Skip to main content

Casey Neistat Answers The Web's Most Searched Questions | WIRED

YouTuber Casey Neistat joins WIRED to answer his most searched questions from Google. Does he edit his own videos? How does he get away with flying drones over New York City? How did he meet his wife, Candice Pool? What's his best marathon time?

New York Road Runners presents the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon Sunday, November 5, 2023

Director: Trevor Locke
Director of Photography: Josh Herzog
Editor: Jason Malizia
Talent: Casey Neistat
Creative Producer: Katherine Wzorek
Line Producer: Joseph Buscemi
Associate Producer: Kameryn Hamilton; Paul Gulyas
Production Manager: D. Eric Martinez
Production Coordinator: Fernando Davila
Talent Booker: Meredith Judkins
Camera Operator: Rahil Ashruff
Sound Mixer: Lily Van Leeuwen
Production Assistant: Albie Smith
Post Production Supervisor: Alexa Deutsch
Post Production Coordinator: Ian Bryant
Supervising Editor: Doug Larsen
Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds

Released on 11/02/2023


[scooter swooshes]

[video beeps]

I'm Casey Neistat and this is

the Wired Auto Complete Interview.

[upbeat instrumental music]


Well, I mean I'm a little nervous.

Whenever I Google my own name,

it gets a little sketch,

but I'm here for it and I'm ready.

[upbeat instrumental music]


What made Casey Neistat famous?

Probably it's like my striking good looks,

I think is what put me out there in front.

You know if not that, maybe the early viral films

that my brother Van and I made.

2003, three years before YouTube,

was the first time we had a movie

that like went super viral.

Is this all one take?

[Interviewer] Yes sir.

What did Casey... You should have one that says,

Does Casey Neistat bite his fingernails?

'Cause the answer to that is a strong yes.

What did Casey Neistat do before YouTube?

So I've really only ever had

two professional like endeavors in my life.

One is being like a filmmaker

or YouTuber or whatever. And the other one is being

a professional dishwasher.

I worked in like

a kind of a dumpy seafood restaurant

in New England,

and I would like scrub chowder pots,

and pots and pans and I mean,

I'm still a good dishwasher,

I just don't do it professionally.

What camera Casey Neistat uses?

Whatever I have in my hand.

My favorite camera right now is like

the Sony α7S III I think.

It's just easy and it looks super pro,

but also it's like whatever cell phone

I'm using at the time is a camera that I'll use.

GoPro is like rock solid.

Insta 360 lets me do like tricks,

and people think I have like a crew with me,

but it's just like a little $200 camera.

Whatever's at arm's length is my favorite camera

in that moment.

What sunglasses does Casey Neistat wears?


I always wear the same sunglasses.

This isn't necessarily an endorsement.

I mean unless Ray-Ban you wanna,

you can call me,

but they're Ray-Ban folding Wayfairs.

So they're like fold,

and I find the folding ones

wrap around your head better,

and I've got a huge head so they stay on better.

But then like the paint and all that,

that's more me, not Raven.

What app did Casey Neistat make?

In 2015, my partner Matt Hackett

and I launched a social app called Beme.


Beme was like kind of like a predecessor

or a rougher version of like Snapchat stories,

and unfortunately Snapchat stories

is just better.

We did really well with the app,

but we never had like the broad appeal

of Snapchat.

But starting that company, making that app was one of like

the greatest endeavors of my life.

I love doing it.

How does...

How does...

Who's got fingernails or a Sharpie?

How does Casey Neistat fly drones

in New York City?


Flying a drone in New York City

is against the law, but.

[video beeping]

But somebody told me that,

and that's how I fly drones.

You'll always notice my New York City drone footage

is like garbage 'cause it's like

a little baby drone.

How much does Casey Neistat sleep?

Short answer is as much as possible,

but usually that's like five hours,

six hours a night.

I hate sleep.

Sleep, the wind and cobblestones.

Those are my enemies in life.

I respect them.

I fear them.

But what a pain in the ass.

