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YouTuber Noel Miller Talks Content Creation In Penn State Lecture

Comedian, musician, former Vine star, YouTuber, and half of the Tiny Meat Gang duo Noel Miller spoke to a full house of Penn State students in Alumni Hall on Wednesday night as part of the Student Programming Association’s (SPA) guest lecture series.

Moderator Connor Griffin welcomed Miller to the stage as the crowd erupted with cheers for the star. Miller wasted no time, and before taking a seat, addressed the crowd and said, “Put your phones down, losers. Have you ever done anything with your real eyes before?”

Miller began his career as a software engineer but turned to Vine and content creation because he “didn’t want to write code anymore.” Since striking gold on Vine in 2014, the Los Angeles resident has become a big name in the YouTube and comedy world.

After visiting State College for the first time in 2019 with Tiny Meat Gang counterpart Cody Ko, Griffin asked about Miller’s memories of Happy Valley. While he said he saw nothing more than his hotel room and the view out of the tour bus window, Miller remarked on his journey to Chick-fil-A.

“That’s about all I know [about Penn State],” he said.

He described his internet fame jump-starting from Vine, noting how the app was “genius, but too early.” After domination from and now TikTok, Vine was ahead of its time but overpowered by newer platforms.

Following some talk about algorithms and “For You Page” fame, Miller said, “For anyone that wants to be a YouTuber, don’t. Get a real job first.” The YouTuber explained how it was scary switching from part-time content creator to becoming reliant on the Internet as an income.

“If you can pay rent, it’s a good time to switch [to full-time]. It’s different for everyone, don’t do it too fast. It’s a slow burn,” he said.

Miller went on to describe his YouTube career and relationship with Cody Ko. Griffin remarked on how his personal favorite collaboration between Miller and Ko was “THAT’S CRINGE: Vape Hotbox”, which now has over 18 million views on YouTube.

“He’s a good kid,” Miller said of Matty Smokes, a fellow YouTuber who was ridiculed by Miller and Ko in their “THAT’S CRINGE” episode. It was all in good fun, and the duo still keeps up with Matty Smokes.

More recently in his career, Miller has been exploring music production. What once started out as a joke has turned into a new career path for the YouTuber. Miller enjoys writing, producing, and directing music videos with Ko to perform on their Tiny Meat Gang tours. He has produced over 10 songs since beginning his musical endeavors including “Broke Bitch” and “Sunbeam” among others. “I’ve dreamt of going into music since I was fucking 15.”

Soon after, Miller found himself defending his thoughts regarding “The Batman.” Miller described the movie as “mid” and was met with a reply of boos from the crowd. One student in the crowd, Seamus, was particularly unsettled by Miller’s opinion, and the two bantered about the highs and lows of the movie for quite a while, even evoking a Batman impersonation from Miller. Miller ultimately deemed Seamus a “film dork” and the conversation moved onward.

Griffin then asked about Miller’s podcasting experience with Tiny Meat Gang.

“It’s pretty insane what’s happening in the podcast industry as a whole. It’s an exciting thing. Modern media is really about finding your niche,” Miller said. “It’s more about when you have those people who really fuck with what you’re making, you just want to speak to them. If you’re trend-chasing, no one actually likes you for what you do.”

In terms of advice regarding podcasting and content creation for listeners in the audience, Miller noted that “this is probably the hardest, weirdest time to make anything.” He mentioned that algorithm-driven media has created a “difficult landscape” for creators.

He followed up by encouraging those interested in content creation to work really hard in one area to gain expertise before slowly branching out.

“Start with one thing and be really good at that one thing and slowly start to figure out how you branch out,” Miller said.

For the final 30 minutes of Miller’s time in Alumni Hall, he opened the floor for questions from the audience. The first question from the audience was, “Do you have any advice for short guys in dating?”

Miller responded with, “Be tall.” However, as an internet-dubbed “Short King”, Miller encouraged the audience member to be funny and “wear shoes that help [him] out.”

After several questions from the audience about podcasting advice, “THAT’S CRINGE”, and “Love Island”, Miller asked, “Do you people with your phones ever have them down? I swear this whole time, you’re like iPad kids. Just be here in the moment.” This comment solicited a chuckle from spectators and far fewer cameras in the air.

As the evening wrapped up, Miller asked the audience to send him home with a funny question. The final question was, “Who would be a special guest you’d like to have on your podcast?” Miller quickly responded with “your mom” and allowed Griffin to give closing remarks and close out the lecture.

Before leaving, Miller passed on critical advice that he received and has honed since the beginning of his Internet career.

“People don’t see talent. They see consistency,” he said. “If there’s one thing you take from this tonight, I hope it’s that.”

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a sophomore journalism major from Richmond, Virginia, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. She also talks about random, fun stuff on our podcast, Podward State. Keeley is a lover of grilled cheese, naps, and Kevin Jonas. If you would like to share your thoughts on the superior Jonas Brother, feel free to contact her on Twitter @lammkeeley or send your best Spotify playlist to her email [email protected]

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