheimer’s prior anthropomorphic fruit videos ended in the edible’s untimely demise, it was sheer luck that the Orange survived to encompass an entire franchise. In fact, he told Rhett & Link, “It was lucky I kept the character alive at the end so I could keep making more,” since he had never imagine making a sequel to “The Annoying Orange.”

Still, Boedigheimer wasn’t convinced that the Annoying Orange would become his signature until after he uploaded episode four to YouTube. It got 1 million views by the next day, at which point Boedigheimer could no longer ignore what was happening. “From there, I dedicated myself to a schedule,” he said, and Friday became the day that he would post new Annoying Orange videos, emphasizing with Rhett & Link the importance of maintaining a regular, once-a-week uploading schedule as a YouTube creator.

Of course, no one can continue to manage such a strict schedule and remain supremely creative all alone. Like all content creators as they grow, Boedigheimer had to enlist others to help. His friend Spencer had been with him from the Orange’s start, and Boedigheimer knew Spencer’s skill lay in coming up with puns. Thus, Spencer became the designated scriptwriter, and the two embarked on a rigid schedule of brainstorming Sunday, when Spencer would write the script to be finalized on Monday. Then on Tuesday came the mouth recordings, with the rest of the week dedicated to animation up until the Friday release.

Now, the Annoying Orange boasts its own YouTube channel, plenty of related merchandise, and two seasons of its own TV show. During the television show’s production, Boedigheimer still continued to roll out weekly episodes on the internet. He often had to explain to people that he “can’t cut off the web show because the web show was where it was all born…you’ve got to use that to push the audience to this new, bigger thing. They cross-promote each other and still work together.”

Even though Boedigheimer and the Annoying Orange have become big stars at this point, you can still hear them sit down for an intimate conversation with Rhett & Link (who also feature in a recent Annoying Orange video as fries) on the most recent “Ear Biscuits.”

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