PERRY, Ga. — 77-year-old Jackie K. Cooper, a long-time entertainment critic based out of Perry, recently went 'viral' on YouTube, and it's all because of a man he's never met.
Throughout his life, Cooper has practiced law, served in the United States Air Force and has even written seven books.
In the past he's worked with a number of news outlets in Central Georgia, writing entertainment columns for newspapers and appearing on morning shows.
When he retired, Cooper started posting YouTube videos 12 years ago, when the site was only a couple of years old.
Over those 12 years, he accumulated just 136 subscribers on the platform, but that was about to change.
A man with the username 'Maxwell' on YouTube unexpectedly helped Cooper out.
"I've never met him, so we've communicated through email and Twitter, but Maxwell had seen my entertainment rundown which I had posted, and was amazed at the fact that I was 77-years-old, and I had been doing this for 12 years, and I only had 136 followers." Cooper said. "And so he decided to do something about it."
Over the weekend, Cooper says Maxwell started posting his YouTube channel on various websites and forums, including Reddit.
That's when things really blew up.
"All of a sudden, I'm getting all these subscribers, I'm getting followers on Facebook, I'm getting followers on Twitter, and we were headed to like, 3,000 subscribers on YouTube. This was Friday night," Cooper said. "And my son said, 'you know dad you're gonna wake up in the morning, and you're gonna have 5,000 subscribers.' Well I woke up Saturday morning and I had 17,000 subscribers."
And the numbers continued to grow from there. Now, Cooper's YouTube subscriber count sits just over 42,000.
"I guess they like that somebody my age is still interested in movies and stuff like that... they all say I look like their grandfather, all this sort of stuff, it's just blowing my mind," Cooper laughed.
While he didn't expect to go viral, Cooper says he definitely didn't expect how nice people were going to be.
"The comments have just been so amazing... I'm not somebody who stays on the web and knows all about the things on the web and everything, but the comments, and there have been thousands of them, have been so welcoming," Cooper said.
He hopes to get to 50,000 subscribers soon.
"It has become like, this community thing. People are emailing me and sending me tweets, posting to my Facebook page and saying, 'we're going to hit 35,000, we're going to hit 40,000... 42,000,' and they're getting caught up, and it's not just happening to me, but it's happening to them too," Cooper said.
He recently posted a video thanking Maxwell and all of his newfound followers. He even reached out to Maxwell personally.
"I wrote him and I said, 'Maxwell, why did you pick me out of the blue?' Cooper said. "And he said, I guess it's just you were in the right place at the right time. Well, I just thought it's a God thing. It was meant, meant to be."
Cooper hopes to keep posting YouTube videos in the future. He even has a Q&A video in the works.
He says he's very appreciative of all his supporters, old and new.
"You know, we're just going to try to get things that they enjoy, and I certainly enjoy it, so we're just going to ride it out," Cooper said.