By the Way

The legacy of the Mobile leprechaun

A member of the Crichton community of Mobile, best known for his “Where tha gold at?” comments on a viral YouTube video.
A member of the Crichton community of Mobile, best known for his “Where tha gold at?” comments on a viral YouTube video.

Do you remember where you where St. Patrick’s Day of 2006?

Probably not. I do.

That was the year myself and other Mobilians learned a hard truth. Every St. Patrick’s Day since it’s been a bitter Guinness to swallow.

Leprechauns are real. And at least one of them was hiding in a tree.

A couple days before St. Patrick’s Day, NBC affiliate WPMI-TV unveiled to the world a broadcast video of members of the Crichton community, who swore a leprechaun had been spotted in their neighborhood.

The video was posted to YouTube on March 17, 2006 and became a viral sensation, attracting millions of views. It has been viewed close to 27 million times.

What makes the video so captivating? Several things stand out, but I’d say the characters.

Those familiar with the video know about the “Where the Gold at?” guy, whose charm and gold tooth blended into the Irish folklore perfectly. Later in the video, he says he’s going to get a backhoe to dig up the gold.

Another man in the community pulled out a metal pipe with holes in it that he called a special, leprechaun flute. Naturally, he said the pipe wards off leprechauns. It’s something his great-great-grandfather gave and taught him how to use.

“Don’t be afraid,” he tells drivers-by.

Then there’s the woman who said the leprechaun was actually intoxicated, a person who got a bad batch of drugs and climbed up a tree.

But my favorite part was when the news broadcast put up a generously-titled “amateur sketch” of the leprechaun. Someone was so sure they saw it, they drew a picture of it from memory.

If you haven’t, enjoy the best St. Patrick’s Day video in social media history.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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