Jul 4, 2024
50 min
Episode 9

BREAK THE INTERNET: CheeseParade, Scott Bigos - If the balloon touches the floor you go viral!

Tom Cain  00:00

Today we’re speaking to Scott, the man behind the super popular CheeseParade channel.


This balloon touches the ground we all die. Oh my god. As long as this balloon doesn't touch the ground we can't die 

Tom Cain  00:11

From making clips inspired by Robot Chicken when he was in school to amassing millions of followers across the world Scott's comedy videos have been viewed millions and millions of times.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  00:23

Today you have watched over four hours of TikTok videos for $1 million. Can you remember three of those videos,

Tom Cain  00:31

we're gonna be digging into his creative process, the inspiration behind his most popular sketches, and what it takes to keep innovating in the content creation world. Let's bring the internet with Scott Bigos.

Ben Kaplan  00:44

Welcome to Break The Internet. I'm chatting with Scott Bigos, founder of CheeseParade. And Scott one of the things really interesting is where this comes from for you. I mean, you've been making videos since you were 16. But you've had training and other things like actually going to film school, you've made movies, you've made other things. What keeps bringing you back to this, I would describe as almost like a skit or sketch video for a social viral audience. Yeah, it's

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  01:10

just like the way that it's just the ideas that come to you know, I always think that we don't really choose our ideas. That's something that I believe, you know, you're kind of like, I just happen to get ideas in the form of short, little short little bite size things. And maybe some people, when they get an idea, try to expand it. But my first thought is how do I complete it? So I if I think of a funny idea, a funny thing that could work as a sketch, my first thought is okay, now how do I end it so that it can be a complete thing, rather than like expanding it into something bigger? And so my ideas naturally become these little short, bite sized clips. Hey, come on. He's not a hacker. What? He's a password guesser. We're locked out for an hour. Yeah, I was making short clips in high school. And I started making them again in like 2015 2016. Before I even got on Tiktok, somebody had to tell me to get on TikTok. And then I would I uploaded like old clips to it, kind of learning the TikTok game and re edited them. And I was saying before they it's almost as if the world adapted to me, meaning that

Ben Kaplan  02:27

you had this sort of format that you liked. And you thought it was compelling. And maybe at the beginning, other people didn't really recognize as a format. And then that format started coming into fashion. Yes,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  02:37

there just wasn't a space. Like I would put these really short like 32nd, one minute long clips on YouTube, before YouTube shorts, but nobody's clicking on those. Nobody's clicking on a 32nd video that like doesn't have, you know, but once once I started getting in that, like, Oh, this is going to serve you up to people. Once I got in that format. It was like, Oh, this, this just works for what I do already. It was like worked for what I wanted to do. You read, which now also now I gotta like transition to long form content eventually. But for now, it was like, Yeah, this, it felt like the world adapted to me, honestly,

Ben Kaplan  03:17

just to give people an idea. I mean, if they haven't seen your stuff before, just the type of sort of skits or sketches you're doing, I think some of your most viral videos and you've done a whole series on these as sort of balloon can't touch the ground, this balloon touches the ground, we all die. We're essentially this concept is like, Oh, if the balloon touches the ground, we're all going to die. And then stuff happens from that notion. So take us through like idea creation. Where does that come from? What is the generation of that? And now it's like a whole series. At what point do you say like, Hey, this is more than one little idea. We're gonna keep running with this.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  03:54

Yeah. Well, it's interesting, because we never like I don't do follow up videos or SQL videos, like ever. I'm usually against it. But Balloon Boys happened to be so overwhelmingly popular, like literally changed my life that it was like, alright, I'll make some more of these. I have to at that point,


I'm putting my balloon on a rocket, and I am offering you a choice. Join me as a mortal gods of a new world. So

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  04:19

that idea of I'm at a birthday party holding the balloon. And I thought, Wouldn't it be funny if I went up to this group of people and said, This balloon touches the ground, we all die, because everyone has kind of played that game as a child. And that sentiment, I actually at that party just went up to people and just held it up because they all know we're always talking about sketches and stuff. And I was like, Hey, guys, if this balloon touches the ground, we all die. That's a thing, right? Like, you guys remember that? And everyone was like, Yeah, I remember that. And I was like, I know that this is something because one it has die in the in the first sense. So like, the stakes are there right away. And I know that the opening image of this sketch can just Be somebody saying, if this balloon touches the ground, we all die. I did like before I figured out what's going to happen for the rest of it. I was like, this is going to be something. And usually the from

Ben Kaplan  05:08

the point of view of the title, there's like high stakes, it's easy to understand. Yeah. So

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  05:13

I knew that the opening image would be somebody saying, if this balloon touches the ground, we all die and hitting a balloon. And I knew that that would be relatable and already set up sort of stakes. And then it was just a matter of what happens then. And then we just and then I just think of like, the funny twists, which are, you know, when somebody starts threatening the group by holding the balloon close to the ground and being like, I'll drop it, I'll drop it, and everyone freaks out. Oh, my God. As long as this balloon doesn't touch the ground,

Ben Kaplan  05:41

we can't die.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  05:42

Oh, take that. And then wouldn't it be funny if they were invincible as long as the balloon didn't touch the ground, so somebody tries to stop them? And then they're all invincible. And then it's like, okay, well, now that they're an invincible group of people. Wouldn't it be funny if the government came in and made them? Team? You are all now? The Balloon Boys? And it's like, how fast can I move this story? And I called them the Balloon Boys. Because when I was at that party, and talking about the idea, when I was asking everyone, all the boys got it. And the girls were like, kinda like, I don't know. So I was like, maybe this is a boy thing. So I'm gonna call the boom, boys.

