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VIDEO: Corner Brooker Matt Colbourne’s ‘Counting to 100 in French’ online video goes viral

Matt Colbourne is shown in a screenshot from his “Counting to 100 in French with a NYC Cabbie” video.
Matt Colbourne is shown in a screenshot from his “Counting to 100 in French with a NYC Cabbie” video. - Screen shot from YouTube

Pretty much everyone has probably had an odd conversation with a friend that goes off the rails a little and results in a lot of laughter.

Once the giggling stops, it is usually then quickly forgotten about.

Matt Colbourne had one of those silly chats recently, but he decided it was too good not to share, but it has spread further and faster than he would have ever thought possible.

He and a bilingual friend, speaking both French and English, happened to be talking about the French language and randomly got into how its numbering rules work.

“I was just realizing how insane it was, as I kept talking about it,” said Colbourne.

He quickly jotted down the conversation and went about filming it the following day with another friend — and frequent cameraman — Evan McHugh in tow. The premise is Colbourne plays the part of a New York City cabbie recounting a recent conversation he had with a French-Canadian passenger to his current fare as he drives.

“I just started doing the New York accent as I was talking about it (in the original conversation),” Colbourne says of that choice.

As the cabbie discusses the way the French language counts to 100, he becomes more unhinged, particularly once it gets past the number 16 and starts just becoming seemingly “random” stuff.

He posted it to his Facebook page for such things under the handle Matt Colbo last Tuesday and the notifications haven’t stopped coming since. It has reached over 1.6 million views on the social networking site, along with another 13,000-plus on YouTube once he got around to posted it on there a while later. The video has been shared on Facebook over 27,000 times.

Colbourne said he has a few French friends that follow that Facebook account who shared it with a few friends, who shared it with their friends, and, well, the rest is history.

Perhaps even more surprising than the clip going viral is that, in the wild, west landscape of the Internet, where positive commentary may be the rarest form of communication, the video has seemingly been enjoyed by just about everyone who has seen it.

Of the over 4,000 comments on the Facebook post, Colbourne said they are all overwhelmingly positive and many are from francophones, who he said could have taken the joke the wrong way.

“Maybe they’d think I was making fun of them, I’m not French,” he said. “But it’s all positive and it’s still growing. It’s insane.”

Colbourne said he’ll post a few new videos in the coming weeks, but will wait a while before he revisits the New York cabbie video style, so as not to “overuse it.”

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