Sam Hyde
Samhydetedtalk2070 (cropped).png
Hyde delivering his prank TEDx talk at Drexel University in 2013
PseudonymThe Candyman
Birth nameSamuel Whitcomb Hyde
Born1985 (age 37–38)
Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.
Years active2007 – present

Samuel Whitcomb Hyde (born 1985) is an American comedian. He co-created the sketch comedy group Million Dollar Extreme (MDE) with Charles Carroll and Nick Rochefort.

Hyde is known for his involvement in several public pranks and internet hoaxes. Hyde's transgressive style has also garnered public controversy, and his comedy and political views have been associated with the alt-right.[1]

Life and career

After graduating from Wilton High School,[citation needed] Hyde enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University for one year before transferring to the Rhode Island School of Design,[2] where he graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in film, animation and video.[citation needed]

In mid-2014, Hyde started a web series titled Kickstarter TV, where he would find projects on Kickstarter and harshly ridicule both the projects and the people who made them.[citation needed]

In August 2016, Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace, a television program Hyde co-wrote and acted in along with the other members of MDE, premiered on Adult Swim.[3] Four months later, it was announced that World Peace would not be renewed for a second season. Hyde attributed the show's cancellation to his vocal support for Donald Trump.[4]

In a December 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter in the aftermath of his series' cancellation, when questioned if he held a bias towards minorities, Hyde replied that he was 'probably as racist or as biased as the average regular white guy or the average regular black guy'.[5]

In 2017, Hyde pledged $5,000 towards the legal defense fund of Andrew Anglin, the founder and editor of neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Anglin for allegedly organizing a "troll storm" against a Jewish woman in Montana. When Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times questioned Hyde about the donation, Hyde asked Pearce if he was Jewish and went on to say that $5,000 was "nothing" to him. Hyde also stated: "Don't worry so much about money. Worry about if people start deciding to kill reporters. That's a quote. For the reason why, you can say I want reporters to know I make more money than them, especially Matt Pearce."[6]

In 2022, iDubbbz uploaded a documentary on Hyde trying to understand and communicate with him beyond the irony and acts Hyde puts on. Hyde has been open about his interest in boxing and helped train Jewish-Canadian YouTuber Harley Morenstein for iDubbbz's charity boxing event, Creator Clash. On August 27, 2022, Hyde made his boxing debut, defeating Australian social media star James "IAmThmpsn" Thompson during the 2 Fights 1 Night event.[7]


Hyde lampooned the American anime fandom in 2012 when he delivered a spurious presentation titled "Samurai Swordplay in a Digital Age" under the pseudonym "Master Kenchiro Ichiimada" at a convention in Vermont. During the presentation, an MDE affiliate blocked the exit to bar attendees from leaving Hyde's hour-long performance.[8] Similarly in 2013, Hyde, while dressed in a maroon-colored sweatsuit and clad in hoplite-esque breastplate and greaves, delivered a prank TEDx talk titled "2070 Paradigm Shift" at Drexel University.[9] The talk, described by Forbes as a satiric impersonation of a "Brooklyn tech hipster," received significant media attention.[10][9] When asked about the intent of the prank, Hyde stated his dislike for TED talks, calling them "really self-congratulatory."[11] In 2014, Hyde started a fake Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the creation of a "pony dating simulator" for bronies, the adult male fans of the children's television show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.[9] The Kickstarter page said the simulator would comprise "a journey that spans multiple continents" and include "deep RPG elements."[12] Devotees of the show who ostensibly took the project seriously pledged a total of $4,161 to the fundraiser before Hyde cancelled it.[9][12]

Shooting and terrorism hoaxes

Sam Hyde in 2016. This and similar photos have been used by internet trolls when reporting Hyde as the perpetrator of mass shootings and terrorist attacks.
Sam Hyde in 2016. This and similar photos have been used by internet trolls when reporting Hyde as the perpetrator of mass shootings and terrorist attacks.

Since 2015, Hyde has been frequently misreported as the perpetrator of numerous mass shootings and terrorist attacks by internet trolls on websites such as 4chan and Twitter.[9][13] The hoaxes, which typically included photos of Hyde brandishing a semi-automatic weapon and with a slightly altered name to appear more "authentic", reappeared so often on social media that The New York Times characterized "Sam Hyde is the shooter" as "an identifiable meme."[14]