Ben Kaplan  06:19

Did you have high hopes for it? Or is it just like, hey, I have a creative idea. I want to see it through or did you think like, and just to give you some some of these videos in this series? I think the original 130 4 million views on YouTube, you have a follow up 39 million views. I see other ones here. 12 million views. So So did you think like, Hey, this is gonna be a good thing have any idea? Or is it more just like, I'm just gonna make it and put it out there? And I think it's funny, at least for me and my friends. Yeah.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  06:44

Yeah. So I was like, it's I was like, I think that before filming it, we're basically like, I think this could be something it's like, kind of funny, you don't really know that it's going to be anything special. And then, after filming it and editing it the night before uploading it. I'm watching it with my friend who's in the video, Brian, he's the general in the video. And you kind of like don't want to get your hopes up. I don't know, sometimes you think it's gonna pop off and it doesn't. So you don't want to be like, this is definitely going to be something big. You almost don't want to get your hopes up in that way. But it did feel like I just felt like all the elements were there. I was like, Okay, I think that this is going to make people stop scrolling. I think that it twists enough times. In an interesting way, like, hitch. It was like, Okay, I think this might be something but again, yeah, I just I never get my hopes up. Really? Because you just don't know.

Ben Kaplan  07:43

I mean, so. So you thought it had a lot of potential? And what are the elements when we talked about the title? That sort of effect captured you? But what about the parts that other parts that you think was it just like the twists and turns and some kind of payoff? Or what else did you really like about it that you think, you know, other creators could learn from recognizing that has a lot of potential, I

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  08:02

felt like it was something that was relatable, but also not talked about a lot? You know, I had never heard anybody talk about, remember this game. If this balloon touches the ground, we all die. Like do you remember doing this as a kid, I've never heard anyone talk about it. And yet, it's like the floor is lava. It's like a thing that everyone kind of knows about. So that element of relatability plus just, yeah, just the escalation of it, just like it was just ridiculous. And what sets us apart a lot of the times is like the filming of it, and the costumes. So like we already have this, you know, military costume for a general to walk into. And then the stock music, which I should have brought up earlier that I'm going to want to talk about stock music is everything. To me. stock music is so important because it sets the

Ben Kaplan  08:56

emotion, the tone, the feeling. Also, these are like short clip. You mean you don't have like a whole feature film to build up the emotion to this moment. You've got to get people pretty fast in the emotional state. Yes,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  09:08

exactly. And what's great about a good stock song, it's like a good stock song just is like a feeling right away. It's like this is how this is supposed to feel. And it's just right away. This is how it feels. So when the general comes in, and that this like bump, bump, bump this like inspirational music comes in, it's inspirational right away, you already know what's going on. And what's really important about the stock music is that I actually before I film anything, I bring the stock music into the video editor and I edit the sound and the music. So I know the pacing of everything before we even film everything

Ben Kaplan  09:47

or you kind of either you pick out the music for for the sketch or you have other things you've heard now that's going to be great for something that's in my that's in my toolbox that I'm going to use and you want the like the crescendos or the hits in the music If you don't want to have to change the music up to make it fit your pacing, is that right? You want it to be natural. Yeah,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  10:06

yeah. And it's to the point where if I don't have an idea for how to end the sketch, I'll listen to the music that I'm going to use. Or if I don't have, even if I don't have any ideas for sketches in general, I'll just listen to stock music and I'll hear a good song. And I'll be like, if I can make a video that matches this song that lives up to the song, then I'll know I'll have something because this song is so beautiful and so good. That it's like if if what I make lives up to this, so like, and the song music has such a natural pacing already, so it's like the music tells you what to do. It just tells you what to do. So it's like, okay, so this this part builds up, this part of the song builds up, and then there's a big crescendo right at 45 seconds. Okay? Something needs to go there. Okay,

Ben Kaplan  10:50

so you're gonna have like, this buildup is going to be like, your setup for this moment of things escalating, escalating, escalating, and bam, the government, you know, agent, or general comes in at the at that moment. Yes,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  11:03

whatever it is. It's just like, a lot of times there's a core idea. And then, like, I think for Balloon Boys, I don't exactly remember like how I thought of it. But I probably like had the first part of the idea. But the general the idea of like a military guy coming in probably didn't come until I listened to the music until I heard the stock song and was like, Oh, this could be like a general speech. So like, for a lot the music comes first, like pretty much all the time for me. Because yeah, once you once you know, the pacing and the sound, and if it if it works on that level, it's probably going to work on video. So

Ben Kaplan  11:45

what is your sense of sort of the formula for like, overall duration length? Because you might, I mean, for instance, in this Balloon Boys video, you could just be like, Oh, I can keep going on other riffs off this that just get more and more ridiculous. I could just keep going. How do you know when to like cut it off or expand or something else? I

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  12:05

mean, well, to be honest, for that one, it was one minute, the one minute mark.

