Cringe Along as This Comedian Pretends to Be the Humans of New York Photographer

There is an incredibly popular photography blog showcasing the people of NYC that continues to attract followers, pulling at heartstrings across the globe. You may have heard of it—Humans of New York.

Everyone knows HONY nowadays; I mean, it has almost 10,000,000 followers on Facebook alone. But would you know the photographer behind it if he came up to you on the street? What would you put up with to be part of the blog? Comedian and actor Tyler Fischer took to the streets of New York pretending to be Brandon Stanton, the real HONY photographer, for this video prank that shows just how far unwitting people will go when they think they’ve met someone famous:

The satirical video is making waves because it mocks the HONY phenomenon, showing New Yorkers who will endure completely awkward situations and push their skepticism aside in the hopes of being part of the blog. (Via PetaPixel)

Fischer hit the streets of NYC dressed like Stanton—backwards baseball cap and all—and exaggerated the real photographer’s mannerisms, including the enthusiasm and high-pitched voice, to see how far people would go to get their picture on the incredibly popular Humans of New York blog. You’ll notice, he doesn’t ask any really personal questions, and even if the people he’s talking to wanted to offer some words up, he doesn’t create a very supportive atmosphere to get to such a personal level—or even give them time to respond.

pretending to be humans of new york

While Stanton is notorious for his ability to make people comfortable and gain their trust (he even shares his techniques on how to approach strangers on the street), Fischer does the complete opposite. He invades their space, laughs awkwardly before anything funny has been said, takes pictures of the tops of people’s heads, walks away before people finish talking, asks them to make up stories—just acts like an over-energetic and blatantly bad photographer to make the moment uncomfortable and ensure the complete unease of the people he photographs.¬†You would think that this would create skepticism in the interviewees, but surprisingly, people are just excited to meet the apparent HONY photographer and are eager to tell their stories.


The video is fun and lighthearted, but it definitely makes you think about the way people act when they are around celebrities and what motivates them. Some viewers are worried that Fischer’s impression of Stanton¬†will give New Yorkers a bad impression of the real Humans of New York, but no doubt he filled the people he talked to in on the prank afterward.

Stanton himself has actually posted the satirical video on his own Facebook page, saying:

“In case any of you had a strange conversation with ‘me’ lately…don’t feel bad if you got tricked, not a bad impression, actually!”

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