The YouTube video “David After Dentist,” went viral in 2009, featuring a dopey, disoriented David DeVore – dressed in a Florida Gators shirt – still feeling the effects of anesthesia and questioning the reality of the situation.
A simple trip to the dentist for oral surgery introduced David DeVore to the spotlight as a 7-year-old.
The YouTube video “David After Dentist,” went viral in 2009, featuring a dopey, disoriented DeVore — dressed in a Florida Gators shirt — still feeling the effects of anesthesia and questioning the reality of the situation.
Neither DeVore nor his family, who live in Lake Mary, realized that the video would get more than 138 million views and that his choice of attire that day would give them a glimpse of his future.
Eleven years later, DeVore, now 18, has been admitted into the University of Florida’s Innovation Academy, where he plans to study computer science.
“The video has given me a lot of opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without it, but I want to do more with my life,” DeVore said.
UF's College of Dentistry had a bit of fun with the news over the weekend, suggesting via Twitter that DeVore might consider being part of UF's dentistry class of 2027.
Over the past decade, DeVore has been invited on television shows such as “Tosh.0,” and the "Today" show, and has gotten the chance to meet celebrities like Jimmy Kimmel. He’s spoken at an MIT seminar on meme culture and has traveled to Brazil for a conference centered on viral internet videos.
Through those experiences, DeVore said he has learned skills that will translate into his post-college career.
“It’s fun getting to meet all the cool people and doing all the things most kids my age don’t get to do,” DeVore said. “But it’s given me tools like knowing how interviews work, learning how the world works, knowing how to interact with people.”
DeVore’s father, also named David, has seen his son’s growth throughout it all.
“He has a unique ability to keep it two separate things,” his father said. “He goes to all these events and interviews and handles it like a pro, then he comes back and jumps back into his normal kid routine. It’s cool to see how’s he’s acquired the skills and maturity from when he was 10 to now.”
Back in 2009 when the video became a sensation, it sparked conversation about parents’ responsibility as it it pertains to their children’s future privacy and the internet. But the elder DeVore says it was never his intention to make his child famous.
“I took the video for my wife because she couldn’t be at the surgery and then posted it to share with friends and family. Going viral was accidental,” his father said. “The negative reactions bring more attention to it, so we try not to provide that by reacting to it.”
The family is excited for DeVore to begin his education at UF, where they have roots. The younger DeVore’s grandfather attended and played football at UF, while many other relatives live in the surrounding areas, including Gainesville and Newberry.
Devore also is looking forward to attending the same institution as Tim Tebow, someone who has played a strong influence on his faith and his life — so much so that even their family dog is named Tebow.
“This has been a lifelong dream for him, so we’re excited for what the future holds for him,” the older DeVore said. “We’re just proud of whatever educational path he takes, and we know UF will guide him there.”