Ben Kaplan  12:09

Okay, so you were okay, so you're trying not not to cross that. Okay. Got it. Yeah, just because the way

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  12:12

the way YouTube shorts work. So YouTube shorts can't be longer than a minute. Tick. Tock, only monetizes videos that are over a minute. So you're aiming for 59 seconds so that you can add one second for TikTok. And that's like the optimized length for monetization right now, although I'm starting to care less and less about Tiktok and Instagram and more just focused on YouTube.

Ben Kaplan  12:41

And why is that? Do you think that the combination of shorts and longer forms allow you to grow an audience with shorts and then pay off things more with the longer form like build your subscriber base through shorts and then deliver the longer form?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  12:55

Pretty much yes, so I will eventually transition to long form because ultimately, that pays significantly better. In comparison, TikTok essentially doesn't pay if you look at like in comparison to how well a long form YouTube video and it makes sense, because a long form YouTube video people watch ads for. So if you're not making people watch ads, you're probably not making much, much money. You got to make people watch ads, you got to make long form, but YouTube doesn't care how old your video is. So it rewards timeless content. And that's kind of what most of my content is whereas on TikTok, there's people talking about the thing that happened on last night on the internet. There's people talking about the latest trends and stuff. TikTok will stop showing your video you're not seeing videos from last year on TikTok. But on YouTube, once my one video popped off, all my old videos started getting lots of views. And I started making money off old videos. And it kind of became this thing of like, oh, every time I make something successful on YouTube, I'm sending more people down the rabbit hole of my videos, and I'm making money off all my old videos. Whereas TikTok isn't really like that. It's like, Yes, this one video went off. But it's not like they're going to start showing that person who liked my newest video, a video I made two years ago, they're just not going to do that. That's just not how TikTok works. But it is how YouTube works. So YouTube is just better for my type of content in that sense. And it just for that reason, it like pays better. Overall,


the shift in focus from TikTok to YouTube, how has that shifted your content itself? I mean, you've talked about that, you know, you can monetize it better. You want to shift towards long form, but it hasn't shifted is a different nature of like making people stop scrolling or paying attention or searching or things like that, that that is different now that you're YouTube centered. Yeah, so

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  14:47

I'm honestly still trying to figure YouTube out in that sense, because what's weird about YouTube shorts is that the caption is also the title. So I'm like, Should I do a caption or should I do a title which is like a weird thing you got to figure out on YouTube. And like I said, TikTok pays for videos that are over a minute. But YouTube short can't be longer than a minute. So I'm kind of stuck in this world of like, should I be filming things vertically and then making the horizontal version if it's longer than a minute, as well. Once YouTube started working well, I started caring less about videos being I had just started monetizing TikTok, and I had just started thinking, Alright, every video has got to be over a minute now or not every video but like, if it can be over a minute, let's make it over a minute. And then right after that YouTube started popping off in a good way. And I was like, Okay, well, now I actually don't really care about it being over a minute, because YouTube shorts is going to pay me regardless of if it's like 30 seconds, or 59 seconds. So in a sense, it's like, it's like, I started to change for Tiktok. And then YouTube was like, no, no, you can still make really short stuff. And I was like, okay, cool. And now I'm kind of just like, I don't really think about it that much in terms of the content, and how


much do you edit yourself? Like, do you release everything you do? Do you not release things? Do you test it, then then redo if you don't like something, or you don't see the result you want? Like, how much? Are you sort of curating this at this point?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  16:22

That's a great question. So I edit. I do curate the backlog a little bit. Like if I think a video could have been better, I'll take it down with the intention of eventually re uploading a different edit of it. But I don't do that that much. I edit myself in general, a lot. Like I'm a huge, I'm big on cutting yourself down and editing and making things shorter. Like if you're an editor, if you're editing something, this is just general advice here, make a shorter version and just see what it looks like. Like you have that minute long version. Let's see what a 45 second version looks like. Just just see what it looks like. You have the minute version, just see what the edits always better. The shorter version is almost always better. And it's hard. I think a lot of people struggle to cut themselves down, they get attached to little jokes, they get attached to little scenes, like, oh, this scene was really difficult to film. So I really want that to be in there. Nobody cares how hard it was to film. Just cut it down, like you got to. And that's like, that's a strength when you can, when you can work really hard on a shot. When you can work on a shot for three hours and then not use it. That's when you know you're doing well. That's when you know you're editing like a pro when you're like ruthless, you gotta be ruthless.

