[Video below.] They should take their show on the road. Jesse and Brandon Koczon, honorary governor and lieutenant governor for the day, held court in the Statehouse Wednesday before the click and whir of cameras there to record the moment when two YouTube sensations finally got to be the leaders of New Jersey, if only for a few hours before they went to bed.
For Jesse, the visit to Gov. Chris Christie’s office was the culmination of several months of celebrity following the airing of a 2009 video in which he was crying about not being able to be the governor of New Jersey. Christie, after the seeing the video last week, invited the twin brothers and their parents to his office for a private visit and laugh-filled press event, during which he issued them proclamations, making Jesse governor and Brandon lieutenant governor for the day.
The video, which won a $10,000 prize on America’s Funniest Videos last year, was posted on YouTube in February by the twins’ uncle, Ted Koczon. A little more than a month later, the video took off, posted by the website Gawker, as well as in New Jersey by Capitol Quickies, the New Jersey Press Media Statehouse blog.
The Koczons, residents of Old Bridge, were suddenly besieged by requests for interviews and television appearances, making the two boys media stars and leaving their family amazed at how quickly fame descended on them.
“It’s crazy,” said the twins’ grandfather, also named Ted Koczon, about the attention the family has received since the video went viral. “I’ve gotten calls from friends in Florida, family in Florida, that didn’t know this was going on, saying, ‘We saw the kids on TV. What’s going on?’ ”
Christie’s office saw the video, which was taken as the Koczons drove home from voting on the day Christie was elected, and quickly sought out the family.
“I felt like a father,” Christie said when asked about first viewing the video. “I’ve been in that scene when you have your kids just going wild in the back of the car. . . .”