Beyond Viral: The Actually Touching Story Behind The Drunk Guy In The Barney Costume

Brandon Priest is an unassuming 23 year old. From Brunswick, GA, Priest works at a Ebay call center and is still a kid at heart who still loves to watch cartoons and does some cartoon animation as a hobby.

He’s in a local band named Midwayer too. And oh yeah, he also has a 4 year old daughter who takes up the rest of his time.

Trust me, this is important background info.

You see, Priest is a bit of a celebrity now- well at least an online celebrity. A photo of him has been circulating around the Internet close to light speed with thousands of shares on Facebook and other social media sites.

The only problem? Priest is in a Barney the Dinosaur costume and you have no that its him in there and you certainly don’t know the great life lesson that he learned by being goofy.

It just really went to show me how much you actually miss out on when you say no to opportunity and I think it was an amazing life lesson for myself.

Here’s our strangely poignant interview with Brandon Priest, the dude who dressed up as Barney and played pool at a Georgia bar.

Rise News: What is the story behind the viral photos?

Brandon Priest (Barney): Friday I had watched the Jim Carrey movie, Yes Man – the movie where he has to say yes to anything, and lately I hadn’t been getting out of the house at all. I had been just staying inside playing video games and turning down offers from hanging out with friends and the movie really reminded me how much I actually say no to things that might have ended up being fun so I basically made a post on facebook saying that I wanted to start saying yes to more crazy things and hanging out with more people that I wouldn’t normally hang out with.


Rise News: Why did you decide to dress up as Barney?

Barney: A friend of mine Mercedes actually immediately hit me up and said she had found a Barney outfit in her attic from her kids birthday party a couple years ago and asked if I would be down with wearing it around town and I just went for it haha.

I really enjoyed it. I spent the first part of the day just hugging kids and taking hundreds of pictures, riding around on the tour bike on St Simons island. I think I made a lot of people happy by just dressing up in a silly costume and that was awesome.

People kept buying me free shots and drinks when I hit up the bars and I ended up getting really drunk and some guys talked me into playing pool. I was so wasted I think I only managed to get one ball in (its also really hard to play pool when you’re in a suit that doesn’t have fingers).

Rise News: Did you post the photo on social media or how did it start to go viral?

Barney: I believe a guy named Kyle took the picture and put it on his reddit.


Rise News: What do you think about how viral it has gotten? 

Barney: I had no idea I’d wake up the next morning and the picture would have 5 million views and all the facebook shares. So many sites and stuff have been hitting me up and I personally think its great. It just really went to show me how much you actually miss out on when you say no to opportunity and I think it was an amazing life lesson for myself.

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Photo Credits: Brandon Priest

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About the Author
Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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