Ben Kaplan  17:37

And you and I have chatted before about some of the edits you've done to make things perform better. I mean, you've talked about sort of this notion of beginning in the joke versus before the July beginning right in it. What do you mean by like, beginning in the joke in the context of like, sort of getting people's attention? Fast?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  17:57

Yes. So you don't context can often be overrated. So I have one example was the first thing I put on TikTok that went viral. I put a lot of stuff on TikTok, I put this that didn't work. And then I learned like, Oh, I gotta convert these to vertical. I gotta add subtitles. But one of the biggest lessons was in this government drone video. It's this like, satirical dystopian worlds, where a drone interrupts a conversation with friends and is like, Hey, this is the government and it's like a wacky, happy government drone thing. This is the government. Yeah. What do you want government is this conversation about overthrowing the government, no government. And the original upload had a moment of the conversation that the drone was interrupting. So there was a solid five to seven seconds before the drone came and the drone was the premise of the joke. So cut out that five seconds, start with the opening shot being the drone coming down. And we can figure out that it's interrupting a conversation, we don't need to see it. So one big thing I always say is, what is this is better than I know what this is. So if somebody's scrolling, and they go, Oh, I know what this is. They're going to scroll up. But if they they'll stop or if they're like, Wait, what is this? So give their brain something to do. Don't worry about don't worry about context. Like, if you if they're a little bit confused, you're giving them something to do, they're gonna catch up, they're gonna figure it out. And that's what starting in the joke is, I think a lot of people like they want to throw that little joke at the beginning or show like that. Show that oh, they're coming back from a place I don't know what it is. It doesn't matter what it is. The point is, start cut from the beginning. Everything until people literally wouldn't be able to figure this out. But if, if I can start your video, five seconds in and still figure it out and under Stand the video then that first five seconds pointless.

Ben Kaplan  20:03

We've talked about the beginning. What about editing the middle? So you let's say you're doing this minute long video and you just want to, like, avoid the drop off, right? Like in the context of of Balloon Boys. It's more like, oh, that's kind of funny, I sort of get it. But I don't need to see it escalate further. I just like I got I got it, I recognize that that's cool. I'm gonna move on. So what do you do in the middle to like, hold a TED attention? Or do you have some rules of thumb on like, how long you go before another like crescendo or like another joke or another aha moment that people see.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  20:35

Um, I have less rules about the middle. The middle is it's that's neck could be anything. You don't you just you don't know if they're going to scroll up, they're going to scroll up at that point. If they're not on board, they're not on board, I would never like make a move to keep attention at that point. It's like the opening image, you want to decide you want to pick one that works. You want to cut from the beginning until it works. And then you want to close on a high note. The middle is like, I mean, that's, I'm like looking at all my sketches right now I have like, I have a calendar above my thing. And I'm looking at I'm trying to think of like, what, a lot of my sketches don't have middles. A lot of them are so short, that it's literally just a beginning and an end. What's

Ben Kaplan  21:23

the rule of thumb on the ending? What is a good ending? What's a good payoff? If you want something to loop? Also, how do you think about it? What how do you think about the ending?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  21:32

I don't go for loops, I'd never go for loops. I think I went for a loop one time. And then I regretted it didn't work. And I was like, You know what, you know, I don't think people like to think that they're being tricked. So if you if you pull any kind of little scheme, like looping the video, without them noticing, I think that's going to make a lot of people mad actually not like video. So people don't like that. At least I don't think they do the ending, you know, end on, you want to end on the some kind of high note, that completes the idea and then take like maybe a half second or a couple seconds off the end. Like you could cut at the end of somebody's sentence before their last word ends. I think that that does something in their brain. That's like, wait, wait, I wanted more. You know, whereas if you drag it on for like, one extra second, they'll be like, I was done with that anyway. So for the ending, you know, have your ending and on a high note and then maybe cut off one second. Just like that's the only thing that I would consider like a trick

Ben Kaplan  22:39

and you would never do like the outtakes or the something else or the anything else that would show SMAD in context or

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  22:46

Oh, no, no, no, no, I would never I mean, maybe maybe for some types of content that work but for sketch comedy definitely not and not like definitely no like credits. Yeah, no outtakes. Nobody cares about your thing.

Ben Kaplan  22:59

Like, like, that's important to you, but not to anyone, not to anyone else or something like that. Well, what about the whole ideation of the sketches and stuff like that? I mean, do you sit down and and like I am ideating now? Or is it more just like throughout the day, because I know it can be daunting. Sometimes people like to do more like improv stuff. They capture something they haven't been like, obviously, a sketch, particularly one with multiple actors, and it has to be really like planned out that can be daunting for some people who haven't haven't done that before.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  23:26

Yeah. So how would I have been like I said, stock musics a big part of it. I, I've, if I'm trying to think of ideas, I'll listen to stock music and think what would go with this music, you know, sometimes you'll play a song and be like, Oh, this is like the music they would use for a paper towel commercial. And you listen to the song and you picture a paper towel commercial. And then you just give it a little funny twist, and try to make yourself laugh. And that's really what comedy is, is like,

Ben Kaplan  23:54

I heard the song that went crazy viral, like Old Town road, I think I once heard an interview with with little NAS X who said something like, he heard that like that track. And it sounded like, you know, like an old, you know, wagon and a horse. And it just sounded like that. And that actually inspired the entire song. I'm just like, okay, so what would that be in current terms, just that like that little musical riff?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  24:17

Yeah, that's why music is so powerful because so much can go over it and on it and with it. So it's like this music, let the music take you somewhere. And then your brain is going to show you something and then you look at that thing and you say, how do I show everybody else this thing so and

Ben Kaplan  24:34

did you ever do stuff with like memes or other things or musical bits that are like, you know, trending on TikTok and using ideas off that or did you stay away from any of the kind of like real trendy stuff?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  24:47