How did Casey Neistat meet Candice Pool?

That's my wife.

We were both invited to a bar mitzvah

in Houston, Texas,

and we kind of like knew each other in New York,

and I remember she called me,

and she's like, Hey, I'm from Houston.

If you need a place to stay,

you can stay at my parents' house.

And I was like, Excellent.

They like gave me a like guest room

at her parents' house and I just you know,

did everything I could to try to

sneak into Candace's room.

Didn't work out,

but that's how things got started.

How does Casey and I stat make money?

I never made money

until I started really with like YouTube.

You know I was like a teenager.

I was on welfare.

I had no money and then it wasn't like

a straight line up

into the right of making money.

It was like one of these,

and like sometimes it'd be

all the way down there.

Like when I started my tech company in 2015.

I was like hundreds of thousands of dollars

in debt and I couldn't afford to pay

Candace Pool, my wife,

my share of the rent.

She'd have to cover for me.

So I was like in debt then,

and then I started YouTube

and I sold my tech company,

and like did stuff like that,

and I started to make money then.

So like it's complicated.

That's fine, right?

What a question.


Where is Casey Neistat from?

You think they mean like where was I born

or like they wanna know the history

of the Neistat lineage.

[Interviewer] The whole origin story.

The whole origin story.

Nana was from Yonkers, New York

and then moved to southeastern Connecticut

after the war in the 40s and 50s,

and that's where my like dad was born.

And then that's where I was raised.

So like southeastern Connecticut.

Connecticut's like a fancy state,

and most people you meet in New York City,

when they say I'm from Connecticut,

they're from like the like Greenwich,

like the rich part.

I was from like literally

the other side of the tracks.

Rotten Connecticut,

like a military industrial town.

When Reagan left office,

and Clinton was after Reagan, right?

Clinton came, nobody knows.

No one in here.

Clinton came in.

Like all my friends parents lost their job

at the submarine base

'cause military expenditures were like,

that's what I remember from my childhood.

I moved to New York City when I was 18

or 19 or something like that.

Where did Case Neistat go to school?

Mostly in southeastern Connecticut.

I went to Gales Ferry Elementary School.

I went to Ledger Junior High School.

I went to Ledger High School until freshman year,

and then I ran away from home,

and moved to Williamsburg, Virginia.

My brother Van was at William and Mary.

He adopted me so I could go to high school

in Virginia where I went to,

God I wish I could remember the name.

It was like something town.

Jamestown High School or something,

for one year and then that was it.

Sophomore year I think was the last year

of high school that I completed.

Where does Casey Neistat run?

Wherever I am.

the New York City marathon is exactly

three weeks from right now.

I used to run a lot of marathons.

I think this will be like my 24th or 25th marathon.

Now, I run one marathon a year,

which is New York City.

I will never miss this.

My favorite day in New York,

and I'm running this year

for a fantastic nonprofit

called Project Healthy Minds,

which you know, tries to de-stigmatize

mental health issues,

and it's something close to home for me.

But the New York City marathon

is just the greatest day of the year in New York.

Whether you're a spectator or a runner,

but as a runner,

it's like you and 60,000 other people

being celebrated all day long,

and celebrating the city.

Where's Casey Neistat Studio?

My studio is in Chinatown in New York City,

Tribeca is the neighborhood next to Chinatown.

That's like fancy.

Sometimes I'll say Chinatown

because it's right on the border,

and Chinatown is the truth.

But then if I want it to sound fancier,

I'll say Tribeca.

But the truth is I'm like right on the edge

of yeah, it's a great spot.

All right.

Holy smokes.

When is snack?

Does Casey Neistat edit his own videos?

I edit all my own stuff.

A thousand videos on my YouTube channel,

and I would say every single one of them,

with the exception of of a couple.

Literally like two, maybe three,

I edited completely myself.

The other two or three that I didn't,

I made with my friend Max

who's a better editor than me,

and he and I would like sit together,

and cut it together.

