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MrSimon Interview

MrSimon is one of the most prolific poop makers on youtube and his work is held in very high regard by his many fans; his most recent poop reached 1000 views within 24hours of posting. In this interview we discover that despite not coming from the initial group of poopers (whom he refers to as the seniors), MrSimon is fact something of a fanboy and not the angry megalomanicac figure that he would have you believe. Read on to find out more about MrSimons’s opinons on issues such Mama Luigi, the branding of youtube poop and his own work’s popularity.

I’d like to start with your early work because I believe there has been a development in terms of how your style has changed. Your first listed video is in Feb 1st MAMA LUIGI, RAPED, INVERTED AND REVERSED It’s notable for two things. The first being it’s lack of obvious jokes or cross cutting between different media sources. Did you set out to define your own style early on or was it something that came through trial and error.

Well in fact, my first Youtube Poop I created was FOR SUPERYOSHI sometime in Summer 06, which I only created on Sheezyart. I’ve been meaning to put it on Youtube for a while. That one was pretty typical of a regular poop. It had no meaning about it, and relied upon a single catchphrase for laughs, the ever hilarious I’D SAY HE’S HOT ON OUR TAIL! introduced by Superyoshi. My first Poop created for Youtube was Stay here while I bash koopa football playas in December 06, which was very well recieved. However, I had accidentally deleted my primary youtube account, so date data was lost.

The opening video ident is of course very familiar to many and some may not even know it was originated by you. I understand you paid a voice over person to record it. Can you tell us more about that and did you have any idea that the ident would catch on to the extent it has?

Initially, I had not looked for a voice artist specifically for a Youtube Poop ident! I had found the incredibly cheap artist on eBay, recommended by fellow pal, iPodclock. He did a few lines for my Sheezyart radio show, “mrSimons wonderful jam”, however I had a fewwords left. So thinking of the most ridiculous, yet well worth cause for it, I chose to have him say a Youtube Poop ‘jingle’.

The use of the ident as a brand and of course the “where there’s smoke…” catchphrase plus things like using the term “Youtube poop presents…” rather than “MrSimon presents…’ all suggest that you planned out to be as influential as you are form the start. Was the branding of youtube poop and act of comedy, shrewd marketing, or something else?

I’ve always seen mass interest in Youtube Poop. It is a very simple concept that can be utilized by anybody. The form of video montage has already been seen in use by the mass media in the past, my personal favorite and biggest influence being Cartoon Networks AKA Cult Toons, produced by the VJ group eXceeda in 1999. With the advent of Youtube, video montage is now something very easy for people to utilize, and something anybody can have a simple chuckle at. I credit Youtube Poop rather than myself, since this is just a concept, rather than an original piece of work. I would only credit myself if the material I spliced was produced by myself. If this were to have any kind of credit, I would only credit myself for editing.So basically, I had intended to produce brand identity, but if it back fired, I thought it’d be rather funny anyways. I’m just surprised nobody’s asked me for a higher quality version of the intro, it would have saved them a bunch of time vixy’ing it up!

I found researching you or your work pretty difficult. Your website mrsimon.co.uk doesn’t contain much information about you and neither does your youtube profile. Yet you videos often appear to reponses to heated debates. Is there a site other than youtube that I don’t know about where you correspond with your viewers and fans.

I almost always post my work on Sheezyart.com, an art community simular to Deviantart, only without the talent and more of the e-drama. Its always a laugh, hence my reason to stay. Although I’m not active with the Clock Crew anymore, I always have fans of my previous work on Newgrounds from around 2004 catching up with these movies. The majority of debate however seems to be on the movie pages themselves, in the comment system. I respond to a few, but I read a ton. I chat with many-a people on MSN as well, and recently, I’ve been hanging in Youtube Streams. Its a swell concept, and I feel like chatting with peeps there.