I stay away from it. I stay away from it to the point where if I have an idea, and then I see that it's trending, I would not do it. Because because it takes away all of the fun for me. I don't I don't want Do what the other people are doing that's like, why why would I do it? They're already doing it. You know what I feel like I'm not contributing anything to the world. If I'm just like, trying to do stuff that's popular, I don't know. Like, it's already done. You know, if I see like a trending thing, I'm like, Okay, girl, I'm like, great job. This is awesome that you guys are doing it. Why? There's no reason for me to do it. It's already being done, you know, unless I like actively can think of like a way to sort of twist it. But no, I generally I don't like I avoid trends and stuff I try to like, I would say, I'm pretty much never like, inspired by the content that I'm seeing. When I'm on TikTok. Like, I don't hate it or anything, like it's good in its own way. But I think generally, it's easier to be inspired by like, the real world. And then you think of, it's like, I'm always just trying to think of funny things in general, because that's just the way I live my life. And if I think of something funny, it's like, okay, how do I get everyone else to see this funny thing that I see about the worlds? You know, and

Ben Kaplan  26:06

and have you over time? Have you tried to, like, evolve things? Or sort of stay true to the original? Or have you evolved things? I mean, versus you're now more focused on YouTube, as you see the response to CheeseParade? Have you just tried to say, you know, laser focused on that and do more of it? Or are you trying to expand the audience or give them something different in different ways, in

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  26:28

general, I plan on going into long form and expanding into longer form content, because that's just the next logical place to go and the way that makes money. But as the pages in general have gotten more popular, the way as I've learned what works on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, it, it's more changed. The way that I see not the way I think of ideas, but the way I structure them once I think of them, and the ideas that I choose to do. So if if there's three ideas on my list, I'm going to pick the one that I think would work the best, because why not? I these are my three ideas. I like them all equally. But there's this one that has a strong opening image, it has all the elements that work, and it's mapable. So it more dictates the ideas that I choose to do not necessarily is that your

Ben Kaplan  27:25

checklist? I mean, you just I think gave me two items off your sort of idea creation checklist. One is strong opening image. Two is it sounds like doable, just like yeah, you could do something that requires like CGI on the planet. But that might be hard to film to pull it off, right? Yes.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  27:42

Yes. Make ability is a huge thing. And especially with sketch comedy, it's like sketches are crazy. I've looked at your this podcast, Break The Internet and people that have been on it. And I'm like, Man, I really just don't relate to most of the things because we're just cool about your podcast that you get these kinds of like different people, because every sketch is just a completely different set of challenges. It's like, every sketch is like, there's just some weird thing I gotta like, Alright, I gotta make my room look like a hospital bed this week. Take that hat off. No, it's about No, no, no, I got, like, I got a, we got to find that costume. We got to make like a mechanic costume. We got to fight this, you know, we're gonna get an angel and a devil this week. So I gotta get those got those costumes. There's props that need to be done. There's like some kind of weird effect sometimes like, Okay, I gotta figure out how to make somebody jump in and out of a photo in this week. Like, every week, it's like, and that's also part of why I love it. It's

Ben Kaplan  28:44

kind of like a new challenge in the way based on the topic, the subject matter. Yes. Or

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  28:49

like, you know, like I was gonna say you never know if the sketch is really going to work and be funny. So you might as well challenge yourself and learn and become a better filmmaker because

Ben Kaplan  28:59

is there anything else on your list? You have a strong opening image make ability? Is there anything else in your like, kind of mental criteria that you're doing on whether you choose to do something just sort of the

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  29:08

the energy I want to put out into the world? You know, if it's, if it's a fun idea, and I just just wouldn't

Ben Kaplan  29:15

be fulfilling for you to make it and you think it would be something that you would be wanting want to say or commentary on the world?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  29:21

Yeah. And it needs to feel like something that would only come from CheeseParade, you know, and that's, I think that that's a big reason why I would avoid trends and stuff. Strong

Ben Kaplan  29:30

opening image make ability unique because it's uniquely you and maybe like on brand for CheeseParade, like this is something that Kies parade would do.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  29:41

Yes, yes, yes. There is a certain brand aspect to it where it's, yeah, for sure. I've definitely heard there's people have pitched me funny comedy sketch ideas. And I'm like, That is a funny comedy sketch idea, but it's not like a CheeseParade idea.

Ben Kaplan  29:57

I'll make up one. It's like, Oh, that's very sad. Infeld he's talking about something he observes in the world. That's kind of nothing but it's something but we're not going to do a skit on that. But he should do a joke about that. But it's not just it's not us.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  30:10

Like I was gonna say before that, it's like, I want first of all, even if it's not funny, I want people to, to at least be like, that was a crazy idea. Like, you're like, that was like, that was something

Ben Kaplan  30:24

out of what feels like good attempt bold try. Yeah, exactly.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  30:27

