Budding YouTube star Kalen Allen appeared on Ellen on Tuesday, and host Ellen DeGeneres offered the Temple University senior a deal for a new platform for his recipe reaction video series, “Kalen Reacts.”
Last month, DeGeneres praised Allen’s videos and invited him on her show. In a tweet promoting Allen’s appearance this week, DeGeneres wrote that the Temple student “may just be the best thing on the internet right now.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 2, 2018
Allen went viral after the debut of his videos a little more than a month ago. They feature him reacting to recipes featured on websites like PopSugar and Buzzfeed’s Tasty. Think potato salad cake lined with hot dogs, or mac and cheese with Brussels sprouts. To date, his YouTube channel has racked up more than 4.1 million views.
During his appearance on Ellen, Allen recalled the start of his series and his work beyond the videos, which he said includes five part-time jobs (in fact, he forgot one in the moment). He also plugged his own peach cobbler, a dish he has featured on his channel, saying that he is such a good cook “people actually pay me to make” cobbler during the holidays.
DeGeneres apparently didn’t think one appearance by Allen was enough. Toward the end of her interview, she made him a once-in-a-lifetime offer.
“We want to make a deal with you so you actually have a platform, and help you make these videos,” she said. Allen, surprised, accepted the offer, but only after telling Ellen to “stop playing” with him.
The terms of the deal were unclear. But if it means showcasing Allen’s videos on the Ellen show’s YouTube channel, it could mean a lot more exposure. The channel has more than 22 million subscribers, compared to Allen’s 112,000.
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Allen is a film and theater double major at Temple with a concentration in acting. He is set to graduate in the spring, but as he told the Inquirer last month, he hasn’t decided what he’ll do after that. Initially, he planned to pursue graduate school, but his viral fame may have changed his plans.
“Now that I have some kind of fame under my belt,” he said at the time, “maybe I can ride the tide and make these dreams come true.”