Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57 Paul Vasquez died this week at the age of 57. He became one of YouTube's first viral hits when he posted a video of himself reacting to two rainbows over Yosemite National Park.
NPR logo

Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/855096149/855096150" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57

Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57

Paul Vasquez, The Viral Sensation Known As 'Double Rainbow Guy,' Dies At 57

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/855096149/855096150" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Paul Vasquez died this week at the age of 57. He became one of YouTube's first viral hits when he posted a video of himself reacting to two rainbows over Yosemite National Park.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We're sorry to report that Paul Vasquez has died. He was one of YouTube's earliest viral sensations, better known as Double Rainbow Guy.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

PAUL VASQUEZ: It's a double rainbow all the way. Whoa, that's so intense. Whoa. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. (Cheering).

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A 3 1/2-minute video made Vasquez famous when he captured a pair of rainbows outside his home near Yosemite National Park. His sense of wonder added to that scene. At one point, he shouted, what does it all mean?

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

VASQUEZ: Yeah. Oh, my God. Look at that. It's starting to look like a triple rainbow. Oh, my God. It's full-on double rainbow all the way across the sky.

INSKEEP: He posted this video in 2010. Later, late night host Jimmy Kimmel shared it on his show.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!")

JIMMY KIMMEL: Somebody sent this video to me. It had 800 views at the time. So I posted a link to it on Twitter. Two weeks - less than two weeks later, it has almost 7 million views.

INSKEEP: And today, it has around 50 million views.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "YOSEMITEBEAR MOUNTAIN DOUBLE RAINBOW 1-8-10")

VASQUEZ: Oh, my God. It's a double complete rainbow on my front yard. Oh, my God.

MARTIN: The comments section on the original video is now flooded with messages to Vasquez. One person said the video was, quote, "proof you don't need much to truly enjoy life." Paul Vasquez never stopped posting videos to his YouTube channel. In March, he shared one with his family.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

VASQUEZ: Thank you. Love you guys.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Love you.

(CROSSTALK)

VASQUEZ: OK. See you guys. Bye.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Bye.

MARTIN: Paul Vasquez, Double Rainbow Guy, died in California having shown millions how to find joy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SOULAR ORDER'S "THEY'LL LIE TO YOU")

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.