Ryan O’Flanagan, known as the Overly Excited Tourist for Funny or Die, recently visited the Route 66 town of Victorville, California, and produced a video of his misadventures.
As you’ll find, the Overly Excited Tourist not only is excitable, but astonishingly ignorant. Note: It would be PG-rated for language.
The Victorville Daily Press caught up with O’Flanagan, who explained the genesis of his character:
“The first tourist video I shot was just on Hollywood Boulevard, which is a block from where I live,” O’Flanagan told me. “I thought it would be funny to be this super excited, yet super misinformed tourist who is pumped to be in Hollywood, but doesn’t actually understand anything he’s seeing. He’s illiterate and naive, but unbreakably happy.”
O’Flanagan said he made the first Overly Excited Tourist video as a lark for his friends, but it proved popular enough to continue the series.
On Facebook’s Funny or Die page, the Victorville video garnered more than 1 million views, more than 3,100 comments and more than 5,800 shares.
O’Flanagan acknowledged he was taken aback by Victorville’s long-festering problems with homeless people and drug addicts on its streets. But he told the newspaper he experienced good things as well:
“I met a couple of super nice older guys that run the Route 66 Museum,” O’Flanagan said. “They have so much pride in their little museum. It was really charming … The museum runs on donations only, so I made sure to buy a few Route 66 souvenirs. Those guys were awesome.”
But his favorite interaction came inside the hotel where he stayed.
“I love a small town with a story,” he said. “For my videos, I usually wear a hat with the name of the city that I’m in. So I asked the girl at the front desk, ‘Is there anywhere I can get a hat that just says Victorville? Like a souvenir shop or anything?’ And she thought for a minute, then she said, ‘We don’t have any souvenir shops. I mean, it’s just Victorville.’”
(Screen-capture image of the Overly Excited Tourist in front of the New Corral Motel in Victorville, California)