|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
(March 29, 2019)
|Total views||1.6+ billion|
(October 9, 2018)
Collective Digital (2014–present)
|Updated September 7, 2018|
Vitaly Zdorovetskiy /
Early life and education
Zdorovetskiy attempted to become a professional skateboarder at an early age but gave up due to injuries.
In the video titled "Why I Did Porn!", Zdorovetskiy's tells his audience he got his first job at age 15 as a garbage collector making $5.00/hour. His second job was a sign-spinner dressed as Uncle Sam making $20 for 3 hours of work. After that, Vitaly picked up a job as a bus boy at a restaurant in Miami, Florida. Just shortly after turning 18, Zdorovetskiy took part in an adult film scene with pornographic actress Diamond Kitty for the adult entertainment company Bang Bros in 2011.
In 2012, Zdorovetskiy received his first significant success, with the video "Miami Zombie Attack Prank!" Inspired by the cannibal attack of a homeless man in Miami in May 2012, Zdorovetskiy dressed up as a zombie and traveled to some of the poorest neighborhoods in Miami to scare random bystanders. By January 2015 the "Miami Zombie Attack Prank!" had been viewed more than 30 million times. A sequel video prank was produced in Columbus, Ohio. The video got five million views within a week on YouTube.
On June 16, 2012, Zdorovetskiy and cameraman Jonathan Vanegas filmed the "Russian Hitman Prank". As part of the prank, Zdorovetskiy approached a Boca Raton man and informed him they had 60 seconds to get away from a briefcase he placed on the ground. After Zdorovetskiy revealed the whole thing to be a prank and that there was a hidden camera nearby, the man started attacking him and his partner and called the police. Zdorovetskiy was arrested by Boca Raton police department, facing a maximum of 15 years in prison on charges of threatening to detonate a bomb. At the time of the prank Zdorovetskiy's YouTube channel had only about 100,000 subscribers, but after the incident his channel grew to over four million subscribers within just over a year.
On July 20, 2013, Zdorovetskiy released the video "Extreme Homeless Man Makeover", in which he befriends a homeless man named Martin and provides him with new clothes and a hotel room. The video posting resulted in a job offer that Martin accepted. He was also reunited with his wife. The project also included an attempt to raise money to have Martin's teeth fixed, for which Zdorovetskiy was able to raise about $10,000 online. The fundraising campaign was canceled before it was completed, because of Zdorovetskiy's criminal history. However, Zdorovetskiy received several offers from surgeons to do the dental work for free. The surgery and the video story was featured on television news casts including the Good Day LA Fox morning show.
His "Gold Digger Prank", featuring a woman who rebuffs his advances until she believes he drives a Lamborghini Gallardo sports car, generated more than 18 million views in its first week of posting, making VitalyzdTV the third most watched YouTube channel in the world during that week with over 45 million views.
On October 15, 2014, Zdorovetskiy pulled a prank which involved himself dressing up as Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, pretending to saw off the legs of Hanhart syndrome patient Nick Santonastasso with a chainsaw in front of unsuspecting witnesses. The prank went viral, receiving over 30 million views in 3 weeks.
On June 10, 2016, Zdorovetskiy was again arrested for streaking during Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors with authorities quickly apprehending and arresting the YouTuber.
During the bottom of the 7th inning in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series, he was arrested for running onto the field at Minute Maid Park shortly after Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros hit a home run.
Zdorovetskiy currently lives in Los Angeles, California. He is in a movie with his friends Roman Atwood and Dennis Roady, both fellow YouTube pranksters. In November 2015, Lionsgate officially acquired worldwide distribution rights for Natural Born Pranksters. Upon debut, Natural Born Pranksters received poor reviews from viewers with an average user rating of 3.6 out of 10 on IMDB and a 3.3 out of 10 on MetaCritic. On December 31, 2017, Zdorovetskiy and his girlfriend were escorted off Boca Raton Resort because online posts were discovered about a potential New Year's Eve prank, but Zdorovetskiy said he had no intention of making any prank videos at the resort. At the 2014 Fifa World Cup Final second half, he ran across the field.
- Russian pronunciation: [vʲɪˈtalʲɪj zdərɐˈvʲɛtskʲɪj]
- Bryant Eng (February 5, 2013). "FAU's Prank-Star: Vitaly Zdorovetskiy". University Press Online. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "The moment practical joker terrifies Columbus, Ohio residents by chasing them in the streets wearing a hockey mask and wielding a chainsaw". Mail Online. September 22, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Clarkson, Brett; Komenda, Ed; Sentinel, Sun (July 17, 2012). "'Miami Zombie Attack' pranksters Jonathan Vanegas, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy arrested after prank fails". wptv.com. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- Chase Hoffberger (June 17, 2012). "YouTube Rascal Vitaly Zdorovetskiy arrested for bomb hoax". Daily Dot. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Jeff Nadel (December 8, 2013). "Youtube pranksters gone good". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Terrence McCoy (August 13, 2013). "Indiegogo Closes Vitaly Zdorovetskiy's Campaign To Fix Homeless Guy's Teeth". Palm Beach New Times. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Jeffrey Thomas DeSocio (November 6, 2013). "Vitaly: The Extreme Homeless Makeover". Fox 11. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Viral 'Gold Digger Prank' Shows Woman Reject Guy For Date…Until She Sees He Drives a Lamborghini or other expensive cars". The Blaze. October 15, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Mike Shields (October 22, 2013). "Gold Digger Prank Nabs 18 Million YouTube Views in a Week Motorboarding for breast cancer, Aquaman round out VideoWatch ranker". Adweek. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Joshua Cohen (October 26, 2013). "Top 50 Most Viewed YouTube Channels Worldwide – Week Of 10/25/13". TubeFilter. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- Scott Stump. "'Dead' man living: Disabled teen-turned-Internet star 'lives by inspiring others'". TODAY.com.
- Staff, Variety (2016-05-26). "YouTube Star Arrested After Climbing Hollywood Sign". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
- "Youtuber VitalyZDTV Streaks 2016 NBA Finals". Opencourt Basketball. 2016-06-11. Retrieved 2016-06-12.
- "Shirtless fan runs onto the field in Game 5 of the World Series - NY Daily News". NY Daily News. October 30, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- Waxman, Olivia B. "Lionsgate Picks Up Movie About YouTube Pranksters". TIME.com. Retrieved 2015-12-27.
- "Natural Born Pranksters (2016) - IMDb". IMDB.com. IMDb. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- "Natural Born Pranksters Reviews". MetaCritic.com. MetaCritic. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
- White, Ted (January 4, 2018). "Youtube celebrity kicked out of Boca Raton Resort and Club, hours after checking in". WPBF. Boca Raton. Retrieved January 16, 2018.