Kid President
Kid President visited Cal Poly this past Wednesday to talk about his dream of changing the world, one person at a time. | Dylan Sun/Mustang News

Jessica Nguyen

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Before Kid President could kick off his appearance at Cal Poly on Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of meeting Robby Novak — the president himself — in person.

That overly energetic persona you see in his videos? It’s not just an act.

This became clear during Mustang News’ broadcast with Novak and his brother-in-law, Brad Montague. Despite being an 11-year-old boy, camera shyness was not in Novak’s book. Neither was being negative.

He spoke of his medical condition, a rare brittle bone disease called Osteogensis Imperfecta. He gave some words of wisdom about his days in the hospital.

“The good days are the bad days,” Novak said. “You get hamburgers on the bad days.”

He then proceeded to bust out one of his famous dance moves and said, “This is for you, Mustangs.”

My heart melted for a second. I wanted to pick him up and put him in my pocket.

Kid President
Dylan Sun/Mustang News

After we settled into the Chumash Auditorium and received a free copy of his book, the seats slowly started to fill with excited Cal Poly students. The moment Novak stepped on stage with Montague, the crowd went wild.

First and foremost, Novak thought our mascot was the Ford Mustang.

He also created a special handshake for Cal Poly, which he demonstrated as a high five, fist bump and a move he called the “Mustang broom,” in which he leaned back and steered the supposed Ford Mustang’s wheel with one hand.

Novak and Montague practically finished each other’s sentences when introducing themselves. Their close friendship kept the crowd smiling through the performance.

Montague talked about how their newly released book had made it as a New York Times best-seller this past week. Novak responded with a dance move he called the “New York Times shuffle.”

Then, Novak talked about the time he met Beyoncé.

“I did not just meet Beyoncé,” he said. “We went in a room and met her and then I kissed her!”

Apparently, she asked for the kiss.

Kid President
Dylan Sun/Mustang News

Montague continued to talk about how their videos allowed them to connect with the White House, Justin Timberlake and many other celebrities, including Rainn Wilson. He then showed a video about how to make the world awesome, featuring Kid President.

Looking around the auditorium, nearly everyone was captivated by Kid President’s adorably positive attitude.

Robby left the stage briefly. Brad spoke about how the idea for the videos came about. The character Kid President grew out of the idea that individuals — especially kids — can change the world and make it better.

“The cool thing for us is when people watch our videos and then go do something,” Novak said.

Kid President’s first pep talk video was all about encouragement. He wanted his videos to be positive and humorous at the same time.

“Don’t stop believing,” Kid President said in his video. “Unless your dream is stupid.”

Kid President
Dylan Sun/Mustang News

Between bits of life advice, Montague frequently interjected with comic relief to keep the audience entertained. It wasn’t your typical motivational speaker event. The casual and playful aura made the performance both enjoyable and meaningful.

Though it seemed nearly impossible to dislike Kid President, he does have Internet haters. However, Montague didn’t seem phased. He talked about a time when he and Novak sent a picture of them eating a corn dog to an Internet troll.

“Take a chance and hug the haters,” he said.

Montague said he enjoys giving people the outlet to spread happiness through Kid President’s videos. They asked their viewers to submit videos of them doing silly things like laughing, dancing or giving someone a corn dog. Kid President unintentionally started a flood of mass corn dog-giving among their viewers.

The duo also started Socktober, in which individuals collected socks during October to hand out to the homeless. The event started as nationwide, but spread until every continent in the world hosted a Socktober event this past year.

“All we did was give people permission, the idea,” Montague said.

Later on, Novak and Montague threw an “aggressively positive” rap battle in which the audience created raps on the spot for volunteers. As these volunteers introduced themselves, Novak showed off his snazzy dance moves in the background with the occasional side comment of “Awesome!” and “Aw, yeah.”

At the end of the battle, Novak handed all the volunteers and rappers a bag of corn dogs.

Business administration freshman Miranda Ho was impressed with Kid President’s performance.

“For a kid his age, he is very mature, yet he is still able to spark the inner child in many adults,” Ho said. “I really liked the messages and energy of the event. The concepts Brad and Robby talked about placed me in a different perspective.”

As Kid President would say, it’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.

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