SHELTON, Conn. — A sassy Shelton senior and her creative and crafty grandson are ready for their close-up.
The internet sensations, who’ve amassed millions of views for their hilarious “Grandma Lill and Kevin” YouTube videos, will be featured on NBC’s new hit “Little Big Shots: Forever Young” on Wednesday, July 5.
“Can you believe it?” said Lillian Droniak, 87, chatting about the show hosted by comedian Steve Harvey. “We were just horsing around!”
The weekly videos began in 2012 when Newtown resident Kevin Droniak, a junior at Western Connecticut State University, started taking cell phone videos of his grandmother while they were driving around and posting to his YouTube channel.
“I would tell her it was for a school project,” the 20-year-old said.
This went on for two full years.
And — even though people began to recognize her around town and relatives in the Southwest mentioned how much they liked her whip-smart wit — she still believed he was only sharing the videos with his teachers and classmates.
“It was almost like a social experiment,” he said with a laugh. “When I was a senior in high school, I had to come clean.”
The videos feature everything from Kevin trying to convince Grandma Lill he goes to school with Miley Cyrus or he’s going to the prom with Beyoncé to a 10-part road trip to Chicago and back.
The pair found its audience fast, with early videos routinely enjoying 2,000 views. With about 222 videos now available, Droniak’s channel, This Kid Needs Medicine, has nearly 553,000 subscribers and more than 48 million views.
The Huffington Post called the channel “supremely entertaining” and the videos have been featured on Mashable, HLN and Fox CT.
“I go someplace and the people, they know me,” said Lillian Droniak, who also swims and plays bingo and penuchle and visits the casinos when she’s not shooting videos. “They say, ‘Grandma Lill! I’m so glad to see you!’
“I’m getting used to it now.”
In fact, “Little Big Shots” staffers reached out to the Droniaks to be on the show, not the other way around. Executive produced by Harvey and Ellen Degeneres, the new hit is a spinoff to “Little Big Shots” that features phenomenal seniors.
For Kevin, a communications major, the videos are a way to hone his skills and spend time with his grandmother. And both Droniaks have an idea why they’re so popular with others.
“It’s relatable,” he said, “because everyone has or had a grandma.”
“Little Big Shots: Forever Young” is on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. You can find the Droniaks’ videos here.
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