The Mobile Leprechaun: Six Years Later

Believe it or not, six years have passed since one of the first YouTube viral videos was born. There are kindergartners who weren’t even a thought in their parents’ minds when the story first aired.

With around 25 million combined views (more than 20 million on the original video from 2006), the Mobile Leprechaun video is one of the most-viewed all-time on YouTube. And every year around St. Patrick’s Day more and more people see it for the first time.

I’m forever linked to the story because I’m one of the anchors who introduced it on camera. As a result, I’m peppered with questions about it several times a year. One question is often repeated: “Was that a real news story?” The answer is yes and no…

Here’s the annual edition of the backstory: This happened when I was working at WPMI, the NBC affiliate in Mobile. It was covered as a real news story…at first. We heard reports of large crowds gathering in the Crichton community and police were being called out. We didn’t know WHY they were gathering. The way I remember it, we weren’t going out there to cover a Leprechaun sighting (that would have been a questionable decision). We were going out there to see why such large crowds were causing problems in the neighborhood. When our crew arrived, things sort of snowballed. People were looking up at a tree and saying there was a Leprechaun in it. We started shooting video and that’s when the people of Crichton took over and turned this story into an internet sensation.

The version all over the internet is actually the one that aired on WPMI’s morning newscast. The story’s debut came the previous night. For some reason, that one slipped right past the YouTube uploaders.

In the end, the now-legendary “amateur sketch” was auctioned off on eBay by WPMI and the proceeds donated to charity. I think it pulled in close to $1,000.

My wife and I, along with our two kids, get new Mobile Leprechaun t-shirts every couple of years. We highly encourage you to do the same. CafePress has a great selection.

It’s fun to be part of something that’s talked about so much for so long, although some of my co-workers are probably really tired of it. But I never get tired of hearing about it. It’s funny and ridiculous and makes people laugh. I always say that I could be immortalized on YouTube for something far worse. I’ll take this.


  1. @clarescoffee says:

    One of my favorites.!!I need to order a new Leprechaun shirt myself!
    Happy St Patricks day from Mobile!

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