The untold truth of David Dobrik
David Dobrik calls himself “sexy, gorgeous, and humble,” and who are we to disagree? The Los Angeles-based vlogger is the de facto leader of YouTube collective the Vlog Squad, a ragtag crew described by the Shorty Awards as “mostly comprised of hilarious former Viners.” In 2018, the Vlog Squad won a Shorty Award for “YouTube Ensemble,” and Dobrik subsequently won in the “Favorite Social Star” category at Nickelodeon’s 2019 Kids’ Choice Awards. (He was slimed at the podium, both before and during a hug with actor Josh Peck.)
No wonder Dobrik is racking up all the awards: Since launching his YouTube channel in 2014, he’s earned over 11 million subscribers; a dedicated fanbase that lives for his ghoulish pranks, celebrity stop-ins by the likes of Howie Mandel and John Stamos, and all that gooey romantic turmoil. Although he has a sterling reputation — even Urban Dictionary defines Dobrik as “the cure of cancer, the cure of depression THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING” and “the nicest person you could ever meet” — he’s not exactly immune to controversy. Fellow blogger Trisha Paytas compared him to a well-known serial killer, comments he made about Donald Trump have come under fire, and his public breakup with social media star Liza Koshy raised many an eyebrow.
Let’s curl up in our comfy “Clickbait” sweaters and discover the untold truth of this charming YouTube star.
He thinks Logan Paul is a ‘major sellout’
Ever watch the “Lie Detector Test” video series by Vanity Fair? It’s exactly what it sounds like: Tense celebrities are dramatically strapped into a polygraph machine and grilled by an ominous, off-camera voice about “everything from love to friendship,” and back again. Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy, and Wiz Khalifa are just a few of the A-listers who’ve endured the exercise so far. David Dobrik participated in March 2019, and the results are rather spine-tingling.
His anxiety is palpable as the strap is wrapped tightly around his arm. “I’m so scared. … I can’t breathe.” Right out of the gate, his interrogator pulls no punches: “Is your name David Dobrik?” To his credit, Dobrik doesn’t miss a beat: “Yes.” He answers several other questions in the affirmative: Yes, his YouTube channel does “have over ten million subscribers.” Yes, he was “born in Slovakia.” And yes, he recalls living there: “I remember living in an apartment,” he confesses. “I remember my grandma. I remember my grandpa’s hair.” On the other hand, he does not think Drake Bell is “more attractive than” Josh Peck, so there.
Later, the line of questioning intensifies: “Are there any YouTubers that you think are sellouts?” He’s soon presented with a photo of notorious YouTuber Logan Paul: “What about this guy?” Dobrik doesn’t hesitate: “Yes. Major sellout. The biggest.” Asked to “describe” Paul “with a single word,” Dobrik responds: “You said it perfectly yourself. Sellout.”
He offered an update on Olivia Jade
If you’ve ever visited David Dobrik’s YouTube channel, you probably noticed all the celebrities flitting in and out of his videos. On Aug. 4, 2018, Dobrik palled around with John Stamos on the Fuller House set, even acting out a humorous vignette in front of what sounds like a live studio audience. (“Uncle Jesse?” “Yes, David?” “I just got dumped!” “Oh, David. This happens. I mean, hearts get broken.”) On July 11, 2018, Dobrik posted a video in which he’s hanging out with comedian and TV personality Howie Mandel, quite literally discussing bobbleheads. “I have my own bobblehead,” Mandel confessed in vintage Mandel style. “I had to pose for it, too,” he said, miming the bobble-action.
In the wake of the “celebrity college admissions scandal” that found wealthy parents allegedly shelling out millions of dollars to ensure their kids got into prestigious universities, Dobrik offered an update on Olivia Jade, Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli’s daughter. Loughlin and Giannulli were both embroiled in the scandal, while Jade is a YouTube star in her own right. (She’s also teamed up with Dobrik for a few memorable vlogs.) “She’s a sweet, smart girl so I’m sure she’s holding up good,” Dobrik told ET at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in March 2019. He also discussed the scandal with US Weekly: “I’m gonna catch myself in some stupid stuff later and, hopefully, I’ll have a good support system too,” he said.
