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St. Pete YouTuber broadcast his brain surgery. Of course he’s filming self-isolation.

Charles Trippy’s YouTube channel has more than 1.4 million subscribers who watch his 11-year-old online reality show.
The Trippy family - Charles, Remi and Allie - star on a YouTube show that has more than 1.4 million subscribers.
The Trippy family - Charles, Remi and Allie - star on a YouTube show that has more than 1.4 million subscribers. [ Courtesy of Charles Trippy ]
Published Apr. 13, 2020|Updated Apr. 15, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG — There doesn’t seem to be anything that Charles Trippy III won’t film and then show to more than 1.4 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.

He posted a new episode of his ongoing online reality show every day from May 1, 2009, to May 1, 2019, earning a Guinness World Record for the “most consecutive daily personal video blogs posted on YouTube.”

Trippy shared brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in 2013. Nearly 3.5 million people have watched that video.

He broadcast footage of his marriage proposal in 2016. She said yes. He then broadcast their 2017 wedding.

Fans watched as his wife, Allie Trippy, gave birth to their first child, Remi, last July.

And during this period of stay-at-home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Trippy is still filming all week and uploading a fresh episode to YouTube each weekday.

“We’re just trying to create some sort of escapism for everyone else who is stuck inside,” the 35-year-old Sarasota native said.

But the coronavirus altered the show’s plans. Trippy, a bassist and son of Gregg Allman Band percussionist Chaz Trippy, was supposed to tour Japan, Indonesia and Guam with his band, We the Kings.

And he planned to take a family RV trip across the United States. That’s not happening anytime soon, he says. The trips would have provided content for his 11-year-old YouTube show, now titled Charles and Allie.

Still, Trippy and Allie find ways to keep the show entertaining.

They box-sledded down their stairs.

They delivered hand sanitizer to friends and family. To adhere to social distancing and CDC guidelines, Trippy dropped it at doorsteps and would ring and run, all while wearing a paper bag on his head rather than a mask.

In a touching moment in another episode, their 9-month-old daughter discovered rain for the first time, cooing as droplets bounced off her hand.

“She is a Truman baby,” Trippy said, in reference to The Truman Show. The movie stars Jim Carrey as a man who, unknowingly, has his entire life filmed for a reality show. “She was born on camera and every day is on camera.”

Most of Trippy’s adult life has been, too.

He started creating YouTube content back in 2005, during the social media platform’s first year.

Then a student at the University of South Florida, Trippy said he mostly filmed “inappropriate weird videos," like a Barbie Sex Tape.

“But they would get 5 to 10 million views,” he said. "No one was on YouTube. There was very little to watch.”

Trippy began vlogging (video blogging) in 2009.

“The original goal was to do one a day for a year,” he said. “It was a social experiment. Ten years later, we were still doing it.”

In the early years of his YouTube show, Charles Trippy took part in wild stunts, such as when he allowed friends to shoot him with a paintball gun.
In the early years of his YouTube show, Charles Trippy took part in wild stunts, such as when he allowed friends to shoot him with a paintball gun. [ Times (2009) ]
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According to Tampa Bay Times archives, early vlogs showed him digging his way out of a stuffed-animal claw machine, dancing in a banana costume and letting his friends shoot .68-caliber paintball pellets at his bare chest.

Views increased, as did the money from YouTube advertisements, Trippy said, and the show became a full-time job.

Its success brought exposure to St. Petersburg, which is regularly mentioned in the shows, said Tony Armer, the Pinellas County film commissioner.

“YouTube is TV today for a lot of people,” Armer said. “Digital viewership on channels like his gets more eyeballs than network television in many cases.”

The content has changed over the years, Trippy said, showcasing less of his wild side and more of his soft side while falling in love, becoming a father and documenting his fight with cancer.

The pending birth of his daughter led him to stop broadcasting a new episode seven days a week.

“I wanted more free time,” he said.

Still, some things don’t change.

He needs another round of brain surgery to remove the rest of the tumor, possibly in May, though it depends on what is going on with the coronavirus.

Whenever it happens, Trippy said, he’ll film and broadcast it.

“People ask, ‘Why?’” he said. “I say, ‘Why not?’”

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