The first instance of the prank was the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting. CNN mistakenly included Hyde's image on their coverage of the shooting.[15] Hyde was also labelled as the perpetrator in high profile shootings such as the Orlando Night Club shooting,[16] Sutherland Springs church shooting (where he was misidentified by Representative Vicente Gonzalez)[17] and the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.[15] Hyde has also been erroneously blamed for many other small scale and large shootings.[a] Hyde's image was shared across social media as being the driver of the car in Waukesha, Wisconsin, that drove into a Christmas parade in November 2021.[23] In February of 2022, an edited image of Hyde was misidentified as the "Ghost of Kyiv" (a Ukrainian fighter pilot who supposedly shot down six Russian planes on February 24, 2022) in popular social media posts including that of Representative Adam Kinzinger.[24] The alleged pilot was given Ukrainian style names 'Сэм Хайденко' [Sam Haydenko] or Samuyil Hyde.[25] The 2022 Buffalo shooter also claimed the image of Hyde as his own in his manifesto.[26] In July 2022, multiple popular posts on social media falsely labelled Hyde as the gunman in the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.[27] Hyde was again falsely identified as a mass shooter in the 2023 Covenant School shooting under the pseudonym of Samantha Hyde.[28]

Boxing record

1 fight 1 win 0 losses
By knockout 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Win 1–0 IAmThmpsn TKO 3 (3), 1:28 Aug 27, 2022 The O2 Arena, London, England







  1. ^ "The Battle Over Adult Swim's Alt-Right TV Show". The Atlantic. November 17, 2016. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Bernstein, Joseph (August 25, 2016). "The Alt-Right Has Its Very Own TV Show On Adult Swim". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  3. ^ "Adult Swim Announces New Shows, Specials, and Pilots from John Kraskinski, Brett Gelman, Dan Harmon, and More". Splitsider. Archived from the original on October 25, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "'Million Dollar Extreme' creators say Adult Swim canceled their show for supporting Donald Trump". Fox News. December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  5. ^ "Sam Hyde Speaks: Meet the Man Behind Adult Swim's Canceled "Alt-Right" Comedy Show (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Neo-Nazi website raises $150,000 to fight Southern Poverty Law Center lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. June 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "KSI vs. Swarmz undercard: Complete list of fights before main event in 2022 YouTube boxing match". The Sporting News. August 24, 2022. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  8. ^ "GamerGate's Archvillain Is Really A Trolling Sketch Comedian". BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "How 4chan Tricked The Internet Into Believing This Comedian Is A Mass Shooter". Forbes. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Comedian Gives Ridiculous Prank TED Talk". Business Insider. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  11. ^ "WATCH: TEDx Drexel Got Pranked This Weekend". Philadelphia. October 7, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Dark Skyes -- an EPIC brony dating sim (Canceled)". Kickstarter. Kickstarter PBC. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  13. ^ a b "Don't Believe Any Breaking News That Names This Comedian As A Mass Shooter". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Bromwich, Jonah (November 6, 2017). "Sam Hyde and Other Hoaxes: False Information Trails Texas Shooting". The New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  15. ^ a b c Bell, Chris (October 2, 2017). "Las Vegas: The fake photos shared after tragedies". BBC News.
  16. ^ "Sam Hyde: Gunman Possibly Identified In Mass Shooting At Pulse Nightclub In Orlando Being Ruled A Hoax - Inquisitr". October 27, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  17. ^ "WATCH: Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Says Sam Hyde Is Sutherland Springs Shooter". Heavy. Heavy, Inc. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  18. ^ Cox, Danny (June 12, 2016). "Sam Hyde: Gunman Possibly Identified In Mass Shooting At Pulse Nightclub In Orlando Being Ruled A Hoax". Inquisitr. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  19. ^ Smith IV, Jack. "Neither Robert Kinnison Nor Sam Hyde Killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana". Mic. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  20. ^ Smith, Anthony. "Piedmont Park Hanging: No, Sam Hyde Did Not Lynch a Black Man in the Atlanta Park". Mic. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  21. ^ Mezzofiore, Gianluca (June 19, 2017). "Never believe any breaking report on Twitter naming this comedian as the attacker". Mashable.
  22. ^ "Fake news on YouTube shooting spreads, despite recent efforts to clamp down on misinformation". CBS News. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  23. ^ Rahman, Khaleda (November 22, 2021). "Waukesha suspect misinformation spreads as fake photo of SUV driver shared". Newsweek. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  24. ^ "Internet hoaxers falsely identify US comic Sam Hyde as 'Ghost of Kyiv'". Fact Check. March 8, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  25. ^ "Fact Check-Comedian Sam Hyde is not the 'Ghost of Kyiv'". Reuters. March 2, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  26. ^ Reporters, Stephen T. Watson Maki Becker and Dan Herbeck News Staff. "Gunman, 18, drove more than 3 hours to Buffalo to commit hate crime, officials say". Buffalo News. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  27. ^ S., Bechu (July 8, 2022). "Fact Check: Netizens falsely share US comedian's photo as ex-Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's suspected assassin". India Today. Thiruvananthapuram.
  28. ^ Seitz, Jacob (March 27, 2023). "An old 4chan meme gets new transphobic spin in wake of Nashville mass shooting". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on March 27, 2023. Retrieved March 27, 2023.