Vitaly Zdorovetskiy -- who New Times profiled a few months ago -- made a name for himself on YouTube with Jackass- / Borat-style pranks. With stunning confidence and a dose of frat-boy humor, he got internet-famous by filming around South Florida and teaching people "How to Get Girls to Kiss You" and going up to burly dudes at the gym to ask them "Do You Even Lift?" He courted controversy with videos where he targeted black women (they give better reactions, he said) or scared a man by placing a briefcase next to him suspiciously. (For this, Zdorovetskiy even got arrested.)
In July, the prankster scored one of his most popular videos to date when he decided to make a homeless man's day. He picked up a random guy named Martin and bought him new clothes and took him to dinner. The man, who was mostly toothless, said his dream was to get his teeth fixed.
Zdorovetsky's video was featured on the homepage of YouTube, and eventually got over six million views. He started an online fundraising page to get funds for oral surgery for Martin. This page raised $12,000, but the money was never disbursed because of Zdorovetskiy's arrests -- and because Martin also had a criminal history.
But a video released Sunday, which already has 1.5 million views, shows that Zdorovetskiy persevered. He arranged for a Miami Beach dentist Luis Cardenas and a Coral Springs dentist Daysy Pinero to pull all of Martin's teeth and give him dentures.
Martin says his experience with Zdorovetskiy changed his life. Although he was initially beaten by rival homeless guys who were jealous of his good fortune, he soon reunited with his wife and got a job. "Everywhere I go, people say, 'I've seen you on YouTube. Can I take a picture with you?'" he said.
In the video, he tells Zdorovetskiy, "I'm not gay, but I love you!"
Zdorovetskiy has moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
Here is the new vid:
Send story tips totarget="_blank"> Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism