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Ignoring emails with Twitter’s funniest comedian

How Caleb Hearon spends his day on the internet (muting group chats, being confused by hot lumberjacks).

Caleb Hearon
Rebecca Jennings is a senior correspondent covering social platforms and the creator economy. Since joining Vox in 2018, her work has explored the rise of TikTok, internet aesthetics, and the pursuit of money and fame online. You can sign up for her biweekly Vox Culture newsletter here.

Welcome to 24 Hours Online, where we ask one extremely internetty person to document a day in their life looking at screens.

Caleb Hearon’s first time going mega-viral on Twitter was near the end of 2019, when he made a now-legendary POV video in which he pretended to agree with a friend who was venting to him about a situation in which they were clearly in the wrong. He’s been goofing around on the platform since 2010, back in the era of “Ashton Kutcher going on the Ellen show and talking about his ‘tweeps,’” as he describes it.

In those days, Hearon was a high schooler in rural Missouri working for what he calls a “family values” organization for teens. (“I had so much fun tweeting stuff like, ‘we need gun control now!’ and immediately getting in trouble,” he says.) Then, in college, he became the kind of Twitter micro-celebrity around campus who drunk sorority girls would ask to follow them back at parties.

Now 27, he’s living in LA and working as a comedian and TV writer, but still regularly goes viral on the platform. During his 24 Hours Online, Hearon ignores emails from Nancy Pelosi and JC Penney, mutes all his group chats, and considers buying a mixed-use building in Seattle on a late night Zillow binge. Here he is, in his own words.

8:30 am

I wake up and immediately delete like, 20 emails from brands that want me to buy stuff. They’re literally all from the fat guy fashion places that have sunk their hooks in me because there’s no good fashion for fat men: JC Penney, DXL, KingSize, and the non-cool shit from Carhartt. The emails are like, “Get your husky men’s clothes for cleaning out the gutter in your Saturday dad jeans!” and I’m like, “Dog, get me out of here.” And then of course, it’s Nancy Pelosi being like, “I did not want to send this email, Caleb. President Jimmy Carter needs you to pitch in for the North Carolina Senate,” and I’m like, “I thought this bitch was dead!”

I usually check Instagram first in the mornings because more often than not, I have some deranged Close Friends content to catch up on. I look for the little green VIP circles first then if I’m bored or have time to kill I’ll watch general admission stories. My favorite Close Friends stories are when it’s a B-list celebrity being like, “Had a beautiful morning. Walked to the park and saw a dog I thought was cute. Love you guys, have a good one!”

One of the first things I stop to actually read is from the account @Swipes4Daddy, one of my favorites. She swipes on much older men and then they flirt with her and it’s never not disgusting or insane. It’s hot girl heterosexual culture, which is something that I’m outside of.

I have a meeting at 10, so I get on the Starbucks app and order a venti iced caramel latte with blonde espresso. I’m not one of the advanced cool girls who likes black cold brew from a local coffee shop; I really love Starbucks. I hate to give them clout, but when I was broke in Chicago and needed somewhere to write for hours on end, Starbucks was perfect because you didn’t feel bad taking over a table.

9:45 am

Last night I tweeted something that accidentally became a viral prompt where gay men are quoting with what woman they would most like to die for. Doing a prompt tweet is one of the most embarrassing things you can ever do in your life. I read the replies to see how many people said Julia Roberts (my pick). You wouldn’t believe the actresses who have stans, women who’ve been in two movies in the past 25 years.

The guy who splits logs on TikTok is getting attention again because it makes people feral I guess? I don’t get it. Since he’s become big he has this air about him where he’ll chop the wood and give a little chuckle and smirk or lick his lips. I’m like, bitch, this is gross now.

Then I see this bizarre little video of Doctor Oz, who is of course running for senate and needs to be stopped; he’s in a grocery store going, “You can’t even buy groceries anymore because of Joe Biden!” Any time rich people cosplay as “everyday Americans” it cracks me up. I love watching rich people imagine the struggles of poor people.

I reply to some texts. I put all my group chats on mute a few weeks ago and now I’m the most at peace any person has ever been. I get irrationally angry when I’m doing something and then I get three texts in a row.

11 am

I go on TikTok to post a Story, which they have now. As somebody who has to promote my live shows constantly, Stories and Fleets (RIP) are the best way to do it. It helps those of us who don’t do sponsored content; I’m more interested in selling tickets, writing scripts, and being in TV shows. But there’s a lot more money on the spon-con side.

2 pm

I’m pitching a TV show this week, so I log on to a Zoom meeting with my co-creator, our showrunner, two producers, and some execs from a streaming network. It’s a live-action, queer TV show based in Kansas City. (I think I can say all of that?)

3 to 8 pm

I have a long break in the middle of the day so I drive me and a friend around in my Jeep to go get sushi. We listen to “All I Ever Wanted” by Mase radio on Spotify. I also rediscover Chingy’s “Right Thurr.” It’s great, real windows-down-on-a-nice-day music.

10 pm

Emails are the bane of my existence. I can’t fucking believe we still do this. Right before bed, I end up doing like, 20 of them because I put them off all day. When you’re a comedian you have a million little jobs, and for every little job you have seven fucking pages of paperwork. It makes me want to scream.

I am a phone-in-bed person, but my big bedtime rule about media is I don’t watch TV in bed. I’m also not a big TikTok person; I don’t go down the five hour TikTok holes like a lot of people do. Instead I’ll look up property that I am not buying. I’ll be like, “houses in Kansas city under $500,000 with this many bedrooms.” Or I’ll look up mixed-use buildings. Maybe I want to open a coffee shop in Seattle! It’s nice to dream about. What if tomorrow I had to rip up the floorboards in an old building I just bought? What if I was doing something other than what I have to do?

Something I talk about a lot is how the internet makes mediocre people feel great and makes great people feel mediocre. It causes introspection for people who probably don’t need more introspection, and it causes delusions of grandeur for people who don’t need to feel better about themselves. It’s a very bizarre place to put worth into, and having a big following only makes it weirder.

You have a mix of people telling you you’re a genius because you did a 20-second video in your car — which is not genius, by the way, ever. And then you’ll have people telling you you’re the ugliest person who ever lived and that you should die. And it’s like, well, one day I will. The internet is a very strange place and I’ll probably be on it forever.

Total screen time

9 hours

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