Josh Peck

Josh Peck, the 32-year-old social media influencer and actor known for his starring role in the Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh,” speaks to Ted Spiker, the chair of the department of journalism, Wednesday evening at the University Auditorium at the University of Florida. Peck first told the sold-out crowd of over 800 people about being married and becoming a dad. “I can’t believe I found someone to procreate with,” Peck joked.

Nostalgia hit hard in the University Auditorium at the Accent Speakers Bureau event Wednesday night, when a star from the Nickelodeon show “Drake & Josh” took the stage.

Josh Peck, a 32-year-old comedian and social media influencer who co-starred on “Drake & Josh” from 2004 to 2007, spoke on topics ranging from his family, growing up in the entertainment industry and the new age of creating content.

Peck told stories about working in the film industry and shared with the audience that when filming the movie “Red Dawn,” co-star Chris Hemsworth called him and the other young castmates “cubs.”

He also addressed more serious topics throughout the night including his struggles being typecast when he was overweight as a kid. Peck said he was only offered roles as the chubby sidekick or the big school bully.

“The frustrating thing is how powerless you are as a creator in traditional media,” Peck said.

As an actor, Peck didn’t have control over the content he was in and was stuck being whoever directors perceived him to be. That is why he found Vine, and now YouTube, exhilarating places to be creative and try new things, he said.

He encouraged his audience to take a chance and try out creating their own content.

“Go for it,” Peck said. “It is not like it once was where you have to be in New York or L.A., or know the right people, or have representatives.”

The night ended with questions from the audience. Someone asked what his favorite episode of “Drake & Josh” to film was, and Peck said it was the episode where a baby was left on the roof (“The Two Idiots and a Baby”) . Another person asked if he liked chicken nuggets (An enthusiastic “yes”).

Alyssa Torres, a 20-year-old junior biology major, was one of the many people who waited in line to ask Peck a question. She planned to camp outside the auditorium at 9 a.m., but her friends talked her out of it. She is a huge fan of Peck and his friends who make up the YouTube group known as “the Vlog Squad.”

Torres had her question prepared and asked about Max, Peck's 6-month-old son, and if there were any milestones yet.

Peck’s eyes crinkled with a smile at the question and talked about how he loves picking up Max in the morning when he is the happiest.

“Max is dope,” he said.

Torres rose to her feet clapping and screaming when the event ended.

“He has helped me a lot through really sad and depressing times,” Torres said. “His videos bring a smile to my face.”