Noah Ritter was having the best day of his life–that is, until it rapidly spiraled into his worse nightmare. The 5-year-old, who is crashing with Grandpa Jack in Wilkes Barre, PA for the summer, became an overnight internet sensation when he reviewed rides for a local TV station at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania and hijacked the interview with his adorable overuse of the word “apparently.”
But by the next morning, throngs of TV reporters–vultures, really–had descended on Grandpa Jack’s lawn. Everyone wanted a piece of #ApparentlyKid, who seems more confused and overwhelmed by each interview. The questions keep coming: “What does apparently mean?” (He’s not sure.) “How does it feel to be a superstar?” (Good.) “What do you want to be when you grow up?”(A paleontologist.) But all Noah really wants to talk about are dinosaurs. The whole thing seems rather exploitative, especially as we see Noah become increasingly flustered.
Watch the media corner poor Noah on his bike:
At his paleontology dig:
Here he is confused as ever on “Good Morning America.” (Why are they all laughing, Grandpa? Are the laughing at me or with me?):
Reporters keep flooding in. And now Noah’s become insecure about his signature word that made him famous. “I was so embarrassed, I was this much embarrassed,” Noah confesses to a reporter from Newswatch16. At one point he slaps his forehead and turns pink as an “apparently” slips out, saying, “And now I’m just using the word that I used when I was filmed at the county fair.”
This is just awful! They’ve robbed the word “apparently” from #ApparentlyKid.
Even Stephen Colbert poked fun at the “natural-born newsman,” comparing his signature word to Sean Hannity’s use of “literally.” (Ironically, it was Hannity who was offended by the comparison, when it should really be the other way around.)
Noah is adorable and precocious and charming, and we all love seeing his face on TV, but this needs to end. I am not convinced that internet fame is completely harmless to children. They took a child who was wonderfully uninhibited–as children often are–and made him self-conscious of his most lovable idiosyncrasy. Who’s with me?