Nathan Apodaca, 37, lives in an RV camper in Idaho Falls, Idaho. It doesn’t seem to have working water. Apodaca works at a potato packing plant, an occasional setting in his sweetly goofy TikTok videos, which he’s been posting below the identify @420doggface208 for some time now. His daughter taught him how the platform works. “I seen her doing this one step and I used to be like, ‘I can try this, I can kill that,’” Apodaca told KTVB news recently. “So I used to be like, ‘Let me do a video with you. I killed it in my eyes and he or she posted it.”
Sweetly goofy could also be underselling it a bit, as Apodaca has some fairly good dance strikes and a strong aptitude for staging. His earliest video on his present account (his first one disappeared in some way, he says) is a plein air tribute to The Hustle, shot on a snowy Idaho Falls day. Principally although, Apodaca has simply been he’d having fun with himself on TikTok, doing slightly dancing, some lip-synching, and having enjoyable. The Mexican American has been dubbed “Tío TikTok”, Mic explains, “and embodies an embarrassing stoner uncle persona, busting out dancing in public and cracking dad jokes,” which is type of true.
Seems, “killing it” was an understatement.
Final week, Apodaca’s truck wouldn’t begin as he was heading to work. So, he jumped on his skateboard as one does, to take himself there. He whipped out his telephone and mimicked what he noticed one other skateboarding TikTok’er do, easily taking a sip from a bottle of Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice earlier than lip-synching together with singer Stevie Nick’s legendary 1997 breakup song, “Desires.”
I can’t fairly clarify why it was so pleasant—the mellow vibe, his untroubled demeanor, the straightforward mastery of the skateboard, however rattling. That video made individuals smile.
Apodaca’s smile-inducing video has now been watched greater than 50 million occasions throughout all earthly platforms. He now has 2.2 million followers on TikTok, 1.3 million on Instagram. It additionally gave a giant enhance to the music, which entered Spotify’s Top 40 most-played songs final Tuesday.
Apodaca has additionally acquired greater than $10,000 in fan appreciation—he gave half to his mom—and is the star of his personal TikTok problem. He additionally has an agent, a merchandise web site, a ton of superstar followers, and a brand-new truck courtesy of Ocean Spray.
Everybody, it appears, together with the U.S. Army has recreated his video. Mick Fleetwood, who was not the topic of the breakup music written by his Fleetwood Mac bandmate, joined TikTok particularly to pay tribute along with his personal video. (Lindsey Buckingham, who was the topic of the breakup music, has not but participated.) And earlier than greenlighting the brand new cranberry crimson truck for Apodaca, Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes appeared on the platform—on his skateboard – completely mimicking Apodaca’s type.
Apodaca’s new superstar continues to unfold and I pray all of it goes properly for everybody. He by accident created probably the most pleasant business for Ocean Spray ever, a reasonably large accomplishment since their advertisements had been already fashionable. It additionally drew individuals’s consideration to slightly understood reality: The corporate is a farmer’s cooperative, not a company.
However I do discover myself desirous about how simple it’s for individuals, even somebody with Apodaca’s appeal and facility with know-how, to finish up underhoused, maybe underemployed, largely unnoticed, and with little wiggle room if one thing severely goes fallacious. Apodaca represents a whole swath of people who find themselves going through uneven recoveries and the potential of non-public devastation from the pandemic recession.
“As a basic level, recessions are likely to hit small corporations tougher than massive corporations, and fewer educated and lower-income staff tougher than extra educated and higher-income staff,” notes Annie Lowrey, employees author at The Atlantic. “However this recession and restoration have proved significantly skewed: Normalcy for some, apocalypse for others.”
If a part of Apodaca’s viral fame is a deeper understanding of the delicate lives individuals are actually residing now, greater than ever, then that’s a dream price having.