STAY HERE WHILE I BASH KOOPA FOOTBALL PLAYAS is a good demonstration of a great sense of rhythm, a trick that turns up in a few other of your videos. (and which few others can pull off) Would you care to tell us more about your music

Again, inspired by an old show called AKA Cult Toons, the show could suddenly just jump into a hip-hop-esque breakdown. I feel its a cool little attention grabber that always gets heads turning. As a musician though, its more of a hobby as opposed to animating. The majority of the time, I create music to make people chuckle, or make their ears bleed. Its all rather fun. I have tried making a few serious tracks though!My first single was released a few days ago on iTunes. Hopefully if I sell twenty, I’ll have a few beers or so! As well as this poop album thing you guys want, I’m working on a ‘proper’ album called Welcome to Nowhere which I will release on iTunes. My ‘first’ official album, yes, my last, I’m not sure. I dont know if I’m growing tired of this whole music thang, I’ll have to see.

I see you also new youtube poop themed cd coming out – will it be an actual cd?

No, since it contains copyrighted samples. I’ll be releasing it as a free zippped MP3 album. Youtube Poop stuff and remixes from me will never be on iTunes. Thats not friendly.

I understand you are also an animator. Do you think your animation work has informed the comedy timing in your poop videos or is be the other way round – or even a two way process?

I suppose. Back when I produced my first few toons in 2001, Oh Brother and Thats Fred, everything was really really slow. I’d find I’d get bored of my own stuff, that couldn’t be good. In a world where people can switch off your Youtube vid if it doesn’t impress them in a few seconds, I do my best to keep everything speedy. Little to no comedic pauses, joke after joke. Everythings about speed now. Might have backfired though, I often get told people wet themselves in fits of laughter over these.

Some of you work has been completely nihilistic such as LAST FEW POOPS MASHED ACID SHIT and POOP VISION. What do you suppose we can learn fromthese?

Absolutly nothing. Like my other poops, there is nothing profound or life asserting. Only poop.

I know some ‘poopers’ have been as frustrated by positive comments (such as “lol@1.25”) as by negative comments. Is this something that bothers you?

Not really. Its always surprising to see which ‘catchphrases’ stand out in a submission. Some are quite surprising. I often construct something complex hoping it’ll generate some response, but usually people like the most insignificant phrases in a poop!

Are you motivated by the same things as the first generation poop makers – to get ‘wtf’ comments and amuse your friends at the expense of the general audience?

I don’t always achieve it, however I’m always satisfied with a poop if it aims to create an alternate storyline. My best I’d say is ROBOTNIK WANTS KFC. It adds an odd spin for old fans of toons who have never heard of Youtube poop, and it gets Youtube poop fans scratching their chins.

One of my favourite videos of yours is MAMA LUGIGI IS A NUCLEAR WEAPON.It seems to me that the various comedic devices, poopisms and of course the actual explosion and it’s lead up are all wok together really well. Does it stand out for too or do you just consider it one of many.

I had planned for this one to be a little longer, perhaps as long asMEEEMEME MAN, however I lost steam so I just submitted it. I reckon a ton of repeating phrases and such made this one stick in peoples minds. Personally, I wanted “FIREBALLS YUM!” to become a catchphrase, however, turned out people liked “This is a vol-CAY-no!” better. The power of the people always speaks loudest!

We know that you watch a lot of poops, what kind of things do you look for and who are some of your favoutire poopers?

Right now, my personal favorite pooper is Brillemeister Everything is quite short and sweet, witty, constructing amusing phrases and such. The time before poop had me in fits of laughter. ttipoop‘s stuff is rather ace too. He has a simular approach to me. Rather than jumping across an episode, or multiple shows, he works through a regular episode and slips in jokes everywhere. Its pretty much the approach AKA Cult Toons took way back in 1999, and I reckon its the format that could make Youtube Poop mainstream appealing. Otherwise I dont have too many firm favorites. 1upclock‘s stuff always rocks.

How much of your work is part of a conversation?

