Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

January 21, 2013

Va student's invisible driving video gets him seen

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Growing up in Virginia Beach, Rahat Hossain had a knack for building things - houses and spaceships made of cardboard and lots of duct tape. He even thought of one day becoming an engineer.

These days, Hossain, 24, still finds imaginative ways to use cardboard and duct tape, and he's gone viral in the process. The senior criminal justice major at Old Dominion University recently became an Internet sensation after he uploaded a video of his elaborate invisible driver prank on YouTube.

The clip has received nearly 29 million views, making Hossain one of 2013's first viral stars.

In the clip, Hossain, disguised as a seat in a car, pulls up to drive-through windows of local fast food restaurants, dumbfounding servers who see a vehicle without a driver. One woman is so stunned she cries. Another tells a co-worker with a camera to "Instagram dat joint."

Hossain captured it all on a small camera rigged in his car.

The instant stardom from the resulting video has, in the past week, led Hossain to appearances on ABC's "Good Morning America" and "Fox & Friends."

Hossain is following other viral-video sensations, like various choreographed wedding proposals; David, the kid who babbled after a dental exam; and even Korean pop star Psy, whose "Gangnam Style" music video went viral before he became a surprise radio star of 2012.

Though he's tight-lipped about the details, Hossain sounds like he wants to parlay this viral video into something more.

He said that several offers for appearances, most of them paid, have been pouring in. Enough to compel him to take a semester off at ODU to concentrate full time on his budding magical prankster career.

"This isn't some kind of one-hit wonder kind of deal," Hossain said, calling from Los Angeles, where he's shooting an appearance for the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." No air date has been set.

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