UT student Jacob Weaver becomes celebrity by staring at people in popular YouTube video

David Maly

A UT student is staring his way into fame, as a viral video of him awkwardly glaring at people in the UT area becomes increasingly popular.

“Stare of the Gator,” a YouTube video uploaded Tuesday night has gotten more than 50,000 hits and appeared in a Thursday article on The Huffington Post, a popular online news source.

The 3-minute and 24-second video is set to the 2007 song “Stop and Stare” by OneRepublic and shows government freshman Jacob “Gator” Weaver standing completely still and staring at people on and near the UT campus as they try to figure out what he is doing. Pearce Murphy, a Daily Texan photographer and radio-television-film junior, filmed it from hidden locations.

Weaver made the video with Murphy for Beta Upsilon Chi — Brothers Under Christ, a Christian fraternity they are pledging.

“We needed to make a video for a talent show,” Murphy said. “We all knew that ‘Gator’ has a very interesting talent — being able to hold a blank stare for a ridiculously long time.

Naturally, we figured that it might be interesting to see other people’s reaction to his unique ability.”

Weaver said the longest he held a stare while making the video was roughly five minutes, but he thinks he could stare a lot longer even though he has never tried to see how long he could do it.

“It kind of hurts my face,” Weaver said.

Weaver said he was given his nickname by other Beta Upsilon Chi pledges based off of a character from the 2010 movie “The Other Guys.”

He said he has tried to put people in awkward situations with his staring before.

“It started back in high school,” Weaver said. “Me and my buddy used to give the stare to teachers to freak them out.”

He said the video took roughly an hour and a half to make, and he got a lot of different reactions from people he stared at.

“A lot of them were just like, ‘What are you doing’ or ‘Can I help you,’” Weaver said.

Murphy said there were a couple unique reactions to the staring.

“We got the best reactions on Guadalupe when a woman tried to get him to get out of the street before the light changed to green and when a group rode up the escalator in the UTC to see ‘Gator’ waiting at the top,” Murphy said. “They couldn’t turn around, so it was like they had no choice but to wait and hope he would move. Little did they know, the ‘Gator’ doesn’t just move.”

Weaver said he plans to keep staring, and possibly make another video off campus, where people won’t easily recognize him. He said he is happy with the attention the video has been getting.

“It is pretty awesome,” Weaver said. “All my family knows about it and everything, which is kind of weird.”

Printed on Friday, December 7, 2012 as: 'Stare of the Gator' propels UT freshman to web fame