Gilberton, Chanito, El Pirata — they’ve all found a following on social media. Corrido artists frequently appear with them on video, and some have inspired songs and corridos. They aren’t narcos or even musicians, but they are characters.

In the infamous City of Culiacán, where narcos, musicians and beautiful women usually attract the most attention online, people like Gilberton, an elderly gay man known as a cranky foul-mouthed neighborhood fixture ready give his opinion on various subjects laced with a large amount of curse words, has even inspired a cumbia by Los Alegres del Barranco.

Two youngsters named Chanito and El Pirata have also found online fame. Chanito, a lanky free spirit, is a self professed pot head and friends with singer Cachuy Rubio. Together they have more than a dozen videos, videos that just sorta show him doing mundane things but with outrageous commentary and constant goofing off.

The same M.O. can be used to describe El Pirata de Culiacan, a stocky, rough around the edges type of dude that seems to have a slight drinking problem — meaning he’s constantly drinking and bashing Chanito. And just like with Ken Bone, the world asks, “How did these characters gain so many views and followers?” Throughout the videos, they all seem to be goaded into saying outrageous things, especially against one another, by people like Cachuy Rubio and Codigo FN.

(El Pirata shows up @1:05 with the camo hat.)

Sometimes it starts to feel like they are being exploited and instead of
laughing with them, the viewer is laughing at them — but then again, they know their videos have earned millions of views and local recognition. They seem to be fine with their newfound celebrity status.

I like watching fail compilation videos, so who am I to say these videos are frivolous? Others like to watch outrageous shenanigans and commentary from three Culiacán stars whose rise to YouTube fame can best be described as… “whatever” and a shrug.