But yeah, I edit everything myself,

mostly 'cause like I don't know what the story is

or the video is.

I do the writing in the edit.

I don't know what the video is.

I have an idea,

but it's in the edit that I find the story.

A friend of mine works for Mr. Beast,

and I've been on a couple of Mr. Beasts shoots.

We went to South Africa together a year ago,

and that guy for a YouTuber,

runs the level of production

that's like much closer to Hollywood.

He's got teams of people.

It's super like efficiently run.

He's got professionals everywhere,

and it's overwhelming.

It's incredible the way he does it.

So if there's like

a Mr. Beast level production here,

on the other end,

the furthest other end of that spectrum

is the way I do it.

I don't even have like an office helper.

I have no one.

So I do everything

when it comes to like mopping the floors,

and taking out my trash bags

at the end of the day to holding the camera.

Doing all the cinematography.

Doing all the writing.

Doing all the editing,

Changing lenses.

Every aspect of the production I do myself,

and I love it.

It's my favorite part is the doing.

When I see these big sets.

Like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

There are nine people in this room

to make this video right now.

You're very lovely people,

but it's like, it's a lot of management.

It's a lot of thinking.

I just want to be like that painter

in his studio painting the canvas by himself.

I just don't how to paint.

So I use cameras and my like MacBook.

Did Casey and I sat climb Mount Everest?

No, I didn't climb Mount Everest.

In fairness, there is like

a really epic thumbnail of me on YouTube

from when I climbed a mountain called Aconcagua,

which is the highest mountain

in the southern hemisphere.

23,000 feet I think.

And I climbed that,

and I had this like plan when I was younger

to climb all the seven summits,

like the seven highest peaks

on all seven continents.

I did Africa, Kilimanjaro.

A piece of cake.

You should do that.

And then number two was Aconcagua.

And after at the top of the mountain,

I was like this like

Fuck this, like I'm done.

Like I did two of the seven summits,

but no, I did not climb Mount Everest,

and I never will.

Does Casey Neistat own 368?

368 is a company that I started in 2019

with a fantastic guy named Paul Lays.

368 is a collaborative production event space

in downtown New York City,

and 368 is very much still alive,

and operating all the time.

I don't own it and I don't run it.

When I moved out of New York City to Los Angeles

to be closer to family in 2020,

I kind of gave Paul the keys to 368,

and he has been realizing that vision ever since.

So still, I was in there yesterday.

I see it every day.

I talk to Paul all the time.

I love what 368 is doing.

But like you know again,

I'm just alone in my office

taking out the garbage and mopping the floors.

I feel like I'm finding a rhythm.

Casey Neistat electric skateboard.

Is that a question?

I got a present in the mail I wanna say 2015.

I don't know.

It's on camera, but it was a Boosted Board,

which is a name brand of an electric skateboard.

I fell in love.

It's the greatest thing ever.

And since getting that, like I no longer

ride bikes in New York City.

I don't take the subway in New York City.

I don't take taxis or Ubers in New York City.

The only way I get around is on a Boosted Board.

Now regrettably Boosted Board,

the company went out of business

in like 2018 or 2019.

Sanjay the founder, it was not his fault.

These guys came in,

they're like we gotta make the company bigger,

let's make a scooter.

Nobody wants a scooter and they tank the company.

So I bought like 20 of 'em,

and I still ride Boosted Boards.

So yes, if that was a question.

Yes, Casey Neistat electric skateboard.

Casey Neistat YouTube stats.

I looked at my YouTube app yesterday,

and I have lost 6,000 subscribers this month.

So I think I have like 12.5 million subscribers.

And no joke. Every time I post a video,

there's like this subtle,

like I posted a video about

like when New York City got flooded

a week and a half ago

that gave me like 20,000 new subscribers.

Then sometimes I'll post videos about like,

my kids or something, I'll lose subscribers.

Not nice world.

Up until my first,

I think 170 million views.

It took 170 million views for me to get to,

I think around 300,000 subscribers,

and that was like seven years.

