Joe Mele: How me and my Dad blew up on TikTok - Dexerto

Joe Mele: How me and my Dad blew up on TikTok

Published: 10/Jul/2020 13:57 Updated: 10/Jul/2020 15:03

by Alice Hearing


If you’re on TikTok, you’ve probably seen a video or two by Joe Mele. If you don’t recognize him, you’ll recognize his dad, whether it’s for his strong Long Island accent, his references to “TikTak” or his uncanny resemblance to the restaurant critic from Ratatouille.

Joe never set out on TikTok to get eight million followers when he posted his first video in December 2019, but it’s a milestone he is about to reach.

It’s more followers than a large percentage of the creators who reside in collectives in Los Angeles, even a large majority of members of The Hype House (their newest member Olivia Ponton has 3.1 million followers).

Joe Mele and his dad dress up for a TikTok
Instagram: Joe Mele
Joe Mele often dresses his dad up in hilarious costumes for sketches.

And what Joe has that stars such as Addison Rae, Charli D’Amelio and Lil Huddy don’t is his ‘pops’. Joe’s dad, Frank Mele, first appeared on his TikTok in his eighth video, and viewers immediately recognized that accent. There were comments like: “Your pa talks like Ray Romano”, and “We need to protect his Dad at all costs.”

By incorporating his dad into sketches, Joe built up his following to more than seven million in under seven months. And it wasn’t just his dad’s “boomer” energy and New Yorker vibe which kept viewers hooked.

In January, after countless commenters saying how much he looked like the restaurant critic in the Disney movie Ratatouille, Joe finally dressed his Dad up in that same outfit, with the right makeup. And it is Joe’s most popular video to date with 50 million views, 12.6 million likes and 86,000 comments. Joe thinks this video alone gained him an extra million followers.

@mmmjoemeleDAD ABSOLUTELY NAILED IT? ##foryou♬ original sound – mmmjoemele

Blowing up on TikTok can change your life

It launched Joe into making TikTok his lifestyle. “At first I thought it would be all fun and games, that I could post whenever I want,” Joe said. “But now that we have such a large following, I think it takes a lot more time and effort.”

Frank might be the star, but Joe is the brains behind the account: “Normally he’s like ‘alright Joe what are we doing today?’ I tell him, then we shoot.”

Joe now dedicates a large part of his day to keep up his social media presence. While it’s summer, and he doesn’t have to study, he spends his day writing skits and updating his social accounts, filming, and editing.

He will often earn money through product promotions, and the offers come thick and fast; that’s 10 to 15 a day. For Joe, it’s a hobby, but he’s keen to turn it into a career.

With internet fame also come die-hard fans. Getting attention from his audience was weird to Joe at first: “People were asking ‘Joe do you have any siblings?’ or like ‘what’s your mum look like?’ and I was like – well why do you guys even care?”

The internet sensation was even given an offer to live in a creator house in Los Angeles, but he turned it down. Why? Because that’s not his style.

Outside TikTok, Joe’s just a normal guy from a small town in New York State. He started posting as a joke and didn’t realize it would blow up. He says that as the momentum began “At first a lot of home town people were like ‘oh look at Joe Mele – he’s trying to be somebody,” but he says the reality is that his friends don’t treat him any differently.

“Every once in a while when I hit those milestones, when I hit 3 million, 6 million, 7 million, they’ll always send me that text – like hey man, congratulations, I’m really happy for ya!”

What’s next for Joe Mele?

TikTok gave Joe his internet fame, but like for many of the app’s biggest creators, he has expanded outwards to other platforms. The threat of the US banning the app (because of its Chinese owners) makes that a necessity.

When he’s not filming sketches with his dad, Joe plays piano, saxophone, clarinet, and guitar, and he writes his own music. Or he works out with his friends or goes fishing with his dad.

What about the possible end of TikTok? Frank says: “Regardless of what happens, this won’t be the end of our videos” and Joe says: “We’re going to continue to make the content that you guys love”, on Joe’s Instagram and YouTube channel. But for now, Joe continues to amass millions of views on his TikTok daily.

As Frank says “Joe, I don’t have time for this!”


Week’s biggest drama: AOC streams Among Us, PewDiePie shadowban bug, more

Published: 24/Oct/2020 0:59 Updated: 24/Oct/2020 1:00

by Virginia Glaze


This week has been a wild ride in all respects: From none other than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing Among Us with top streamers on Twitch to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel getting temporarily shadowbanned, there’s no shortage of things to talk about when it comes to internet drama, and we’ve got all the details you need to stay updated on the tea.

So… what’s brewing?

AOC plays Among Us with Pokimane, Hasan & more

AOC playing Among Us on Twitch
Twitch / InnerSloth / Instragram: AOC
AOC had a massive start on her first-ever Twitch stream, where she played Among Us with such stars as Pokimane, Hasan Parker and Dr Lupo.

Who’s involved? United States representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — commonly referred to as AOC — took to Twitter on October 19 to announce her very first Twitch stream. As for the game she wanted to play? Viral multiplayer title ‘Among Us,’ for which she got a ton of offers from super-popular streamers to play with her.

What’s the tea? Well, it’s not so much tea as it is a record-breaking broadcast, as AOC’s stream managed to rake in 4.6 million views in the eight hours after it ended. Featuring such names as Pokimane, Hasan Piker and DrLupo, it stands to reason that such a star-studded affair was a huge event for the platform, and viewers flocked to give it a watch as soon as possible.

