Josh Holz and Daniel Lara were just two ordinary high school students in 2016, doing what ordinary high school students tend to do — take silly, random Snapchats. Like most people who become the subject of a viral internet meme, they had no real intention of becoming a part of a phenomenon, yet their antics strike an unexpected cord in the fabric of social media. Thus “Damn Daniel!” was born.
If it feels like you last heard “Damn, Daniel! Back at it again with the white Vans!” a few months ago, you may be surprised to hear that it has been two years since this video gained traction online. What happened after was a not-abnormal narrative — subject of the viral video gets offers to be on television, they amass a social media following, they start getting some unfortunate fallout from their fame. Yet every time we see an average kid reach notoriety from the lottery of internet memes, these narratives are still interesting to us. Even years later, stories of post-Internet-fame catch our attention.
The appeal of people like Holz and Lara, and many other people like them, is that they are just that — real people, not contrived personalities. While many celebrities start that way, earning fame for film or music stars is always a struggle with decades of hard work. Holz and Lara’s little video, and others like it, paint a more wholesome picture of fame, one where someone doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely talented or look a certain way to influence society. Most of all, we like it because we daydream about our own random-yet-funny moments becoming an oft-quoted phrase, something only possible in the 21st Century. Cheers to Holz and Lara for finding their moment two years ago.