'Back to the 90s' viral star spent the 90s in Arizona

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Ben Giroux (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ben Giroux (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It’s a love letter to 90s pop culture: a viral music video that’s been viewed online more than 26 million times. And it was co-created by a guy who spent the 90s in the Valley.

Ben Giroux co-wrote and produced “Back to the 90s,” a VH1-style music video featuring references to Backstreet Boys, Bagel Bites, Beanie Babies and more.

“It has just been an unbelievable stream of positive feedback and people just feeling wistful and nostalgic about our childhoods,” he said.

Giroux grew up in Phoenix and attended Sunnyslope High School, and he was surrounded by pop culture from an early age. His parents own “All About Books and Comics” on Camelback Road and Central Avenue.

“We have sold comics for the last 35 years. Ben is 32 years old. He's been here since day one. Literally. My wife brought him to the store the day after he was born, and there sat Ben at one day old amidst the comic environment,” said his father Alan Giroux.

Ben eventually transitioned from that environment to film school at the University of Southern California, then into acting and comedy. He now lives in Los Angeles and plays the villain on the Nickelodeon series “Henry Danger” and voices a character on the network’s new animated show, “Bunsen is a Beast.”

For Back to the 90s, Giroux teamed up with hip-hop artist Jensen Reed. It was their third parody music video collaboration.

The two spent about two years writing the song and producing the video. Just two days of that was spent filming. 

“We knew we wanted to hit ‘boy band.’ We knew we wanted to hit grudge and R&B, and this thing just spiraled,” Giroux said.

It spiraled into a music video project with contributions from about 150 people, including animators from Nickelodeon. VH1-style pop-up text during the song indicates Giroux and Jensen "spent their life savings" making the music video. The budget was about $30,000, Giroux said.

“When you get to collaborate with one of your best friends and see the world see something that you made that you're so proud of, it's been a surreal week for all of us,” he said.

It’s been a surreal week for his parents at the comic book store too.

“I'm so proud of him because he has worked so hard at this,” his father said. “He's the kind of individual that doesn't stop until it's done. And it has to be pure. It has to be perfect -- that's just his personality.”

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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