Former Factory Worker Is Now TikTok’s Biggest Star



A century after Charlie Chaplin’s heyday, another man with a gift for silent comedy has become a worldwide star. Khaby Lame, who began making videos when he was laid off from his factory job in Italy early in the pandemic, is now the most-followed person on the most downloaded app in the world. His TikTok account passed 143 million followers this week, putting him ahead of American dancer Charli D’Amelio, who currently has 142.5 million followers, Mashable reports.

Lame, 22, now mostly posts (silent) comedy skits, but the posts that made him a star followed a simple formula, in which he wordlessly mocks complicated or weird “life hacks like using tape to turn a fork into a spoon,” the Verge reports. His expressive reactions have also inspired countless memes. “It’s my face and my expressions which make people laugh,” Lame told the New York Times last year, describing his reactions as a “global language.”

Lame was born in Senegal and was a year old when his family moved to Italy. He has said his main goal isn’t fame, though he does hope to visit Hollywood. “I don’t care if I’m first or second or fourth most popular on TikTok. I started making videos because I wanted to make people laugh in that period of lockdown,” he told CNN last year. “And I keep making videos with the same ideals. I’m happy about my accomplishments, but those are not my main things.” (Read more TikTok stories.)

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