Here’s why he didn’t participate in YouTube Rewind 2018
You’ve probably heard that the YouTube Rewind 2018 video didn’t so much drop as belly-flop: In December 2018, The Verge reported that it’s “officially the most disliked video on YouTube” ever, with over 15 million dislikes, as of April 2019. David Dobrik explained to ET why he didn’t wind up participating in the spectacle, which featured actor Will Smith, gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, and countless others: “I have to clear the air: I was asked to be in it. … I couldn’t make it. I’m sorry.”
Dobrik clearly wasn’t having the video, bluntly calling it “not good,” and adding, “They tried too hard.” He criticized the use of a “big set” and “huge celebrities,” emphasizing that “you don’t need any of that.” He suggested that the video ultimately failed by being overly showy: “You need, literally, a compilation — you can steal clips from other videos and it’ll still be a good Rewind.” And then, in case there was any room for misunderstanding, he opined that “you don’t need to create this new world of people whipping and nae nae-ing and dancing to Drake. Like, you don’t need to do that. It’s goofy.”
And from the Department of Practicing What You Preach: On Jan. 1, 2019, Dobrik posted his very own “YouTube Rewind!!” video, a compilation full of rigorous toe-sucking, fire-walking, and Dobrik jubilantly throwing a dart right into poor Scotty Sire’s hand. That’s the kind of content we crave and deserve.
David Dobrik and Liza Koshy’s very public breakup
The Verge called it “shockingly raw,” yet “surprisingly uplifting.” Refinery29 claimed the video helped “[reinvent] the celebrity break up.” David Dobrik’s succinctly titled “we broke up” video featured Dobrik having a (broken) heart-to-heart with ex-girlfriend and fellow YouTuber Liza Koshy. “We are broken up — Liza broke up with me six months ago,” Dobrik admitted. Soon enough, Koshy is tearing up, and Dobrik is getting into the nitty-gritty: “It wasn’t healthy for us to continue being together for now,” he said, scrunching up his face. “Basically what we’re trying to say is we’re friends,” Koshy emphasized. That’s the part everyone finds so revolutionary: Former lovers. Exes. Managing to still be… friends?
According to The Verge, the video’s popularity can be credited to how obvious it is that “the two deeply care for one another.” Many fans evidently keep rewatching the video, with one commenter insisting they’re “still waiting for their ‘we’re back together’ announcement.” Another astute commentator noted: “It sound like they’re explaining their breakup to all their YouTube children.” As of April 2019, “we broke up” has racked up over 51 million views. In fact, it was “No. 3” on YouTube’s “Top-Trending Videos” list in 2018, according to Variety. Meanwhile, Teen Vogue put a damper on all the sentimentality by reminding readers that “some research has pointed to the fact that staying friends with your ex might make you a psychopath.”
Oh, and speaking of psychopaths…
Trisha Paytas compared him to Ted Bundy
Does the name Trisha Paytas immediately make you drop everything and send it crashing to the floor? On Feb. 5, 2019, virtual teenybopper mag J-14 reported that the YouTube personality and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant had a considerable bone to pick with David Dobrik. In a since-deleted vlog, she reportedly implied that Dobrik’s boyish good-naturedness belied a truly craven and nefarious nature. “David’s on a whole other level of being an actual horrible person,” she reportedly sniped, getting teary over an on-camera joke that Dobrik and “her ex-boyfriend Jason Nash” had evidently made at her expense.
Before long, Paytas cranked up the drama to ten, comparing Dobrik to one of the world’s most notorious lunatics: “I used to think [Dobrik] was so charming in the same way Ted Bundy was charming, I guess. I mean, everyone thought he was charming, too. He turned out to be a serial killer.” But only a few days later, Paytas reportedly felt far more even-keeled about the whole situation: “I don’t think David is horrible,” she said in a follow-up vlog that also seems to have been deleted (via Dankanator). “I think he just doesn’t think sometimes.”
So, quick correction: Paytas doesn’t think Dobrik is capable of murdering innocent people. She just thinks he can be a little inconsiderate.
He’s cutting down on the vlogs… or is he?
Filling swimming pools with “1,400 pounds of dry ice.” Turning your assistant’s bedroom into a raucous beach party. Rest assured, David Dobrik’s career calls for concocting every kind of mischief: swapping out ice-cold Coronas for canola oil, convincing his friends they’ve “won the lottery,” on and on. In February 2019, Dobrik revealed he’d be reducing his vlogging output — dropping from three weekly videos to two — in response to his intense schedule (per Tubefilter). “I just need more time do other stuff,” he revealed, adding: “I want to say ‘yes’ to other opportunities, but I can’t because I’m literally, like, constricted by the videos.”
