If you spend much time online, and particularly if you spend too much time online, you have come across the heartbreaking phenomenon of the lower-tier internet celebrity. Spread across several platforms, you can trace their fumbling attempt at a “personal brand,” their relentless cross-promotion with fellow internet-culture castoffs, their eager acquisition of new technologies and co-opting of every new meme. It is some tragic shit, particularly because, unlike normal D-list celebrities, they do not appear to be getting paid for it. They are merely accumulating likes and follows at a better-than-average but still inconsequential rate.
A short film starring MAD TV’s Will Sasso captures this soft tragedy with heartbreaking precision. Taking its mockumentary pacing from The Office, it chronicles a stay-at-home dad’s attempt to join the ranks of “content creators,” with painfully unfunny examples of Instagram macros, Vine sketches about weed, hyperactive YouTube punditry, and the same befuddled attempt at Snapchat of anyone over the age of 25, not to mention the surplus of bad comedy and over-the-top impressions that dominate much online comedy.
It ends tragically, as such things must. May it serve as a wake-up call to the thirsty Twitch stars and over-eager Instagram joke thieves out there: You cannot merely will fame into being.