And then I started my daily vlog

like a daily show on YouTube

where I posted a video every single day.

That was like kind of consistent.

So it was like a an episodic.

So seven years to get to 300,000 subscribers.

12 months to get to 10 million subscribers.

Maybe it was 18 months.

Something, but it was insane.

That kind of growth.

And I think that speaks to like one, flattered,

and that people liked my videos for sure,

but I also think like to get to a place

where you're actually people wanna subscribe.

Like I would like to see more videos

from this channel.

People like to know what they're getting,

and I think that that was the first time

I ever did anything with real consistency,

and it's like,

Oh here's a channel that uploads every day,

and I like this kind of stuff.

I would like to see more of that,

and now like I don't know,

I'll go three months of that uploading

if I get distracted.

So like when you click subscribe right now,

I have no idea what's gonna be

on the other side of that,

and I think it's a much less enticing offer.

If subscribership is a goal of aspiring creators,

it's like you gotta be consistent and constant.

Casey Neistat first video.

My first like real video

that I think people know about

is a video called iPods Dirty Secret.

Which I made in 2013 with my big brother Van.

And it was about how like the first iPods,

Apple wouldn't replace the battery in 'em.

So when like this $300 iPod died,

you had to go buy a new iPod.

I was really pissed to spend money.

So I was like

Van, let's make a video about this.

And we made this funny video

where we put like cigarette warning labels

all over the iPod advertisements

all around New York City.

When I think of like what was the first

real video that kind of started

the whole 20 year trajectory,

that was the video.

Casey Neistat Bike Lanes.

I guess that I could have said too.

Bike Lanes was like the first video

on my YouTube channel now that really popped off.

So like before YouTube,

you know I was like doing commercial direction,

and I had a show on HBO

that my brother Van and I wrote,

and directed and edited,

and we did all kinds of stuff in the movie world

but like you know,

YouTube didn't come out till 2006,

and then 2008 or 2009

was when I started my channel.

And I made a video called Bike Lanes

shortly thereafter

where I got a ticket from an NYPD,

like a cop for riding my bike

like outside of the bike lane,

which is preposterous. If you've ever been to New York City,

there's no way to stay in the bike lanes.

So I made this video

that just showed you can't ride

in the bike lanes 'cause you'll crash into stuff.

I illustrated that by crashing into everything

I found in the bike lanes.

That video went crazy.

That video like millions of views,

and brought all kinds of attention to my channel.

That video,

you know maybe more than anything else

on my YouTube channel really motivated me

to like Ah, I should be taking,

posting videos online more seriously.

Casey Neistat equipment.

I don't romanticize the equipment.

In fact I find like when I meet photographers,

cinematographers, filmmakers,

and they want to talk about the gear,

it's like talking to John Mayer

about what guitar he likes to use.

I wanna know about your music.

Like how do you come up with those sounds?

Like how do you come up with your lyrics?

Like how do you do what you do?

So like when people want to talk about gear,

I don't...

Like I kind of, I think it's like an insult.

It's like when you say somebody's nice,

it's the worst thing you can say about them

'cause it means you have nothing interesting

to say about that person

because you just say they're nice.

Do we have more of these or?

This is the last one?

I mean we can bust out the computer,

and just keep going.

I have so many more answers.

Case Neistat marathon time.

Am I supposed to start up at the top?

Is it gonna screw up the whole video?

Do you want me to like go in reverse?

[Interviewer] Let's go in reverse.

I'm giving the whole story.

How much film do you have in these cameras?

It's digital.

They can roll forever.

In 2006, something like that,

I got in a motorcycle accident.

This whole leg had to be rebuilt out of metal.

So from my knee to my hip and my hip,

eight inches in is all titanium.

My orthopedist said to me,

You'll never run again.

And he's like,

You might be able to chase after your kids,

but you're never gonna be a runner again.

And since then I've run you know 24,

25 marathons with a single goal,

and that single goal was to break three hours,

and three hours is like,

if you watch like the fast guys,

the winner's three hours as slow as can be,

but for like a novice three hours

is like a real benchmark.