So just how insane is Dobrik’s schedule? “I go to bed at 7:00 AM when I’m editing because I can’t do anything else,” he said. “I just need to be on a healthier cycle.” According to Tubefilter, he confessed that he “currently has six canker sores in his mouth” and he strongly suspected that all the stress had “kind of made [him] sick.”
But not so fast. As one hawk-eyed fan observed, Dobrik evidently deleted his video roughly “24 hours” after posting it, for reasons perhaps best known to him. (Thankfully, the same fan preserved the deleted video for posterity’s sake.) What this ultimately means for Dobrik’s vlogging schedule is anyone’s guess, but judging by a quick scan at his subsequent output, it appears he’s indeed limiting himself to about eight vlogs a month. Can you cope?
His comments about Donald Trump came under fire
During a February 2019 installment of his Views podcast, David Dobrik invoked the wrath of social media by admitting that he has a good smattering of friends who support President Donald Trump. Dobrik acknowledged that “Trump isn’t doing the best thing for people like me” — immigrants, presumably (via We The Unicorns). Still, he claimed that having pro-Trump friends “never bothers me … for one second.” Perhaps already bracing for the inevitable blowback, he added: “Who gives a f**k? Chill. … I hate when people get mad at s**t like that.”
The Twitterverse frothed ferociously at these comments. “The white privilege jumped out,” wrote one aggrieved listener, while another remarked: “Is he not… an immigrant?” Because Dobrik is a recipient of DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals), plenty of people accused him of being hypocritical. “How you gonna say you’re cool with people who supports the same man who is trying to tear your family, and families like yours apart?” read one of several angry tweets. “YOU, as an UNDOCUMENTED immigrant, should be against that.”
His 420th video was going to be his last…
For reasons that likely won’t elude you, the number 420 is deeply important to David Dobrik. (In fact, his YouTube videos tend to be exactly “four minutes and twenty seconds” long, according to the Shorty Awards.) In December 2018, he revealed to the ADHD podcast that he’d always intended to stop filming new YouTube videos once he reached one particularly important milestone. After admitting he passed the marker by “a hundred vlogs,” Dobrik told host Travis Mills, “Dude, I wanted to stop vlogging… for my 420th video.” He explained that he’d recently met with Netflix to pitch his idea for a show: “It didn’t go through, so I couldn’t stop vlogging, because I literally had no other job.”
So what was this ill-fated pitch meeting like? Dobrik admitted he didn’t have particularly high hopes walking in, thinking to himself: “Oh my God, these people aren’t gonna care about me.” He credited scoring the meeting to his “agents” and “managers” rather than his own cachet. What kind of show was he envisioning? Well, it would’ve been “called David’s Frat House” and involved Dobrik purchasing, yes, “a frat house, ‘cuz none of my friends ever went to college — or me.” Dobrik and his Vlog Squad cohorts would effectively have gone “through the school system without actually going to school.”
Alas, it sounds like David’s Frat House won’t be coming to a streaming platform near you anytime soon.
Have you seen his invisible prank video?
Anyone with siblings knows that sometimes you just want to make them disappear, right? In a September 2018 stunt that We Are Unicorns grandly proclaimed was “the greatest prank video of all time,” David Dobrik managed to convince a friend’s younger brother that he’d become entirely invisible, and all it took was a bedsheet, a few willing accomplices, and a healthy dose of gullibility.
After Dobrik asks if he “[wants] to be the one to disappear,” 12-year-old Vardan Antonyan grunts, “Hell yeah!” He sits down, a bedsheet is thrown over his body, and when it’s whipped off, his family and friends pretend they can’t see him anymore. Screams ensue, and poor Antonyan proceeds to panic: “David, do you hear me?” he whimpers (we think). Soon, he’s sobbing in terror. Antonyan throws pillows and cries inconsolably, and he doesn’t stop crying — even after the bedsheet is tossed over his body again (to return him to visible status, naturally). “Was that cool?” Dobrik asks, and Antonyan replies: “No, no … I was yelling your name, I’m like, ‘David, David, please David!'” Believe it or not, Antonyan subsequently agrees to do the entire stunt again, everyone pretends to freak out when he lifts up a candle, and Dobrik eventually comes clean when the exercise is over: “We saw you the entire time.”
Impressionable young Vardan lets this cruel fact sink in for a moment. “That was amazing,” he beams.