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Brandeis alum’s video goes viral

Published: September 12, 2014
Section: Arts, Etc., Top Stories


On Sept. 8, Paul Gale Comedy uploaded the video “Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong” to YouTube. In the four days after, the video received over 5 million views. In an interview with People NOW, Gale said that this video has gotten twice as many views as all his others combined.

The name Paul Gale may look familiar; he graduated from Brandeis in 2012. Then, his biggest video was “Sh*t Brandeis Students Don’t Say.” That video, created when Gale was a senior at Brandeis, got about 5,000 views in the first 12 hours. While at Brandeis, Paul was part of the sketch comedy troupe Boris’ Kitchen, as well as the improv troupe Crowd Control.

“Everyone who’s in Boris’ Kitchen looks up to Paul Gale,” said Jason Kasman ’16, former troupe member. “The minute you get accepted to the troupe, you’re told about him. He’s like a legend of Brandeisian comedy.”

“I think comedy is a really great tool that anyone can use to relate to the world and to expose the really dumb things that we all experience,” Gale said in an interview with HerCampus in 2012. “I started my first YouTube page in 2006, when I made a video that was a mash-up of the Numa-Numa song and Sadaam Hussein’s execution, and it got 6,000 hits. Someone blogged about it on The New York Times, but it was taken down. The video was in really poor taste, but that’s about when I started to put material on YouTube. But it wasn’t until sophomore year [of college] that I started to upload things that I am willing to share.”

Gale wasn’t alone in creating this success. The “Why Starbucks Spells Your Name Wrong” video was adapted from comedian John Purcell’s comedic monologue, “I am the guy that writes your name on your Starbucks cup.” His rant was originally posted on Hot Hot Phone, a Tumblr comedy blog that accepts submissions.

“I didn’t mishear your name,” Purcell wrote, “I’m not illiterate, and your name is not difficult to spell. I am deliberately misspelling your name in order to confuse and annoy you. It’s the best part of my job, and I will never stop.”

Purcell can be seen at the end of the video, as “John.”

Gale adapted Purcell’s piece for a sketch comedy script. He also played the part of the Starbucks-employed speaker. TJ Misny directed the video, though it wasn’t his first time working with Paul Gale Comedy. He also directed another popular video of Gale’s, “The Truth About Being Single.”

“We can all relate to being the barista,” Gale told U.S.A. TODAY, “because you’re annoyed at the world, or you’re the person being messed with, or you’re the other person in the coffee shop watching the person being messed with.”

Gale and his video were also featured on sites such as HLN, FOX and The Daily Beast.