He really tried something there that's like, Wow, he really went for it. That was so stupid. But my God, did he go for it. Like, that's, I want at least that. And then, um, as far as like, what the brand is. It's like, there's a lot of sketch comedy that's like a character like a guy who you know, that annoying friend at the party. And then it's like him saying a bunch of funny things that the annoying friend at the party says, there's a lot of sketches that are like, this guy's crazy. And then there's like, he's acting crazy, and everyone else is normal, or like a bunch of people are acting crazy. And there's one normal guy, we kind of don't do that everybody's crazy in ours, or everybody's normal. And I also never want the context of the sketch to be that this is a comedy sketch. So the context should be this is a children's TV show, but then obviously, it's a we twist it and it's a comedy sketch, you know, this is a this is an environmental commercial. But then obviously, there's a comedic twist. So like, that's what satire is, right? So it's like, mimicking some other type of form is always to me the most interesting, I wanted to like recently, we did a, we did a fake commercial for this tiny cheese, man, this is Cheese Man is going to be our new mascot. Why is that handcuffs on Cheese Man is on very specific medication, which we do not have yet. And the context was, you're watching a review for a product. You know, that's like what we're telling the audience, but then obviously, it is a comedy sketch. And I think that's crazy. That's an important distinction. You know, like, I would say, Saturday Night Live, the context is always that it's a comedy sketch. But if you watch something like Key and Peele, the context is something completely different. So I'm more like the Key and Peele style. Those are like, sort of the different schools of thought in sketch comedy, whether it's like, more about characters like we don't, we aren't really about like performances and characters and like a funny performance. We're more about programming.

Ben Kaplan  32:29

That makes sense, because you don't do too many sequels if your character is what makes them funny is bringing them back now putting them in a context, you kind of need to develop them, particularly in a short form, right? It's, you're gonna need more with them.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  32:42

And that's the advantage of doing characters. I'm jealous of people who can do characters because they can just like, make a lot of funny stuff really quickly. Whereas I'm like, Ah, shit, I gotta come up with a whole new thing. What's

Ben Kaplan  32:54

the kind of quantity of sketches you're trying to create the cadence? How much of your time? I mean, are you doing this like a full time job now? Are you not? I know you do stand up and other things as well.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  33:04

I am doing it like a full time job in the sense. Well, I'll just give you my schedule. So we release a video every Monday. And we usually film on Sunday. So Sunday's are like 12 to 14 hour days for me just because wake up, I'm prepping for the shoot, we're filming. And then I'm editing till like 3am that night. So Sunday's are like the day that it happens. And all week is preparation for that. And how difficult or easy it is just depends on what idea I happen to be blessed with that week. Sometimes it's like, sometimes, like, Ah, this is gonna be a really hard one. Sometimes I think of it on Tuesday, and that's great. Sometimes I don't think of it until Friday. And that's tough. But the more the clock ticks, you know, I have some sketches in the backlog that are like harder to make ones that it's like, Okay, I can't make this this week. So this week, I need to come up with something different to be this week sketch. And the longer it takes, you know, the closer I get to Monday when it needs to be released, the more like possibilities kind of dwindled down where it's like okay, well, now that it's Friday night, and I still don't have what I'm doing now. It's like okay, this sketch can only have like three people in it and not that many props or costumes although I will say that we are building up quite a solid collection of props and costumes, and that's been one of the strongest like that's been huge for us. Don't sleep on props and costumes people

Ben Kaplan  34:36

then then you can just like he said music for inspiration you can go to your closet for inspiration and just see what I have there. What can I we

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  34:43

got lab coats, we got military uniforms, we got cop badges. I mean that

Ben Kaplan  34:47

you're a great friend to go to for like Halloween ideas or barring costume. Yes. Oh,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  34:53

yeah. Oh, yeah. And yeah, so I have two roommates that I live with as well. Who are basically always down to film something on Sunday. And one of the guys Brian is he's in basically everything. He's kind of like the the lead actor. I'll be the lead actor when I do it when it's a role that I really want to be, but I would prefer to I know when I'm behind the camera that I can make it look really good. So I would always prefer that. But if it's like an intense if it's like a lot of words, then I'm always like, I'll just do it because I know the words because of the

Ben Kaplan  35:30

way you wrote the dialogue. So you know what I say? So

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  35:35

yeah, having the people is really important.

Ben Kaplan  35:39

And on the business side, now, obviously, we talked about moving to YouTube, but how have you been able to monetize it? What's been your like, your best month? Are you looking for more brand partnerships? Now? I mean, are you going to actually put like, you got the cheese? Are you gonna put like some I don't know Velveeta in your next one and try to do stuff there. Where are you in sort of the business aspect of all of this now.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  35:58

So three months ago, I was pretty terrified about money. Honestly, I was out of money. Like it was bad. And I was saying earlier that like, you know, to succeed, I think especially in comedy, you kind of need to do it, like your life depends on it. And I think it's a lot easier when your life really does. And that's what it was for me, I kind of went into the survival mode of like shit, like, I'm gonna die like, this is my only I don't have a 401k I don't have health insurance, you know, like, I gotta make this work. And then three months ago, that's when that's when I started monetizing, TikTok, so TikTok pays for videos that are over one minute. And I made a couple over a minute, and one got like 1.4 million views and that paid like $80 And I was like, okay, Tiktok god, that's nothing that's $80 Like, this is not gonna work. And then Balloon Boys comes out April 8, and that video changed my life, like, a lot. Notice how I can put the balloon on a shelf, and it's completely fine. However, even in this container, if I place it on the ground, he will die. Bloomquist comes out it has whatever on TikTok now like 30 million, so I remember opening up TikTok on and looking at it in the morning and seeing $1,000 And I was like, Batson that's already for me. $1,000 was life changing. So that and that was just the first day it ended up making like 4004 and a half 1000 on TikTok. But the biggest thing was YouTube, boom boys took off on YouTube and I hit the metric to monetize YouTube, which is 10 million for the short symmetric is 10 million short views within three months, which feels completely impossible until you do it. So like it was impossible. And then one video did it. Because my videos before that, we had one viral YouTube video before that, and it was like 1.4 million, but then the three months went by so none of those even counted and it was like, okay, and then so the YouTube pops off. And then YouTube what's great about YouTube is they, like I said, don't care about how old your videos are.

