This is Earnest Pettie.
Earnest Pettie is a great, great human.
Things to know upfront:
He’s a big fan of WWE; trolling people online; getting into endless, unceasing arguments or “discussions” as Alex and he like to call them; fast food; Rebecca Black and Victoria Justice; animation; sweat suits; the underbelly of YouTube; and playing basketball without his glasses. But above all, Earnest is the biggest fan of his wife Claire, who is an easy person to be a big fan of.
He once won an impromptu break dance battle at Funky Soul Night in Echo Park, ate pop tarts for a week straight in college. He enjoys sitting down with a crisp cider to read manuals — just any kind of manual — and also had a phase in which he wore only button up shirts and sweatpants. Thankfully that phase has passed. One time, after VidCon when Alex had all of us over to crash at his beach house, Earnest came out in a full set of matching button up pajamas, and promptly fell asleep sitting in a chair like the class act he is.
He’s not so much of a big fan of hugs (or hug, singular); being stumped in any way; beer; vegetables; his arch nemesis from junior high; and birds after one stalked and attacked him during his short stint in lawn maintenance while in college.
^^ This is Earnest breaking a world record.^^
My first impression of Earnest was mistaking his quietness for disliking me. Sitting on the spider infested patio outside what would later become YouTube Nation, Earnest asked me all the YouTube questions and I tried to answer in a way that sounded both knowledgeable and witty (looking back, I think I failed at both). But the minute Earnest took a chance on me and hired me to join his curation team, he completely changed my life, because without Earnest there would be no NYC, no Daily Dot column, and no Google.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Earnest, through YouTube Nation and at YouTube, for the past two years, and fingers crossed, we’ll reunite again in the future. But what can you do when your work partner says they want to pursue their passion of WWE wrestling (in reality, digital development for Fusion) and put in their two week notice. To say I’ve missed Earnest this week would be an understatement, but I am so deeply proud of him and determined to make him proud of my work as well.
So instead of continuing to cry on the shoulder of the Google sushi guy, I wanted to take this quick moment to say thank you. Earnest, thank you for being my person and when we decided we were the Batman and Robin of YouTube, thank you for saying I could be Batman. Identifying oneself as Robin is one of the most selfless acts. And also, thank you for all your include quotes I’ve included below.
Thank you for always making me feel heard and telling me that even my most wild ideas could change YouTube for the better. Thank you for taking me to get grilled cheese that one day and telling me, “Carly, this is how much money I make at this job. I’m saying this so you know how much you are worth as well. Now go negotiate the hell out of this job.”
Thank you for letting me smother you with love and affection. Examples of this include but are not limited to: Linking arms, volunteering to be my beer pong partner, sitting at the same desk when you’d visit NYC, letting me ask you all the questions about love, never flinching when I’d yell EARN BURNS super loud during our marketing meetings.
^^ This is Brian. Earnest was actually excited in this photo. ^^
Thank you for being as excited as I was to meet Brian the saxophone players at a YouTube happy hour and for introducing me to Alex Sargeant. Thank you for being so incredibly articulate and smart that you inspire me to do the same; to think outside the box, to pitch ideas without worrying that other people might think they’re dumb, to not complain and always see the best in people, to be involved in as many projects as possible and learn everything I can. Thank you for teaching me how to code and appreciate the weirdness of the internet; for making all the nerdy YouTube jokes with me and following them up with brilliant life advice.
But mostly, thanks for being such a wonderful friend and mentor. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of you.
For the last six months, I’ve been collected my favorite Earnest Pettie quotes and are excited to share them below because if there is anything the world needs more of, trust me, it’s Earnest Pettie’s wonderfulness.
EP: I wandered away from the computer for a moment to make noises at Iris to make her stop making noises.
EP: I saw a girl with one arm dancing to Waka Flocka Flames’ “No Hands” That’s 100% more hands than the song’s title references, but 50% fewer hands than most people, which is hand-down the best videos I got my hands on today.
EMails from Earnest: I will be 15 minutes late for work. Traffic is terrible. I’m stuck behind a cat who has no idea where she’s going.
After sending along an article about a woman maiming her husband in Oklahoma:
EP: They say you shouldn’t forget where you came from, but they probably didn’t come from Oklahoma.
After I called him the best for sending me a set of videos:
EP: I don’t know how I could possibly qualify to be the best. Also, here’s an idea – soundproof kitty litter.
After attempting to nap:
EP: Catnapping under a cat, napping, napping cat catching my catnapping ceases napping, cat stretching as I'm wrapping up napping
After sending this article:
EP: It’s why Alex and I were going to make Flappy Bird erotica! We had a lot of elements of it plotted out.
Me: Earnest what else do you need?
EP: I need for you to disappear into the New York City night like a moth leaving a lightpole and have some kind of adventure!
After getting a review email on a project we’ve been working on:
E: “Dear sir or madam, the update is tolerable but there are not enough cat videos. Sincerely, Meow.”
E: You haven’t. It’s also not the SAT. I just designed those to help you understand the basics. Id’ be happy to go over them with you toeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
I fell asleep. Was it visible that I was falling asleep in that meeting?
During meeting where a coworker neither of us enjoyed pulled out a card:
EP: I thought it was a business card that said “White male, Privileged”
Matty B and Devinsupertramp jokes:
CL: And then Matty B said, “Sorry ladies, I have to go through puberty now. May I not go the way of Justin Bieber and may I finally be able to sing love songs that don’t make people uncomfortable.
EP: And just like that Matty B ascended to the heavens to make generations of angels swoon at his adorableness.
CL: He was greeted there by Devinsupertramp who’d just stopped by to shoot an ‘EPIC ANGELS BOWLING’ film since he’d already traveled to the farthest reaches of earth and back.
EP: He then slid down a giant inflated slide back to Earth surrounded by a halo-array of GoPro cameras. No one recognized the song that accompanied his descent, but it was upbeat and sounded like a good time.