How dare this Sacha Baron Cohen person pretend to be a Kazakhstanian when he is really an English person all along? It is shocking. Such was the basic idea of this little film, and of course my regular viewers immediately got the irony. But spare a thought for the casual commentator, who took it all on face value and some of the resulting comments are hilarious! Click on the video box to see them back in YouTube land…
This was made on May 27th 2006, when I had been on YouTube already over three months. The day before had been my birthday, and my parents had been here in Warsaw. For my birthday gift they gave me my first ever webcam, and the next day I got on it and started to do characters. Viktor Huliganov was born. This is the first ever Viktor video – he was going to be an amusing shady Russian businessman at first, but developed into more of a crazy professor, once the Russian lessons started. Although, of course, the one does not necessarily exclude the other. This marks the end of my “early attempts” section, and is therefore the last film in this section. With this film I transferred into the next phase of what I’ve been doing on the internet ever since.
Viktor has come to life in more ways than one. He blogs, he makes Russian lessons, he writes books, he talks on the radio. People write to me as Viktor, talk to me as Viktor, some people still think after watching many Viktor films that there really is this Russian dude – more sophisticated viewers are aware that it is a persona but want the persona to live anyway, and so they continue to address and to follow Viktor Huliganov. I had no idea of the success that this would have when I started doing it.
Some people have accused me of doing a Borat, but there are big differences in style on the one hand, but on the other hand, I have been impersonating the Russian accent ever since Sacha Baron Cohen was running around in short trousers. There are many sources for the Huliganov persona, not all of them Russians, actually. If Borat is on that list anywhere it is not high on the list and not with any intention or awareness on my part.