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POV FOR THE PEOPLE :: Comedian Caleb Hearon's Characters Are All of Us

POV FOR THE PEOPLE :: Comedian Caleb Hearon's Characters Are All of Us

Four videos in, Caleb Hearon’s (@calebsaysthings) saga about his “weekend with Jonathan from marketing” already made me laugh harder than any of the Netflix comedy specials I binged this year. Aside from the ever-relatable premise — whispered gossiping with a coworker about dating — Hearon’s commentary on everything from morality to model trains, and his character reads of both gay men and evangelical Christians, made each episode not only funny but also thought-provoking. Polished and scripted shows are one thing, but there’s a freedom to this series of improvised sketches by the 24-year-old Chicago-based comedian that feels incredibly relevant in the era of viral stars and Twitter memes.

The forward-facing video character, a popular format for rising comedians in the social media era, lets viewers drop into someone else’s world for two or three minutes, adopting an intimate perspective that’s already familiar to audiences because of FaceTime and Instagram Stories. All of Caleb’s sincere stream-of-consciousness context, combined with the narrative of an unraveling weekend-long date that jumps from a museum to a hospital, and back to his couch at home, is the kind of immediately hysterical content that’s perfect for binging while stuck at home over the holidays, avoiding awkward family conversations and sleeping off your hangover.

After the sixth episode dropped this weekend, I called Caleb to get some insight into his newfound Twitter fame (hovering around the cusp of 60K followers) — which kicked off right after Thanksgiving when another video character caught the attention of none other than Chrissy Teigen — what goes into the production of a forward-facing video, and the need for more queer perspectives in the mainstream consciousness.