Ben Kaplan  38:19

So what was the direct? Like? What did it get to just the video on YouTube Balloon Boys? And then what did it mean for all your other videos that were already there?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  38:27

Well, what was cool is how much it meant for the other video. So it started sending people down the rabbit hole of CheeseParade the rabbit hole of all of my videos, so it's like Oh, you guys like Balloon Boys. And then it was like all of the videos that had gone viral over the last two and a half years on TikTok. Suddenly YouTube was like oh wait, this is content that people like and YouTube kind of made all of my old videos make money and that was so may So April 8, the first Balloon Boys comes out and then after that I do two follow ups two Balloon Boys the second Balloon Boys video actually did the best on YouTube so that made a decent amount of money in May I made like $11,000 and it was like that's more money than I've ever had in my entire life. You know, like and now I'm like how am I going to reinvest this and all this stuff? And June is already like going to be a huge step back. It's like I'm going to hit like 3000 grand three grand in June but I was expecting that I didn't expect it to stay at this like crazy but

Ben Kaplan  39:37

then you start to see like hey if my variances between 11 and three and I'm still growing this overall like I can I can live off this like I can do this right like yes,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  39:47

I mean, I'll be honest, I live off so little that once I like made the amount of money I made made that's like the amount I made last year. Like, like I I live off Nothing. So it was like, Okay, this is all I do now, like, and just having that is like, I know, I'm going to succeed because because before I was doing, I was worried about money. And now all I think about is sketches. So it's only gonna get better. And it's like, you know, Balloon Boys is an anomaly. But making viral videos, for me is not an anomaly, I tend to do it like once a month, or like, you know, I will have like, a bad month, and I'll have two in one month. So

Ben Kaplan  40:27

you're saying that now you had your one big hit. And now I gotta figure out how to scale this up. It's like you've been doing this now you know, it can reward you for it. So you're ready to go? And what do you say I interrupted you a little bit. He said, one out of four, what like one out of four will be a successful, that's your ratio of a successful one for you feel like a month, and one in the month will kind of take off and be better than all the others? Yes,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  40:49

that's what it kind of feels like, Yeah, sort of kind of feels like and what you consider success can can range or whatever. But yeah, I would say one out of every four tends to be like, where the views exceed the amount of followers I have, you know, or like, where like, Okay, this is reaching a lot of people and that metric, the more followers I get, that metric keeps getting higher and higher of like, what constitutes a success.

Ben Kaplan  41:19

So that's your internal, which is like, Okay, I, you know, basically I've expanded my audience I haven't, I've gone beyond just maxing out my audience. I've now expanded it by doing this. And that's success. I'm growing my audience.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  41:32

Yes. Which, by the way, is more of a thing on YouTube than it is, that's a huge difference to go back to what's different about YouTube than Instagram and Tiktok. YouTube feels like, it's really showing my videos to my audience. Whereas TikTok, like, the amount of followers you have on TikTok is a completely pointless number. I don't know if you've heard this or experienced it. But it's basically a vanity metric. It's like, you can upload a video to a to an account with no followers and an account with a million followers. And it doesn't feel like the account with a million followers has really any advantage

Ben Kaplan  42:13

because it's designed to be really like a discovery platform for stuff that's on sort of more on like the merits of the of the content, right?

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  42:22

And then Instagram is a little more geared like your followers, like a few more your followers will see it. But YouTube feels the most like when I upload a video to YouTube, and I read the comments. I'm like, Oh, these are like CheeseParade fans like, this feels like actual, like these people have seen my videos, whereas I'm the other ones, I don't know. It just always felt like they're just completely different random groups of people every time. But in that sense, YouTube is the most real and that's kind of what's cool about it, because it it's like, they'll give me more of a chance. You know, like, maybe my opening image doesn't need to be as strong on YouTube, because they know Oh, this is a great video. He thinks

Ben Kaplan  43:03

that maybe like, less harder to maybe hard to get the breakaway breakaway hit, but maybe more like consistency will deliver to your audience. 100%

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  43:12

Yeah, so it's more consistent, and it feels like yeah, people I have a little bit of trust from my audience. Now. They trust me a little bit. How

Ben Kaplan  43:20

much time do you spend at this point, like community building, meaning replying to people commenting, engaging, treating your audience like, hey, you know, you're valuable to me, I recognize you and I in fact, need you.

