It’s been seven months since the Daily Dot last checked in with Forthewolfx, Reddit’s most pointlessly famous user, but rest assured; he’s doing well—so well, in fact that he had to answer my interview questions in between rounds of golf in the Dominican Republic.
“I'm sorry, im going golfing now, I'll answer more questions when I get back in a few hours. Super sorry,” he wrote the Daily Dot.
Admittedly, Forthewolf’s fame didn’t allow him to retire to an island paradise. He’s only there because he’s on vacation. He is still Joe—last name withheld—and he’s still a funny, thoughtful, and nerdy 15-year-old from Long Island.
A quick refresher on how Forthewolfx came to be, well, Forthewolfx: About a year ago, a redditor named Palinsupporter started a thread titled “What is your biggest secret desire that you are ashamed of telling anyone?” Forthewolfx cheekily responded, “I want to be famous on reddit.”
That’s all it took. In one of those Reddit quirks where legions of users heap goodwill on a stranger, thousands of redditors obliged. I mean, they really obliged. More than 9,000 people upvoted that comment. He became an instant Reddit celebrity. Anywhere he posted, users who remembered that thread fawned, “Oh my, Forthewolfx! He’s famous!” And those who didn’t see Palinsupporter’s original thread quickly caught on to the game. To this day, he’s swamped with admirers whenever he posts.
The question on most readers’ mind, I imagine, is how fame has changed him. So I asked him. Even though he’s still an active redditor, he’s been deliberately keeping a lower profile.
“I don't comment as often on main subreddits to avoid derailing them as I used to. I just stick to smaller communities,” he said. (He’d previously said that he keeps an alternate account so that he can have a more normal redditing experience without people getting sidetracked by his fame.)
Joe’s a frequenter on some smaller subreddits, like r/Hawkthorne, devoted to the fan-made Community video game, which he helped write. He’s optimistic for the show next season, by the way, even though it’ll be missing its creator, Dan Harmon.
He said in January that he’s interested in making comedy videos, and to an extent Joe’s capitalized on that. He’s made a four-part YouTube series where he walks through the video game Half Life 2, offering hilarious commentary throughout. The first video’s not even been viewed 300 times, though he could easily cash in on his fame to heavily advertise it.
Joe asked for criticism on the videos. “You guys cant be harder on myself than me, so honestly say whatever you think,” he wrote. “So please tell me, on a scale from star wars 4 to star wars 1 how bad it is.” He received only praise. ”OH MY GOD ITS FORTHEWOLFX,” said one commenter. “YOU HAVE THE VOICE OF AN ANGEL FORTHEWOLFX, PLEASE SIGN MY BREASTS,” wrote another.
That doesn’t happen in the real world, though.
“Around school, nobody knows about his secret identity as an online celebrity,” missing_an_eyebrow, one of the few people who both knows Joe in real life and understands Forthewolfx’s fame, told the Daily Dot via Reddit private message.
The two went to high school together until missing_an_eyebrow—Brendan in real life—transferred. He admitted he’s felt intermittent jealousy toward his friend. “Joe is famous on one of the most popular sites on the Internet,” he said. But, he can’t begrudge him: “I don't know of anyone else that would be so receptive to his fame and humble to be in that position.”
There’s even a subreddit devoted to him, r/Forthewolfx, which, though it’s gotten stale in the past two months, still has more than 600 subscribers. Joe posts his videos there, and fans submit Photoshopped images in his honor. One Photoshopped Joe’s head onto a model’s torso and surrounded it with hearts and text that says “I love you.” Another snapped a photo where he’d written in “Forthewolfx” for mayor. A third started a discussion thread titled “Does anyone know what hair conditioner Forthewolfx uses?” There’s even a subreddit for Forthewolfx erotica fan fiction (again, he’s 15), though thankfully, there are only two entries.
However, enthusiasm for Forthewolfx might be tapering off. No one’s updated his main subreddit in a month. He still gets upvoted whenever he speaks on Reddit, but nothing like some of his earlier comments.
“I still have loyal people who will scream out my name in small threads, but I haven't seen much out in the open,” Joe says. “Which is nice, I suppose. When I'm mentioned, it's like ‘do you remember that guy?’ and I'm glad it turned into that, and I knew it would at one time or another.”
Photo via Imgur