Alert: COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

From the classroom to the red carpet: Josh King’s “go, go, go” few weeks

A CSUB star is born: Alum Josh King nabs a red carpet interview gig at the MTV Music Video Awards after his remix of Lizzo's hit "Truth Hurts" goes viral on social media.

By CHRISTINE BEDELL
Alumni Engagement Specialist
cbedell1@csub.edu

One week Josh King was teaching a new batch of third-graders at Independence Elementary School in Rosedale, the next he was interviewing celebrities at the MTV Video Music Awards and recapping the night on national morning television.

That was the “go, go, go” last couple of weeks for the 2011 CSUB alum starting when he woke up to an email from ABC producers asking if he’d come on “Strahan, Sara & KeKe” to talk about a viral video made of him at school.

That video, of him welcoming students back to school with a remix of Lizzo’s hit “Truth Hurts” broadcast over the school intercom, has been viewed on You Tube more than 6,000 times.

“At first I’m like, ‘This can’t be real, I need to fact-check this,’” King, 31, said of the ABC email. “I checked my sources and it was 100 percent true. So of course, I emailed them back.”

A week and a half later, ABC flew King out to New York City, put him up in a hotel across the street from its studios and gave him his own dressing room, complete with his name on the door.

During the interview with Michael Strahan, Sara Haines and Keke Palmer, King talked about the genesis of his remix, his students’ reaction and his overall approach to teaching.

Josh King on "Strahan, Sara & KeKe"

King clearly charmed the “Strahan, Sara and KeKe” hosts and producers. After his first appearance on the show Aug. 26, they sent him to interview celebrities at the MTV Music Awards and then invited him back on their show the next morning to recap the night.

A onetime children’s theater performer, he wasn’t nervous at all to be on a show that’s an extension of “Good Morning America,” and therefore watched by millions.

“Working at the school I do our talent show, I host different events,” said King, who is also a Bakersfield Christian High School grad. “I’m very comfortable with a microphone or being in front of people. I’ve never been a shy person.”

King thought he’d get to do some sightseeing while in New York, perhaps catch a Broadway show. But then a much better offer came along. A once-in-a-lifetime one.

ABC asked King to conduct red carpet interviews at the MTV Video Music Awards live from the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., a night kicked off by a Taylor Swift performance of “You Need to Calm Down” that according to King “blew everyone away.”

Josh King on the red carpet of the VMAs.

King poses on the red carpet of the MTV Video Music Awards, where he interviewed more than 100 celebrities about their favorite teachers and subjects in school and asked them for advice for his students.

King interviewed more than 100 celebrities over the course of three hours, at first asking about their favorite teachers and school subjects and then for advice for his students back home.

“They were just all so gracious and friendly,” King said, adding they really seemed to appreciate getting to talk to a “normal person.”

His favorite answer to one of his questions came from a member of the hip hop trio Naughty by Nature who talked about growing up in a rough neighborhood and being inspired to “make it” by a teacher.

“’Without him pushing me, helping me, guiding me and steering me in the right direction, I might not be here today,’” King quoted him as saying. “That was special.”

King’s other favorite interviews were with singers Lance Bass and  BeBe Rexha, podcaster and television personality Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye fame, and Victoria Secret model Adriana Lima.

Josh King poses with Jonathan Van Ness.

One of King’s favorite interviews was with Jonathan Van Ness, best known as a grooming expert on the Netflix series Queer Eye.

King went on to watch the awards show in the press section with the ABC producer who’d been with him all day. Then he recapped the night with a second appearance on “Strahan, Sara and KeKe” the next morning.

How’d King do? He was obviously a hit as ABC asked him to do it all again at the Country Music Awards in Nashville this November. As a huge country music fan, King was of course a yes.

Is a career change to entertainment reporter in the offing for King, who is in his ninth year of teaching, all in the Rosedale Union School District?

“Would I love to do something like that? Absolutely,” King said. “I went to school, I became a teacher, that is what I’m doing and I'm loving it. But, you know, I’m open to it.”