Damn Daniel – Before He Was Famous

Before They Were Famous


Before they went on the Ellen Show and received a life-time supply of those signature Vans.

Before their video went viral overnight with more than 200k retweets and favourites.

Before they would make a cameo in Weezer’s music video and have their videos remixed

Before the two teens used their sudden celebrity for good, donating shoes to a children’s hospital

Daniel Lara was just your average young man walking into school with his navy blue hoody, skinny chinos, a backpack and clip-on vans. When his friend Josh Holz decided to film him walking by with some commentary and posted it on his Snapchat, none of them knew how much it would change their lives.

Daniel Lara and Josh Holz live in Riverside, California and are 14 and 15 years old respectively. They both attend Riverside Polytechnic High School and Josh started filming short clips of Daniel cooley strutting into school with his savvy outfits.

At first Daniel thought it was a bit strange having Josh come up to him like that but when people kept responding to the snapchats and saying they liked them it encouraged them to keep going.

Daniel wanted to see if he would be recognized at all so he went to the mall and was stopped about 10 or 15 times. Not bad. But the next time he was out at a swim meet he knew they were on to something. He was swarmed with people asking to take pictures and call up Josh to deliver his signature catch phrase.

On February 15th this year Josh uploaded a compilation of those clips onto his twitter account. Which has since sparked an Internet frenzy that could rival Alex from target. “Daaaamn Daniel!” Has now become the new way to compliment your friends, make an entrance, or just be really annoying. The video has been retweeted over 300,000 times and has since resulted in a variety of memes, a remix, and even songs by rappers Little, Teej and LeBlanc

On February 23, a little over a week after their viral fame and 45 million views later, the two appeared on the Ellen show. Along with being interviewed two were surprised with a few gifts. Josh received a surfboard from the generous host saying “Damn Daniel, I was on Ellen!” And the main star, well he received a life-time supply of vans.

The original white canvas Vans can be purchased on for $45, but of course there are people looking to capitalize on the sensation by placing listings for “Damn Daniels White Vans.” On eBay.  There are more than 250 of them, and one has a high bid of $300,700. Another, with 127 bids, reached $60,100.

Before the wave of fame hit him Daniel was a pretty shy kid, so naturally this must all be very overwhelming to him. One classmate said about him “Daniel isn’t the kind of guy who uses fame for attention,” and even though it’s been less than a month he went viral, they seem to be using their fame for good.

On March 9th, Josh Holz’s birthday, the two visited the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital and donated some shoes to the patients there. The two also made a brief appearance at the end of Weezer’s music video California Kids.

Daniel was offered a modeling contract now that he’s an Internet sensation, but he had to turn it down since he wants to focus on his goal of a swimming scholarship. “Daniel wants to go to college and he is after that swim scholarship and he doesn’t want modeling to get in the way of that,” the source adds. But don’t worry — Josh is loving the attention and already wants to film Daniel in another sure-to-be viral vid.

And the rest of the story, well you know the rest of the story because this is Before They Were Famous.


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