From the factory floor to the top of TikTok.
The former factory worker became the most watched star on TikTok – two years after he created an account on a social media application after he lost his job during the pandemic.
My Excellency22, became the world’s best TickToker on Wednesday, officially overtaking the American sensation Charlie D’Amelio, 18. As of Thursday afternoon, Lame has an incredible 142.8 million followers. D’Amelio is close with 142.3 million.
“THE KING IS NUMBER 1 ON TIKTOK,” exclaimed one fan below Lame’s latest clip after jumping to first place.
Lame – who portrays himself as a comedian and shares ghostly clips mocking the chasing influencers and their exaggerated videos – has yet to comment on the turning point.
Lame was born in Senegal in 2000 before emigrating to Italy with his parents the following year.
After high school, he started working as a machine operator in the northern city of Turin before being fired in March 2020.
“The pandemic has just begun and I was bored with a lot of time on my hands, so I started making videos on TikTok,” Lame he told Forbes in an interview last March.
The young man started parodying TikTok clips in which the creators showed their “simple” tricks for things like cleaning dishes and cutting bangs.
Lame – who is currently learning English – rarely speaks in his videos; his clips rely on visual humor and are available to viewers around the world.
“I would describe myself as a simple person, but full of ideas and inspiration,” said Lame. “Making people laugh has always been my greatest passion in life.”
New York Times attributes Lame’s success to his “every” quality in a profile published last year.
“His work lacks the sleek production value associated with today’s most famous TikTok stars … His rise was completely organic,” the paper writes.
“He almost represents this authenticity over the production,” added one social media expert. “I think it’s very attractive to people, this feeling that someone isn’t trying too hard. It’s something that is authentic. “
However, he told Forbes that, although his videos seem simple, he is thinking a lot about creating them.
“I spend at least three hours every day looking for the right video for a parody,” he explained. “I always try to be careful not to offend anyone with my videos and I always prefer to joke with frivolous parody.”
Lame’s videos have garnered an incredible 2.3 billion likes in total, and each of his videos is typically viewed by tens of millions of people, giving him incredible reach and making him one of the most influential young people on the planet.
However, the star said he was still shocked by his unexpected rise to fame – and that he hoped to move to Hollywood soon.
“I started doing this for fun and I never expected any of this,” he said. “My background and journey give me the strength to believe in my dreams and move forward, because with dedication and perseverance, they can come true.”