Hyde in 2013 at a TEDx conference
|Birth name||Samuel Whitcomb Hyde|
|Born|| (1985-04-16) April 16, 1985|
Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, YouTube|
|Years active||2007 – present|
|Genres||Sketch comedy, anti-comedy, political satire, shock humor, surreal humor, post-irony|
|Subject(s)||American politics, pop culture|
Samuel Whitcomb Hyde (born April 16, 1985) is an American comedian, writer, performance artist and actor. He co-created the sketch comedy group Million Dollar Extreme (MDE) with Charls Carroll and Nick Rochefort.
Hyde is known for his involvement in several public pranks and internet hoaxes. His style of humor has been described as post-ironic, as he regularly blurs the distinction between himself and his characters. Hyde's transgressive style has also garnered public controversy and he has been frequently associated with the alt-right. He has supported white supremacist causes, including monetary donations to The Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin for legal fees, support for conspiracy theories, and mocking the Holocaust.
Life and career
After graduating from Wilton High School, Hyde enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University for one year before transferring to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in film, animation and video.
In mid-2014, Hyde started a web series titled Kickstarter TV, where he would find projects on Kickstarter and harshly ridicule both the projects and the people who made them.
In August 2016, Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace, a television program Hyde co-wrote and acted in along with the other members of MDE, premiered on Adult Swim. Four months later, it was announced that World Peace would not be renewed for a second season. Hyde attributed the show's cancellation to his vocal support for Donald Trump.
In a December 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter in the aftermath of his series' cancellation, when questioned if he held a bias towards minorities, Hyde replied that he was 'probably as racist or as biased as the average regular white guy or the average regular black guy'.
In 2017, Hyde reportedly pledged $5,000 towards the legal defense fund of Andrew Anglin, the founder and editor of white supremacist website The Daily Stormer. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Anglin for allegedly organizing a "troll storm" against a Jewish woman in Montana. When Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times questioned Hyde about the donation, Hyde asked Pearce if he was Jewish and went on to say that $5,000 was "nothing" to him. Hyde also stated: "Don't worry so much about money. Worry about if people start deciding to kill reporters. That's a quote. For the reason why, you can say I want reporters to know I make more money than them, especially Matt Pearce."
Hyde lampooned the American anime fandom in 2012 when he delivered a spurious presentation titled "Samurai Swordplay in a Digital Age" under the pseudonym "Master Kenchiro Ichiimada" at a convention in Vermont. During the presentation, an MDE affiliate blocked the exit to bar attendees from leaving Hyde's hour-long performance. Similarly in 2013, Hyde, while dressed in a maroon-colored sweatsuit and clad in hoplite-esque breastplate and greaves, delivered a prank TEDx talk titled "2070 Paradigm Shift" at Drexel University. The talk, described by Forbes as a satiric impersonation of a "Brooklyn tech hipster," received significant media attention. When asked about the intent of the prank, Hyde stated his dislike for TED talks, calling them "really self-congratulatory." In 2014, Hyde started a fake Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the creation of a "pony dating simulator" for bronies, the adult male fans of the children's television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The Kickstarter page said the simulator would comprise "a journey that spans multiple continents" and include "deep RPG elements." Devotees of the show who ostensibly took the project seriously pledged a total of $4,161 to the phony fundraiser before Hyde cancelled it.
Since 2015, Hyde has been frequently misreported as the perpetrator of numerous mass shootings and terrorist attacks by Internet trolls on websites such as 4chan and Twitter. The hoaxes, which typically included photos of Hyde brandishing a semi-automatic weapon, reappeared so often on social media that The New York Times characterized "Sam Hyde is the shooter" as "an identifiable meme." The first instance of the prank was the Umpqua Community College shooting. CNN mistakenly included Hyde's image on their coverage of the shooting. Hyde has also been erroneously blamed for many other shootings.