Viral Star La'Ron Hines Talks Golden Globes, Chadwick Boseman, and the Power of TikTok

TikTok star La'Ron Hines talks Golden Globes, "Are You Smarter Than A Pre-schooler?", Chadwick Boseman, & turning his viral fame into a singing career.

laron hines

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laron hines

La’Ron Hines appeared in one of the most talked-about moments at this year’s Golden Globes. The TikTok star has gained six million followers on the social media app thanks to candid interviews he does with children. Hines started the “Are You Smarter Than a Preschooler?” TikTok segment during the pandemic by interviewing the kids at his parent’s daycare. Hines asks the children all sorts of random questions about the world that they usually don’t know the answers to, but that’s what makes their responses so real and downright hilarious. His videos often feature his quick-witted 4-year-old god sister JaBria McCullum, and she has become the star of the show.

The 19-year-old Hines, who lives in California but is originally from Mississippi, was already pretty popular on the app before “Are You Smarter Than a Preschooler?”. He was creating content on TikTok for a few years, showcasing his singing, dancing, and acting talents, but his natural ability to quiz the kids in a laidback and funny way has made him into an even bigger viral sensation. So much so that after racking up millions of views and followers, Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the ones who personally requested that he be a part of this year’s ceremony with one of his skits. 

The heartwarming segment fit so well into the show. Hines followed his usual TikTok format but chose questions about the awards show, which the kids knew nothing about. He also included one about the late Chadwick Boseman, who won a posthumous Globe for his Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom performance. The kids’ reactions were so genuine, and the best part was that they all knew who the beloved actor was, and one child even called him “The good guy.” Hines spoke to Complex, and he shared all the details of how he got started, why asking the kids about the Black Panther star was necessary, and what he has in store after his major Golden Globes debut.

Why did Hines start the segment on TikTok?

laron hines

“What originally got me on TikTok is that I do music, acting, dancing, and modeling. I was using it as a way for me to post more content related to that. I would do all types of singing videos, comedy videos, dance videos, and then I started to incorporate the kid videos. I want to say that was like a year ago. That’s where I started to add those, and people started to love those too. Whenever I started doing those, I noticed that it would get a lot of attention after. They caught a lot of people’s attention,” Hines said. “It was initially my mom telling me that that I should come up with something to do with the kids. So it’s always been on my mind, but I just never knew what to do. It wasn’t until I started going over there, and I would just listen to them talk, and they would just say some super funny stuff. So I’m like, ‘Maybe I need to make this a thing, just interviewing.’”

“My series started because of the pandemic. I wanted to give people a reason to smile and a reason to laugh,” he added. “So when it started to do as well as it did, it kind of became more of a motivational thing for me, even through this pandemic. At first, I was just thriving and surviving, but now it gave me more of a motivation, because I was like, ‘I’m going to make these videos because everyone loves them and we’re going to keep doing these.’”


are you smarter than a preschooler? pt 56

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Does Hines improvise the questions?

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“Initially, it was me doing it as I go, but as I started to do more, I was like, ‘OK, now I need to start organizing them a little bit more.’ So that’s when I started to get some questions thought out beforehand. The kids didn’t know the questions, but I knew the questions I was going to ask them. Once I got to know the kids more, I would give them the questions they would answer well. So I started to write down my questions and see which ones would be good for each kid.”


are you smarter than a preschooler? pt 55

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How did JaBria become the star of the videos?

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“With JaBria, I think it is the fact that she is very well-spoken for a 4-year-old. She knows how to talk very well. She’s just super funny, to top it all off. She has a lot of energy. Every time you talk to her, you are just going to die laughing at whatever she says.”

How did it feel when one of his videos went viral?

laron hines viral

“The first video that blew up was a video where I had asked JaBria—it was around August—I asked her who lives in a pineapple under the sea, and she said her and Dora. A lot of the videos would get a couple of million views, but this one got 20 to 30 million views. [It’s currently at 26 million.] The videos were all big, but that one was the biggest one at the time,” Hines said. “It feels very surreal. I had to sit back and realize that this is just from me posting on my phone. It’s not like I’m doing a whole big production, but this is just me and an iPhone. And this is getting this amount of impact and attention from people in general. So it was just a surreal moment, but it’s definitely a feel-good one as well, too.”


are you smarter than a preschooler pt 25😂

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How did the Golden Globes opportunity come about?

View this video on YouTube

“They had a producer reach out to me, and he was just telling me that they wanted me on the Golden Globes and to hop on a call to further explain to me more. Once I got on the call, he was just telling me what their plan was. He was telling me that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are big fans of my segment. So, that was just mind-blowing to me that it even got to that level to where celebrities like that enjoy my videos,” he shared. “But once we talked and got things settled, we set everything up, we got the kids involved, and then they flew somebody to Mississippi to help us set up and everything, to make sure we were being COVID safe and following all the guidelines and making sure everything was set up perfectly, as far as the camera. It worked out pretty well because they gave a lot of great input, and they were very hands-on. They gave a lot of great feedback. They did a great job with helping.”

“I actually got a chance to talk to Amy before filming, and she was just giving me a couple of pointers, a little bit of advice to help me out and make those videos better,” he said. “It is a crazy feeling because the thing is, I knew that a lot of people love my videos, but it didn’t really radiate with me until they were Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. I’m like, ‘Wait, everybody, everybody loves my videos?’ It just never really sank in that the fact that these really big celebrities that I have been loving ever since the movies like Mean Girls actually love my videos.”

How did it feel when the kids all knew who Chadwick Boseman was?

chadwick boseman

“I felt it was important for me to bring up Chadwick because it’s the Golden Globes. He’s a very influential person in the entertainment industry, especially as an actor. He’s played one of the biggest superhero roles in the world with Black Panther and numerous other people like Jackie Robinson and James Brown. He’s played a lot of influential people in history. So I felt it was very important, especially since the kids love all those superheroes and especially Black Panther being one of the most recent ones that they would know and understand. I feel it was important to pay homage to him in a way,” he said. “It made me feel pretty good because it made me realize that he did have a great impact, not just with my generation or older generations, but with the kids as well.”


Would he want to host shows like ‘Kids Say the Darnedest Things’ in the future?

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“For sure, red carpets and talk shows, I can see myself hosting and interviewing. I feel that’d be something fun to try,” Hines said. “I did not grow up watching [Kids Say the Darndest Things], but I did start watching it a couple of years ago whenever they rebooted and made Tiffany Haddish the host. That’s when I started to watch because I had heard of the show, my grandmother had always told me about [it], but I had never gotten a chance to see it. So I started watching it, and honestly, it is pretty funny. I also watched shows like Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots, so those shows did have a lot of inspiration on what I was doing in my videos.”

Does he think social media and TikTok are making an impact in Hollywood?

What doors does he hope will open up after the Golden Globes?

La'Ron Hines

“Honestly, just with everything that’s been going on, I’m just hoping for some great opportunities to come along. Me and my mom were just talking about it. She says she wants to see us having our own show. So maybe just by the grace of God in the next year, we could have our show, and that’s just been one of my biggest goals is to get more involved as an actor and as a musician as well. I’m back in the studio, writing music, and that’s going to be coming out very soon. I’m super excited because this is going to be my first time releasing music since I developed the fan base that I have. So I really want to know how well it will go over with them,” Hines said. “I’ve been acting since I was like 9. So it’s something that I want to keep going for myself because it’s been a love of mine. I was just talking to my mom about this yesterday. I want to see myself in a superhero movie, like a Marvel or DC. That’s just been one of the things that I’ve always wanted to do.”


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