Our Community. Our Nation. Our World.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're sorry to report that Paul Vasquez has died. He was one of YouTube's earliest viral sensations, better known as Double Rainbow Guy.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

PAUL VASQUEZ: It's a double rainbow all the way. Whoa, that's so intense. Whoa. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. (Cheering).

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A 3 1/2-minute video made Vasquez famous when he captured a pair of rainbows outside his home near Yosemite National Park. His sense of wonder added to that scene. At one point, he shouted, what does it all mean?

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

VASQUEZ: Yeah. Oh, my God. Look at that. It's starting to look like a triple rainbow. Oh, my God. It's full-on double rainbow all the way across the sky.

INSKEEP: He posted this video in 2010. Later, late night host Jimmy Kimmel shared it on his show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

JIMMY KIMMEL: Somebody sent this video to me. It had 800 views at the time. So I posted a link to it on Twitter. Two weeks - less than two weeks later, it has almost 7 million views.

INSKEEP: And today, it has around 50 million views.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

VASQUEZ: Oh, my God. It's a double complete rainbow on my front yard. Oh, my God.

MARTIN: The comments section on the original video is now flooded with messages to Vasquez. One person said the video was, quote, "proof you don't need much to truly enjoy life." Paul Vasquez never stopped posting videos to his YouTube channel. In March, he shared one with his family.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

VASQUEZ: Thank you. Love you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Love you.

(CROSSTALK)

VASQUEZ: OK. See you guys. Bye.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Bye.

MARTIN: Paul Vasquez, Double Rainbow Guy, died in California having shown millions how to find joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SOULAR ORDER'S "THEY'LL LIE TO YOU") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.