Well, he did it.
Posting under the name @khaby.lame, he recently surpassed American-based content creator Charli D’Amelio, who previously held the top spot.
Eighteen-year-old dancer D’Amelio currently has 142.2 million followers. Lame jumped above the following count to take the top spot with 142.5 million followers.
Now based in Italy, Lame is most known for his dialogue-free parody clips, having joined the app in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. According to the Daily Mail, Lame was laid off from his job, and when he was forced to move back in with his parents, the comedian capitalized on the app’s popularity to create viral content.
In a conversation with Forbes, Lame described how he got started with TikTok.
“The pandemic had just started, and I was bored with a lot of time on my hands, so I started making videos on TikTok.”
It's A Family Thing
He experienced significant traction with his videos when he began using parody-based content to mock other content creators through exaggerated actions and hyperbolic language.
Once his viral account gained enough traction to rival the former most-followed account, Lame’s fanbase created a hashtag (#KhabyToNumberOne) and a rallying cry to get him in the top spot.
“My follower base is my family, and I would not be who I am without family. I would never see them as just numbers, as everybody is someone I want to build relationships with, both offline and online. I love to meet them in real life and engage them in my life. That’s the reason why I always try to keep my videos genuine and authentic. In the near term, I also have a lot of surprises for them coming up,” Lame told Forbes.
A Bigger Prize
Although Lame has acquired a massive following on TikTok, social media fame is not the totality of his story. The Forbes report noted that Lame is a part of Iron Corporation, a talent agency based in central Milan. And while humor and modeling are the current moves for Lame, he has his eyes set on a bigger prize.
“My biggest dream is to win an Oscar. It would be the ultimate honor, and that day I would say, ‘Wow, I really made it,'” Lame explained to Forbes.