The story of Dude Perfect starts with a few college bros, hanging out and shooting some hoops – nothing extraordinary about that. But when the five Dudes posted a video of themselves doing trick shots to YouTube, their lives completely changed. We talked to one of the dudes, Tyler Toney, about how a few trick shots changed his life.
How did Dude Perfect get started?
It was six years ago and we were all roommates at Texas A&M. I told Garrett [Hilbert, of Dude Perfect] if I made that shot in the backyard, he had to buy me a sandwich. I threw the shot up, he bought my sandwich and we came back and all the other guys tried to make the shot. After two days of doing that, we had our very first video and Good Morning America called and wanted to air it on TV.
Why do you think that video went viral?
At the time, there weren’t trick shot videos out there. Six years ago, the only trick shot videos were in a gym and nobody decided to take basketball outside of its element and people saw that and were drawn to it. There was a lot of real vs. fake controversy – even Diane Sawyer didn’t really believe it was real. I think it was a combination of all those things.
What’s been your most surreal moment while working on Dude Perfect?
Going to the ESPY Awards was pretty incredible. That was a crazy experience, getting to be on the red carpet and interact with celebrities and athletes. That was really a once in a lifetime thing and the first time we got access to the media and athletes.
You’ve had a lot of special guests on Dude Perfect. Who were your favorites?
Personally, I’m a big fan of country music, so working with Tim McGraw was really cool – I grew up listening to him. Coach Carroll [of the Seattle Seahawks] and Rob Dyrdeck of “Fantasy Factory” were really cool.
When you started the channel, did you ever think you’d be working with celebrities?
We did our first brand deal one and a half years into Dude Perfect and since then, almost every video we do now is a branded athlete or celebrity video – and we’re not the ones reaching out to these guys. It’s really cool to be in that position where not just regular fans and viewers like what we’re doing, but athletes and celebrities like it, too, and it doesn’t feel like work when they come out and film a video with us.
It sounds like you and your friends have a lot of fun.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously and that’s one reason people are drawn to our types of videos. We’re just a couple of five average, athletic guys and we don’t try to act like we’re anything else, so I think people can really relate to that. It encourages kids and parents and families to go try stuff on their own. That’s one of most rewarding things we get e-mails like, "I’m waiting for my dad to get home so we can watch the video and try this stuff," so it’s cool that we’re getting families to hang out together and play together.
Be sure to read Metro next week to catch Dude Perfect's column on how to have fun at work.