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  43:34

It depends on the video. And it depends on the comments. It's kind of something that I'll mostly do on the Monday that I post it. Some videos, I completely ignore the comments. I'm all over the place with that I don't have like any kind of strategy regarding it. It's just like if I'm feeling it or not, some of my videos have really fun comment sections because, say we have like a fake Marvel trailer for Cheeseman here. So we'll have like a fake trailer, and everyone in the comments will be sort of pretending that it's a real trailer. They'll be saying like, Oh, the comics in the comics, this happened. But now this, that's a fun comment section. So I'm going to involve myself in that and talk about the lore and stuff. Sometimes the comment section is really fun. Sometimes it's just like, whatever people relate to it, I probably should at least make my presence known so people can feel like you know, when they comment, I am reading it confirmed to them that I am reading it. But I also sort of, I get a little skittish about it. I don't want to like change the I don't want to change the video with my comments. You know, the video is speaking for itself. I don't want to like come in and ruin it with my spiel about it or whatever. Yeah, sometimes I avoid it on a lot of videos I avoid it but sometimes somebody leaves a comment that's so good that I have to respond to you know, so

Ben Kaplan  44:55

well and and final final question for you is how is this I know you're at dislike Time exciting time now, right in the midst of this sort of like growth, and what's next? Has it been? Has it been freeing to feel all that? Or have you? Do you also spend maybe worry less about money to your point, but more about like, how am I gonna get my next? You know, my next hits my other thing like that? Do you feel pressure? Or is it freeing because hey, you know, you've done it once you've done this for a long time. And, and and now you can just go do it, how do you just sort of think about your mental health and your focus and all of that. So at

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  45:30

first, there was a pressure. For sure, when I was doing all the Balloon Boys series, it sort of felt like, I need to do this for what they want. But just for myself, I started making other non Balloon Boys videos, knowing that in the comments, people are gonna say, you know, where's Balloon Boys and all that stuff. And you kind of have to accept that and you feel I did feel sort of some pressure. But now that I'm now that I'm in it, and I'm just like, You know what, I'm just flowing new sketch every week. That's, that's all that matters. That's the only thing that matters, and it is extremely freeing. It's extremely freeing to know that in this life, my life, all I need to do is keep making videos, and I will be okay. I just need to keep making sketches. And that's all I've ever wanted to do anyway. So it's extremely freeing. And it's been basically a dream come true. Over these last three months, I would say, it feels like I've made it in a sense that like, there's a lot of growing still left to be done. There's a lot of aspirations, I still have, I want to have a studio, I want to have consistent long form content, I want to be able to like actually hire and pay my friends with more than just food. And I believe I will do all that. But I don't believe at any point, I will feel like I've made it more than I feel right now. Like, it's like, this is all I ever needed was just just enough to survive, and I have enough to survive now. And I'm like, beautiful. Let's go. I'm doing it.

Ben Kaplan  47:09

Okay, awesome. Well, Scott Bigos, creator of CheeseParade. It's exciting to chat with you in this huge high growth period. We cannot wait to see your next videos and see what's next and and see the crazy idea you come up with and then maybe where it sounds like Balloon Boys continues to go as well. So thank you so much for joining us on Break The Internet. Yeah,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  47:32

thank you for having me. This was a this was fun. I just want to throw a few more things out there a few more inspirational things. Here we go. Ready? Content Creation. If you're because I know you guys this is like for people who are creating content. Content Creation in itself is not the passion. Content Creation is a medium through which you express some other passion. So if you look at everybody else on your who's been on the show, you know, you had a magician, you had an interior designer, like these people all loved and crafted a different skill outside of social media. And then they channeled it through it. So you got to find that thing. That is that works for you outside of the world of social media, and then channel it into social media. And then the other thing I want to say to people out there if they want to do comedy and stuff is ideas are not precious, don't cling to ideas, you need to just get them out Done is better than perfect. So, get it done. It's not going to be perfect, but it's that idea that you're clean to it's in the way of other ideas. So get it out so that the new ideas can come and you and that's it. Just don't don't cling to ideas. Don't be like this has to be perfect because then you'll just never make it and then you you're stopping yourself from having more ideas.

Ben Kaplan  48:51

There you go you're made for thank you so much. Scott Bigos creator of CheeseParade thank you so much. Thank you.

Tom Cain  48:56

There's a lot to take from this one. So let's get through this quickly. Start with a strong opening to your video content, it's important to grab their attention immediately. draw inspiration from relatable experiences, but ensure your execution offers a fresh perspective. Don't be afraid to cut down your content to the most engaging and essential parts test shorter edits to see if they work better. Select music that enhances the emotional tone of your content, but then use that to guide your pacing and editing. Ensure that your content ends strongly and leaves your audience with a memorable impression. This was an interesting one because he said consider trimming the ending to maintain interest,

Scott Bigos - CheeseParade  49:31

have your ending and on a high note and then maybe cut off one second.

Tom Cain  49:35

Focus on creating original content that reflects your own true style. Rather than just jumping on every trend. Be open to evolving your content strategy based on platform dynamics and audience feedback. Make sure you explore different formats and lengths to find out what works. And finally, maintain a consistent production schedule and be disciplined in your preparation. Great advice from Scott. See you in the next Break The Internet. This episode was brought to you by TOP Thought Leader. go viral with TTL. Check out all our shows at topthoughtleader.com Like and Subscribe.

New episodes will always updated regularly

Waste of resources our competitors are jumping the shark.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.