Psyiconic in various characters

@_itzpsyiconic_/TikTok

‘Are you a hommasexyuh?’: Itzpsyiconic is TikTok Live’s hilarious and bizarre rising star

'It’s as if my life has meaning when I watch her.'

 

Kaiya Shunyata

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 29, 2022   Updated on Sep 30, 2022, 10:00 pm CDT

Analysis

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Itzpsyiconic (whose real name is Kelon), the TikToker who puts on a weekly one person, multi-character show, has become an internet sensation and one of the most well-known Live creators on the platform. His content, a far cry from the typical star-making dances associated with the app, has attracted a largely queer, and sometimes famous, fanbase. He has cultivated a growing community, bound by inside jokes and a shared sense of humor, with their unique brand of comedy.

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Itzpsyiconic first appeared on my For You page in May, where—dressed as one of his famous characters Terri Joe—he uttered the signature line: “Are you a homosexual?” Out of context, this phrase could be off-putting, but longtime subscribers and viewers know that everything out of Terri Joe’s mouth is a joke. She’s always poised in front of dingy antique wallpaper with her clashing printed nightgown, signature choppy wig, fake southern twang, and shady comments. She’s the perfect example of an evangelical caricature done right. 

@_itzpsyiconic_ A christians worl is never done. #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral ♬ About 30 minutes as ambient BGM – Purple Sound
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He has since recreated this moment, asking people who join their lives the same question. Kelon’s streams garner thousands of viewers, and the clips of their live streams receive hundreds of thousands to millions of views. Kelon did not respond to Passionfruit’s requests for comment about his account.

@_itzpsyiconic_ I will be deleting this account effective IMMEDIATELY!! #MadewithKAContest #fyp #foryou #viral #foryoupage ♬ LGBTQ – niglas2157
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The TikTok star’s fanbase has grown immensely over the summer, amassing a following of 928,000. He’s earned a few famous fans in the process, most notably Doja Cat, Ziwe, and Hunter Schafer who have all appeared in their Lives. The way itzpsyiconic has immediate chemistry with these public figures is a testament to his gift as not only a comedian but a content creator. Itzpsyiconic has resonated with queer audiences, as demonstrated by the amount of “yas” and “slay” comments they receive and Pride-themed Live gifts that viewers send to Terri Joe. Joking around with young queer icons like Doja Cat and Schafer is a treat to fans like me, who value queer humor in media.

In a world where a lot of the media that surrounds queer identities is either canceled or suffers from the “bury your gays” trope, itzpsyiconic’s Lives are extraordinary. The Lives are a place where laughter is essential, and Terri Joe and Kelon’s other personas bring an overwhelming joy to his fans. This is unlike most forms of media, which often make queer viewers and fans an afterthought.

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Itzpsyiconic’s videos have quickly become a major source of entertainment for many people, with fans tweeting their praise, stating “it’s as if my life has meaning when I watch her.” 

But what precisely is drawing people to this account? In an interview, Mike, a 23-year-old fan of itzpsyiconic, described watching these videos as “a joy.” For many like Mike, the comedian’s TikTok Lives are the perfect example of “method acting [and] improv, [while also being] self aware.” 

Itzpsyiconic is great at baiting his guests with his outrageous comments, even besting the “Baited queen, Ziwe, herself. But he also knows when his counterparts have them beat, which adds to their appeal. When an unsuspecting co-host trades insults with him, he leans out of the camera view and lets out a booming laugh. He takes insults in stride, and takes what he dishes out.

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“It either goes two ways: there’s people [who] hop on [the Live shows] knowing the different characters [Kelon] plays and they just go with the insanity… and [then] there are those random people that join her Lives knowing nothing about Terri Joe and the other characters,” Mike said. 

These videos seem the most popular, as itzpsyiconic can play up his characters and actually shock the people he’s speaking with. 

“Their genuine confusion… is pure gold,” Mike added.

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While the now iconic Terri Joe costume is definitely his most popular, itzpsyiconic has cultivated several personas: a grunge-loving vampire named Amethyst and of course, a BBL baddie named Jeorgia Peach.

@_itzpsyiconic_ Someone call PETA IMMEDIATELY!! #AEJeansSoundOn #WorldPrincessWeek #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #viral ♬ Honobono suspicious comedy comical fagott – poco poco music

Despite his growing internet fame, itzpsyiconic remains a bit of a mystery. When Kelon started the account, he quickly went viral stitching and dueting other creators’ videos. However, he reached another level of TikTok stardom once he began to go Live with personas and characters. While there isn’t a lot of information about Kelon online, the fanbase he’s created doesn’t seem to mind. The characters do the talking for him.

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While most well known TikTokers aren’t known for streaming, Itzpsyiconic’s fan base has grown through this mode of content creation. Each video he posts on his account is a screen recording of a moment from these live shows, rather than an original prerecorded video. The hype around in itzpsyiconic may be part of a shift in user interest toward longer, raw, freeform content inherent to live video. Creator and trend forecaster Coco Mocoe believes TikTok Lives are going to become more prevalent on the platform because it keeps users on the app for longer.

“I personally think that TikTok is struggling to find a way to monetize itself…” Mocoe told Passionfruit in an email. “Psyiconic is able to keep an audience of 50k to 100k+ people on their stream at any given moment. I think they break the theory that people on TikTok have a short attention span.” 

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TikTok has indicated they want to bulk up streaming, which means itzpsyiconic is primed for this change. Mocoe adds that the format of TikTok Lives is appealing for young users who are craving authentic content from creators.

“I think Gen-Z is hungry for a sense of companionship because they had so much of their childhood and teen years stripped from them with the pandemic and schooling from home. So tuning into a consistent streamer on TikTok feels like they are on FaceTime with a friend,” Mocoe adds.

Whether it’s trolling famous pop stars or trading insults back-and-forth with strangers who join their live videos, itzpsyiconic has cultivated a masterclass of comedy and improv. His virality doesn’t just stem from TikTok, but reaction videos of his characters have seen upwards of 4 million views on Twitter. From fancams to a personality database page as well as receiving hundreds of donations a night from paid subscribers, the short amount of time he’s spent on TikTok hasn’t stopped him from gaining a loyal fanbase. With the comedic talent he holds, all the while remaining true to his craft, there’s no doubt in my mind that itzpsyiconic will be a household name in the future. 

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2022, 6:00 am CDT