Although the entire affair boasted a wealth of hilarious moments, her broadcast served as a reminder to ‘Get Out the Vote,’ encouraging US viewers to exercise their rights as citizens in the upcoming presidential election — managing to score 439,000 viewers while she was live.

Read the whole story here.

Bryce Hall fight video of restaurant vape scuffle goes viral

Bryce Hall speaks to the camera wearing an orange hoodie and black baseball cap.
YouTube: Bryce Hall
Bryce Hall was caught in a viral scuffle at a restaurant, which apparently came about after the manager asked Hall to put away his vape.

Who’s involved? Bryce Hall is a TikTok star and YouTuber, who has lately found himself at the center of several controversies, including a scuffle he got into at a Los Angeles restaurant.

What’s the tea? Footage from the altercation went viral across the net, showing Hall and his friends getting physical with restaurant staff. According to initial reports from TMZ, Hall had been asked to put away his vape pen and was later encouraged to leave, which resulted in the ensuing fight.

However, Hall later claimed that the restaurant manager had put hands on him first, after he’d unsuccessfully asked for his credit card back “10 times.” Things escalated when a friend tried to break up the situation, leading to the fight seen in the video.

This fight comes after an earlier scuffle Hall was involved in with a bystander at another Los Angeles-based restaurant a few weeks prior, which luckily ended in hugs all around.

Read the whole story here.

PewDiePie’s YouTube channel shadowbanned by bug

pewdiepie looking shocked
YouTube: PewDiePie
Fans noticed PewDiePie’s channel wasn’t showing up when searched for on YouTube, leading to speculation that he had been shadowbanned.

Who’s involved? PewDiePie is the undisputed “king of YouTube,” boasting the most-subscribed channel of any single independent creator on the platform.

What’s the tea? Despite being a massive presence on the website — on which he recently signed to exclusively stream — his channel failed to show up via YouTube’s search function on October 22, with fans noticing that his latest video only received 45k views hours after going live — a major dip for someone with so many dedicated viewers.

YouTube search results for PewDiePie's channel.
YouTube: PewDiePie
The YouTuber’s channel appeared to not be showing up in searches.

PewDiePie was quick to address the issue in a Community post, writing: “Yo, for some reason my videos aren’t showing up in sub box since yesterday so posting here.”

PewDiePie updates fans on his shadowban situation via a Community post.
YouTube: PewDiePie
The Swedish star stated that his channel has not been working properly since October 21.

YouTube also made an official statement on the matter claiming that they were looking into the situation, which was later revealed to be a glitch in the system. Thankfully, PewDiePie’s channel is back up and running as usual, going to show that no one is above the platform’s idiosyncrasies.

Read the whole story here.

Dixie D’Amelio’s hair falls out after getting extensions from TikTok stylist

A before and after photo of Dixie with extensions.
Instagram: @hairby_chrissy
Dixie D’Amelio complained that her hair was falling out after receiving extensions from TikTok stylist ‘Hair by Chrissy.’

Who’s involved? Dixie D’Amelio, older sister to Charli D’Amelio, is a hugely popular TikTok star and singer, who has recently complained about some serious hair problems.

What’s the tea? During an October 15 episode of her ‘2 Chix’ podcast with sister Charli, Dixie revealed that her hair is falling out, after receiving extensions from popular TikTok hair stylist ‘Hair by Chrissy.’ Although she made sure not to name the stylist in question, the salon posted before and after photos from Dixie’s appointment, leading many fans to connect the dots in short time.

(Topic begins at 0:50)

“I don’t know if my hair is falling out, but I think it’s falling out from them,” she admitted. “So I’m like, kinda scared. I’m losing hair, but it’s connected to the extension… there’s like white pieces all at the end of each piece of hair.”

Needless to say, Hair by Chrissy has come under intense scrutiny from critics, with the salon having also faced backlash for alleged discriminatory practices and a flagrant disobedience of health and safety protocols in wake of the current health crisis.

Read the whole story here.

Joe Rogan cancels Kanye West podcast episode

Joe Rogan Kanye West Interview cancelled
Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan has had to cancel his upcoming podcast episode with Kanye West.

Who’s involved? Joe Rogan, famous for his ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast, has recently canceled an entire week’s worth of episodes — one of which was set to feature rapper Kanye West.

What’s the tea? Rogan explained the situation in an Instagram video on October 19, revealing that producer Jamie Vernon had tested positive.

“So, we cancelled all the shows,” Joe stated. “We’re happy he has a mild case, but we cancelled all the shows. I’m keeping away from everybody and testing myself and the staff everyday until we’re in the clear, there’s nothing we can do. I won’t know when we’ll do them [podcasts] again until we get a clear from the doctor. I think it’s ten days and three negative test results in a row.”

However, it looks like fans are getting their fix anyway, as Rogan announced that the podcast with Kanye West is airing, after all. The episode is set for October 24 a 12 PM Central Daylight Time.

Read the whole story here.

There’s no denying that a lot has gone down in the past six days. What do you think of Bryce Hall’s latest fight at a restaurant? Do you believe his side of the story, or the manager’s? How do you feel about politicians taking to Twitch to encourage citizens to vote? Do you think Hair by Chrissy should be receiving all the backlash after Dixie’s hair troubles? Let us know on Twitter @DexertoTrending and comment what you think the biggest story of this week was!

Stay tuned to Dexerto for another round of What’s Brewing next week!