Hopping in the back seat of a stranger’s car was once ill-advised, but has now become the norm. Not expected? Having your driver challenge you to karaoke.
That’s what you’ll get if Glen Mills resident Eddie Doyle answers your Uber or Lyft call.
“I have a YouTube channel,” he’ll mention when a group gets settled after clambering in. Then he sets up the challenge: “I’m doing a carpool karaoke kind of deal. Want to give it a try?”
Even after he explains the twist — he only plays instrumentals and doesn’t have a screen or anything to show the lyrics — people have been stepping up and crooning their hearts out.
Then he posts the often hilarious results online.
Unlike the St. Louis Uber/Lyft driver who was recently banned for secretly live-streaming passengers, Doyle has always ensured his riders are well aware they’re being filmed. He also asks for permission before posting any footage, and helps customers feel more comfortable by actively participating in the videos.
Doyle has been gigging for the ride-share companies since 2015. An aspiring memoir writer, he started driving as a way to pay the bills as he tried to make it as a novelist. He soon realized his side hustle was a great resource for story material.
So he installed dashboard cameras and started “The Driver Ed Show.”
There were times when stories didn’t make it onto YouTube because of their sensitive subject matter — or because Doyle felt too bad to air a passenger’s dirty laundry. Like when he picked up a woman so plastered, she fell “stiff as a board” on her back on the way to get into his car. Or when a cop took pity on Doyle and let him off from a taillight infraction because of the amount of puke one woman was able to produce in his back seat on Christmas Eve.
By far, Doyle’s most popular videos were his “from the driver’s seat” coverage of Eagles fans reacting in anticipation of Super Bowl LII, including one that racked up more than 30,000 views.
After that surge died down, however, the fleeting popularity had him searching for ways to one-up his storytelling. He landed on the plan to throw in a little music.
“I got the idea when I realized how hard karaoke is,” Doyle said. “I was at a bachelor party, and me and my buddy we were going to sing ‘Come On Eileen’…that is such a party song! But when no one else is singing along with you to keep the beat, or to keep the tune, or to keep you on track with the lyrics… Well, we were absolutely clueless. We actually walked off stage and gave up.”
So instead of asking people to sing along with lyrics, Doyle decided to make it fun by only providing instrumentals.
To show solidarity with passengers’ karaoke struggles, he at least chooses songs for his ride playlists that are popular. Titles on his tracklist include: “Mr. Brightside,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Closing Time,” “Iris” and “We Will Rock You.”
Some riders have crushed it. Others? Not so much.
Picking the right participants/victims of his portable karaoke shenanigans isn’t an exact science, Doyle said. He “feels it out” and also doesn’t ask people who are too drunk to consent.
Though Doyle is a jokester, and certainly loves a wild night that inspires a great story, his heart is still in his writing. And recently, he was finally able to achieve his dream of publishing a memoir.
Made up of fifty short vignettes which revolve around Doyle’s friendship with his best friend and business partner, Jimmy Curran, I Hate You, Jimmy is a humorous and heartfelt recount rooted in disability awareness and acceptance, all starting with the beginning of their relationship when they met in the same dorm room building at Temple. Five years later, Doyle would wind up becoming Curran’s aide (Curran has Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2).