SYDNEY, N.S. — His quest to get on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” started in 2013, two years after he launched his YouTube channel.
Now Frankie MacDonald is getting help from a man in New Zealand.
William Bush, a member of a group called Frankie’s Defenders New Zealand, has started a petition on Change.org to help Frankie reach his dream of getting on the iconic TV talk show.
“I didn’t start that, they did,” said Frankie, sitting in the living room of the home he shares with his grandparents. “It’s really, really hard to get on. It’s ultra-hard to get on the Ellen Show.”
On the petition, Bush wrote: “Frankie is a great man and has a great sense of humour and personality. I William Bush of Frankie’s Defence Team New Zealand believe Frankie 100 per cent deserves to be on Ellen.”
“It makes me very happy,” Frankie said when asked how he feels knowing he has this support.
New Zealand isn’t the only country with a Frankie’s Defence Team. Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia and the Netherlands are just a few of the other countries that have started these online groups as a way to protect the 33-year-old autistic man from hateful comments.
“I’ve heard it mentioned lots of times that he should be on there but I don’t think it will ever happen because she (Ellen) mostly goes for younger kids,” said Frankie’s grandmother, Rose MacDonald.
If he was asked to be on the show, Rose thinks Frankie might not want to go to the studio because he doesn’t like to travel.
Regardless of what happens, Rose said the support Frankie gets from people around the world makes her grandson feel “good.”
“He just got a post card from someone in California this morning,” she said.
Frankie, who has no training in meteorology, became an Internet sensation thanks to his unique weather reports that are often accurate.
Since launching his YouTube channel in 2011, Frankie has been featured on the former Dean Blundell radio show in Toronto, starred in TV commercials and has been interviewed by media around the world.
He has a T-shirt line with his catchphrase “Be prepared” on it, as well as bobblehead dolls and action figures in his likeness.
A biography about Frankie is also in the works. Scheduled for release in June, it is being released on Nimbus publishing and sold in the U.S. and Canada.
Nigel Kearns is one man who signed the petition and gladly shared it.
“He’s a big Internet sensation, so to speak. People have tattoos of him and he’s one of ours. How can you not want to help get him on the Ellen show?” he said.
To sign the petition, go to the Change.org page.
YouTube channel started: in 2011
Number of subscribers: 161,505
Total number of channel views: 29,555,674
Most viewed video: Guy who tried to eat 50 hot dogs at once
Number of views: 1,077,833
Editor's note: This is not the first Change.org campaign aimed at getting MacDonald on to Ellen's show. A previous petition started by an Ontario woman closed just short of its goal.
See his most recent post below: