Max Fosh: TikTok, Cuthbert the Caterpillar, and a boxing match between the Oxbridge Unions?
Instead of talking to drunk students at 2 am outside Lola Lo’s, Max Fosh caught up with our sober Tab Editor after his talk at the Union.
You know Max Fosh has entered Cambridge when one day into the exam period, the Union is packed. With an online following with over 440,000 subscribers on YouTube, Max is perhaps best-known for his ‘StreetSmart’ interviews with students on nights out. More recently, his content has featured his run for London Mayor and the ‘Search for Sarah’– a stock photo model from an old frame he had hanging around.
The Tab Cambridge spoke to Max after his talk at the Union about his mayoral campaign, Maximus Bucharest and Imposter syndrome, Tik Tok, and the question on everyone’s mind: where he stands on the Colin the Caterpillar debate.
‘My friend George said you won’t run for London mayor and I thought: I probably could’
Hurrying into the Cambridge Union under a massive round of applause, much of Max’s interview was dominated by his run for London Mayor earlier this year, which began when he saw the deadline for applicants flash on his TV.
As chronicled on his Youtube, one of Max’s aims was to damage the ‘Lozza’ or Laurence Fox’s campaign, which included setting up a website supporting his own campaign under the URL ‘laurence.fox.org’. The other was to “increase the young voter turnout” (sadly, as he found out later, this data isn’t recorded). Pulling in 0.2% of votes using “£170” out of the max “£470,000” on his expenses form, Max’s aim was “never to collect votes.”
When asked how his ‘Search for Sarah’ (which included finding the model on a stock photograph) prepared him for his political escapades, Max was amused: “No one has made that comparison before!” He describes how it was the first time he created a “storyline” “narrative” with “high points and low points.” This, alongside the endurance of his search, became crucial in the London Mayor election. Though he then added he wasn’t sure what “endurance” he had in the Mayor election seeing as he “came basically stone dead last.”
Maximus Bucharest and Imposter syndrome
One of Max’s first stunts was entering London Fashion week dressed in a “blanket” from his “sofa” and “dish-gloves with no fingers,” as the “model” ‘Maximus Bucharest’ with an accomplice photographing him. The stunt worked as he was invited to a fashion show, the paparazzi soon swarmed him asking “who are you wearing?” (Max replied “Wharton and Henry Smith” – commonly known as WH Smith).
When asked what we might learn about imposter syndrome from Maximus Bucharest, Max emphasised the importance of “trying out new things.” He described that “on the other side of that thirty seconds of absolute terror was just this amazing world of content, experiences and education”. Maybe Maximus Bucharest could be the idol we didn’t know we needed during our Cambridge degree.
‘Every time you need to go bigger and bigger and bigger’
Talking to the Union, Max described YouTube as a beast that “constantly needs feeding with content.” Much of his content hangs around “poshness” with videos like ‘The Poshest Place on Earth?‘ filmed at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester. As a former student of Harrow, he described to the Union that “there are not many people taking the piss out of [posh people], what better than someone who was kind of one of them?”
He also discussed his other content, including his attendance of a porn star convention (“hands down one of the worst experiences of my life”), and a metal detecting convention (one of the “best days of my life”) – I’ll let you guys watch the Union’s YouTube to see why.
Max has recently branched out into TikTok, with short clips of his youtube videos collecting 6.8 million likes. After his talk, Max describes that the app is comparable to “the back of a toilet in Times Square.” Thankfully, he elaborated: “1000 people are going to see it in the day, but after they’ve left, they likely won’t remember it.”
Max adds that the app’s brilliance lies in that it gives any user “the opportunity for fame and cloud and content,” but that the real “community building” will remain in Youtube. This expert advice has left us wondering: should the Tab Cambridge’s Tiktok also move to YouTube?
Where to next: an Oxford versus Cambridge Union Boxing Match?
One of the highlights of the Union talk occurred when Joel Rosen (The Cambridge Union’s President) asked how the Union’s Youtube (81,000 subscribers) might overtake Oxford’s (1.33 million subscribers). Max immediately suggested that Joel call its president Adam Roble for a boxing match which he would “do everything” in his “power” to facilitate (skip to 40:00 on the YouTube video to see Joel issue the challenge).
Aside from organising a fight between the Oxbridge Unions, Max plans to run some live comedy shows including one in Cambridge in September (he’s said that he’d love to meet Cambridge students in the bar afterwards). Unfortunately, you’ve now missed the opportunity to find £10,000 hidden by Max somewhere in the UK with clues on his YouTube . But, fear not as he also has “twenty-four hours with a naturist society” in the works, and has revealed that StreetSmart is “definitely” making a comeback on the 21st of June.
Is it Colin or Cuthbert for Fosh?
Here at the Tab, we’ve become rather embroiled in the Colin versus Cuthbert debate, so before I said my final goodbyes to the lovely Max Fosh, I had to ask him where he stood on the debate.
Apparently, in a move described by Max as “sneaky,” Aldi actually sent him a T-Shirt to wear in support of Cuthbert. Having explained to the Union that his public brand is “apolitical,” I’m guessing that’s why he didn’t wear it. Though he did reveal to me that M & S should definitely go after the “other hundreds of copycat” brands if they were so “annoyed” Aldi.
Listening back to the interview in the college bar, my friends were confused why I kept on bursting out laughing. The answer is obvious – Max was definitely just as hilarious as I’ve seen him online. Whilst you may have missed the opportunity to find the £10,000, keep an eye out for his return to Cambridge in Michaelmas.
You can watch Max’s talk at the Union: here
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Feature image credits: Tobia Nava