It’s likely that for as many people in the US familiar with the President, there are plenty that know about the Kid President, too. Catapulted to fame after a “pep talk” rallied more than 34 million views (and counting) on YouTube, Kid President’s videos on Soul Pancake now feature interviews with politicians and celebrities most 11-year-olds (yes, he’s 11) could only hope to meet in their wildest dreams.
Recently, Kid President gave an overview of this impressive celebrity encounters (that range from Michelle Obama to Weird Al Yankovic) and more in his 2014 year-in-review video.
We got a chance to ask Kid President about his past year, his plans for 2015 (spreading the word of his new book), and, more or less, how it feels to be “awesome.”
We watched your “Make 2015 Awesome” video and saw all the amazing things you did in 2014. If you had to pick a favorite from those, what would it be?
My big bro Brad and I wrote our first book. That was really cool. But that’s a hard question because we did so much cool stuff last year! When we surprised a teacher on her last day of work, I was like, “Man, this day is AWESOME.” And I don’t know how we are going to beat a tin can phone call with Michelle Obama. I guess we will have to Skype her.
Could you tell me a bit about your new book, “Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome”?
IT’S AWESOME! The book is 100 ways to make the world more awesome. There are so many easy ways people can change the world. You can put on a superhero cape while helping a neighbor with yard work, you can write a poem for someone who doesn’t usually have poems written about them, you can treat everyone like it’s their birthday… And then to make it even better, we included a bunch of stories about real kids who are changing the world in their own communities.
Who are some of the famous people you worked with on the book?
The list is crazy! I want to have a dance party just thinking about it. I mean, where else are you gonna find Julia Stiles, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Josh Groban, Craig Robinson, Olivia Wilde, Andrew WK, and Corndog Jones. Maybe that last one isn’t really famous yet but I think everyone’s famous.
How does it feel to have been nominated for an NAACP Image Award?
It feels like having a bunch of favorite superheroes for your whole life and then someone says, “Hey, all the superheroes are having a party, do you want to come and eat some pizza with them?” Basically, it feels like I still can’t believe it.
Could you tell me about your video plans for honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day?
Brad and I worked on an extra special video to give thanks to Martin Luther King Jr. His son, Martin Luther King III, is one of my favorite interviews in the book and even donated 50 copies of his own book to #bookitforward (a really cool hashtag for sharing books — you gotta check it out).
You’ve become a role model for a lot of people. Who’s your biggest role model?
Corndog Jones. Just kidding! Kind of. I really love Corndog Jones. But I also really love Brad, who makes all the Kid President videos happen. Yeah, Brad is my biggest role model.
What’s your New Year’s resolution for 2015?
To make my book the best book in the world forever! And to pass the 5th grade.