It means you're running

a six minute and 54 second mile

26 times in a row.

That is like the goal for me.

And in 15 years and 24 marathons

I've never done it,

but I have run a 301.

This close.

Casey Neistat knee injury.

Hey I kind of addressed that.

Really wove that one in.

It's a femur injury.

My knees now are also messed up

because of this injury.

I compensate because it's all metal over here.

That messes up my knees,

but like the legs are fine.

I did nine miles this morning.

Did 18 yesterday.


Casey Neistat airplane.

I know what they're getting at here.

Flying first class was like

something that was like

the thing that you like walk through,

and try not to make eye contact

because it's like this dream

that I could never imagine.

Like if a kid ticket costs 600 bucks,

in what world are you gonna spend two grand

to sit in a slightly better seat?

It was an unimaginable thing.

Okay then I had to fly to Australia for work,

and I was flying for Google.

Google's got the you know what I'm talking about.

See how it says YouTube right there?

Yeah, they're getting paid for this.

They flew me business class,

which is nothing to shake a stick at.

And I was so blown away about the business class,

that I made a video flying to Australia

about how awesome business class was.

The airlines saw that video

while I was in Australia on my way back

to New York from Sydney.

I'm in the airport,

and like somebody comes up to me

from the airline and they're like, Huh.

Mr. Neistat.

And I was like Shit.

Busted for something.

And instead they were like,

We've upgraded you to first class.

And I got to like sit in first class

with like a lay flat bed,

and like a door and all this stuff.

But I had my backpack

with all my camera gear with me.

So I produced this like highly-produced video

of what it was like to experience first class.

I posted that video on YouTube,

and that video has done more views

than any video I've ever made.

I think it's like 60 million views

or something outrageous.

And I got all this news press

'cause nobody ever really like

made that kind of video before,

and now there's like 10,000 of those videos.

They're all interesting.

But there was a shower on the plane.

You're in the sky and you're showering.

There's a little light.

It goes green, yellow, red,

and you gotta get all that soap off

before it hits red.

Otherwise it can be a very sticky flight home.

Casey Neistat in Nantucket.

In 2007 or 06 or something like that.

My brother Van and I met a guy

who started a juice brand called

The Nantucket Nectars.

His name is Tom,

and he went on to like produce our HBO show,

and then Tom and I were partners.

Because of that,

I got to like go to Nantucket,

which was a place that was like a home for him,

and we premiered a video, it might have been our HBO series

at the Nantucket Film Festival.

So we always had this relationship

with Nantucket,

which is like this little tiny island

off the coast of Massachusetts.

I always loved it there.

My family and I vacation there.

It's a really special place.

Like I'd rather be there

than anywhere in the world

except for New York City.

It's my second favorite place in the world.


Does this mean this is the last question?

You know what I could do?.

No, it doesn't work.


This is a terrible uninteresting question

to end on.

We could sharpie a final question here.

Vlog music.

I have like people all around the world

that email me or DM me and they're like,

Hey, can I send you some music

for me to use in the videos? And I say totally.

They do.

And that's where I get my vlog music from.

I don't know how to make music,

I just know what sounds right.

And my rule with people who send me the music is like,

if it's just a video I post on YouTube,

I credit you and I'll send you as much

attention as I can.

If it's like a commercial,

I can figure how to get paid for it.

I always send them a nice cut.

Is there any other question

that's better for me to end on?

I have to admit I was like a little bit timid

because I know that like sometimes

if you Google somebody,

you might see some stuff that's unsavory.

But I would say you guys did an excellent job

of protecting me from that.

So now that I've seen the behind the scenes,

I just appreciate the discretion.

Appreciate you guys looking out for me.

Thank you for having me and I look forward

to doing the sequel to this,

but we're gonna have to come up with like

60 more questions about stuff.

I don't think we can talk about running anymore.

All right.

Thanks for having me.

It sucks, I can't look.

Starring: Casey Neistat

Up Next