Well I often slip a few references to other peoples poops in my own movies. For instance, the hotel Mario scene in MAMA LUIGI IS A NUCLEAR WEAPON is a direct reference to HOTEL MARIO UPGRADES WINDOWS created by 1upclock. I suppose the idea to include a commercial break in MEEEMEME MAN came from ttipoop’s longer submissions, however since it’s quite a broad concept, I chose to create mine with original material, rather than directly copy ttipoop’s. Poop catchphrases, I don’t think its become everyday conversation, but I’m sure I slip some out here and there. When I had first seen Superyoshi‘s Hot on our tail, I couldn’t stop screaming “WOOOOOOOOOOOAH!” in peoples faces.

Speaking of which, in April you released a remastered version of SuperYoshi’s I’D SAY HE’S HOT ON OUR TAIL. Is seems uncharacteristically appreciative of the previous order. Was this a labour of love?

Totally. If there was one poop that drew me into the phenomina, it was this one. I was recently outraged to find that somebody had ripped this remastered edition I had prepared, and pasted a whole ton of “I’d say he’s hot on our tail” throughout. This was precisely the kind of nazi George Lucas behaviour I wanted to avoid.

Your more recent films often contain far more aggressive titles or content. Has this been motivated by an increased sense of frustration or have you just eased off on self censorship?

Not particularly, You have way too much free time! Well, maybe, things have been stressful, but I usually express that stress in music rather than poop. I’m just a fan of shock content, and the internet is the ultimate place for that.

In April you posted An announcement, (now offline) which expressed a dissatisfaction with the term youtube poop and it’s association with SuperYoshi. It also suggested that you would be working towards a new website for collage based video work. Has this been canned or were you referring to your own personal site mrsimon.co.uk?

I had been working on a Youtube Poop site, however I canned it since I have way way too much stuff going already, not to mention a social life I really ought to get on top of. I removed the announcement due to this, and also I had gotten a ton of opinions wrong, as made clear by comments on the video. However, I might erect a Youtube Poop page on my site, with links to my own submissions.

Your work continues to get tons of comments – how do you see yourself now in the youtube poop community?

I’m certainly an establish artist I’d say, however there are some way awesome poopers out there that havn’t been discovered. I suppose its tough, since with new communites and such, you always gather your seniors who always seem to remain popular, even if they leave or stop producing content. I do hope that poopers are smarter than the average internet community, and judge work, rather than constructed-username-brands.

I think one of you finest recent works is the Anti-poop edition of Mama Luigi. Was it your intention to make something that could easily be described as the most graceful video of its genre?

Not particularly, I just wanted to make another Mama Luigi toon, that people would enjoy. I will never grow tired of Mama Luigi, and as long as Youtube Poop exists, I will never grow tired of forcing people to enjoy it. In my opinion, that is part of the fun of Youtube Poop.

To bring things bang up to date MEEEMEME MAN brings things back to a much more familiar territory yet with the idea that your work is evolving into some kind of show. How do you find a balance between old and new?

Theres not too much evolution I’d say. As I create long poops, I create a ‘best bits’ film that I can use in later poops, and the more I make, the more stuff I can reference in later stuff with ease. I always have codec troubles, so its not too simple if I just want to mix and match stuff like others. As for whether I make a long or short poop, or musical, just really depends what mood I’m in!

Finally, how do you see youtube poops and it’s community evolving in the next year and beyond? Do you think there will the discovery of some new must use footage in the same way as the Volvic adverts caught on.

Volvic is no doubt a fad. I’m sure some phrases such as “I’ll have you for BREAKFAAAAST” will live on, however as soon as Volvics campaign screws up, we wont touch it. There’ll always be a hot video on the web that people will utilize in some form. Youtube Poop might die, if Youtube have some copyright fit or if the internet dies, but the concept of editing footage to create humor will not.

Thank you very much Mr.Simon for taking part on this in this interview and I know I’m not the only one who would like to wish you continued success and can’t wait to see more of your work soon.

Likewise, I’m out of ideas! Interview conducted view email by Conrad Slater 24/June/2007 for youtubepoop.com

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