"Hello everybody, it's me, Kylie Jenner: self-made billionaire mogul, and welcome to my bathroom." So begins viral comedian Chase Icon's most viewed voiceover video, in which she dubs over Jenner's infamous office tour — the one that spawned the "rise and shine" meme. In the original clip, posted to Twitter in early December, Chase-as-Kylie shows off her decked-out Kylie Cosmetics office, which is filled with "toilets," "pictures of Katy Perry," and course Jenner's own name in glowing neon ("so we don't forget.")
"Would you like Adderall?" Chase-as-Kylie asks, as Jenner shows her branded M&Ms to the camera. "Just kidding, they're for me."
In the two months since the video was first posted, it's been viewed 1.2 million times, and spawned five other installments. Chase, a young trans woman based in California, hasn't stopped at Kylie. She regularly trolls men on Grindr by requesting they only chat in voice memos (in one clip she only speaks in Charli XCX lyrics) and posts short clips as Lady Gaga, imagining Mother Monster trapped in her makeup artist's basement and begging for food, or dubbing over her Vogue 72 questions video. She scored another viral hit with her take on Kim Kardashian West's outrageous kitchen tour ("We have every type of vegetable in here," Chase-as-Kim says while showing off her vegetables, before making a hilarious Stephen Sondheim reference), which has also racked up over one million views.
PAPER phoned up Chase to talk about her meteoric rise to viral infamy, only to discover that she was hanging out with both Jenner and Gaga, who agreed to chat about whether it's legal to say "rise and shine" and when we can expect LG6.
Since your Kylie Jenner office tour video went viral in early December, you've gained around 30,000 followers. What has it been like to grow that fast?
Oh, it's been crazy. I never really thought that I would go viral for anything that I'm actually like proud of. I thought if I ever went viral for anything it'd be for something stupid. Like someone took an off guard photo of me and turned into a meme. It's been really cool. I got recognized the other day in Ulta by an employee. I was like, what?
Before the Kylie videos, which you're probably best known for, you also had a few videos go viral of you trolling guys on Grindr by making them send you voice memos. What inspired that?
It was honestly inspired by this guy who randomly started sending me a bunch of voice memos and it was really weird. I was like, what a strange way to like go about interacting with somebody for the first time. So I was like, I should try that. Maybe that'll work for me. And I just... it was a hoot. It was really funny.
Have any of the guys caught on to what you're doing, or are they all super oblivious?
I feel like some of them have caught on to what I was doing. Kind of realized that they're getting like — not necessarily played, but that I'm being playful in a sense. But that hasn't really like repelled anybody. I think that if they're going to send the voice message back to me, like I got someone hooked, they're going to stay along for the ride.
And do you always feel comfortable posting those on Twitter? Have guys gotten aggressive or too hot for Twitter?
Nobody's ever gotten too aggressive, at least not via voice memo, because I would expose the shit out of them. But I would say that they've definitely either just been flops or not that good. Most of the time I do ask if it's okay that I post it on my blog, like the voice messages. And honestly they've all agreed. So I'm pretty lucky with that, I would say. Haven't had anybody act crazy. And I try to use people who are not that close to me usually. Because I don't want somebody to like see me in public and be like, "Hey, you're the one who trolled me."
From there you made your now infamous Kylie video. What was your reaction to watching Kylie's office tour?
I was like, wow, she is being really awkward. I was obsessed with the way that she would hold her hands. It looked like there was something lacking in her spirit or something. And I was like, "Oh, I can feel that." I'm not sure if you're familiar with the comedian Deven Green, but she does these "welcome to my home" videos that are like voiceovers of Brenda Dixon. Like lifestyle videos. And they're super funny, super satirical. So it was like, I should do my own like modern take on what Deven Green does.
Why do you think Kylie is so specifically right for that kind of parody?
I think it's the right because she doesn't really have,you know, a super personality and you don't really see a lot of interesting things come out of her mouth. I wouldn't say. So I think when you're saying, like, you know, off the wall shit, it just hits people a different way.
Do you think there's a possibility that she's seen one of your videos?
I'm pretty sure she has. Something in my soul tells me that she has. Because I'll go on my spam Instagram account and I'll just open, you know, the explore page, and I'll see it pop up right on the top of IGTV. If I'm seeing this, Kylie's probably seeing this.
Kylie Jenner - My Everyday Makeup Look (VOICEOVER) https://t.co/gzm0k4dR6u— CHASE ICON (@CHASE ICON)1580517700.0
What made you decide to continue the series?
When people like something that I do, it makes me want to do it more. Because I'm a sucker for approval, honestly. And so people are like "post more" and I was like, guess I'm doing a seven-part series.
And another thing you do regularly is videos where you impersonate Lady Gaga. When did you first notice that you kind of sound like her or could do her voice well?
Literally nobody has ever told me that in my real life. Like nobody's ever told me that I sound like Lady Gaga. So when people started telling me that on the internet, I was like... maybe I can work on something and try to actually emulate the way that she speaks, the tones that she uses and her inflections. But yeah, it was random people on the internet who told me. Nobody from my real life was ever kind enough to tell me that I sound like Mother Monster.
What are the steps to getting the perfect Gaga voice?
I would say the first step is you've got to be a little bit nasally. She kind of talks a little bit nasally and then she also has a rasp in her voice. When she speaks she rasps a little bit. And also kind of talks elegantly, you know? It's almost like she has an accent of some sort, but she doesn't, it's like her own accent. The Gaga accent. I think.
Are you a Little Monster?
Oh, I am the biggest Lady Gaga stan ever. I feel like that gives me the right to make fun of her because I have just been like stanning her since the beginning. I mean like ARTPOP... I was 13 when ARTPOP came out and it changed my life forever.
Wow. Way to make me feel old. Who are some other people you stan who you could maybe see yourself parodying or paying tribute to in the future?
Probably Charli XCX. She's a fave for sure. I love making fun of Farrah Abraham. She's lots of fun. I'm working on some voiceovers for some of her little mommy lifestyle videos. She has the same Kylie vibe. Where it's like, is there something going on back there? Or is it just an empty head?
You also tweet very openly about your day-to-day life as a trans woman experiencing dysphoria, being misgendered. Is it important for you to be counterbalancing the humor with your reality and lived experience?
The humor is the content I want people to see. And then when I talk about dysphoria is when I'm using Twitter as a diary. I don't know if that looks very good for the people who want to follow me just for comedy, but I'm like, "You're also going to get my entire life story of a trans woman. Thank you."
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Ideally, what would this viral infamy and your voiceover work lead to?
Honestly, I don't really know. I would like to do something on TV. I think that'd be cool. It's hard to say because I do something so specific that it's hard to imagine me turning it into something. But I think I'll find a way.
I love the idea of doing voice things. Because then nobody has to see my face, so I don't have to wear makeup and I don't really have to get dressed. It's lovely.
So I heard that you're actually hanging out with some of the people that you do voiceovers of. I was wondering if maybe you could put Kylie on the phone so I can ask few questions.
Oh yeah. Okay. Let me call her over really quick.
[As Kylie Jenner] Hello.
It's me, Kylie. It's Kylie. Hi.
Hi. How are you feeling today?
Honestly, I'm feeling okay. Stormi won't stop crying, so I shoved her in the washing machine. No big deal. We do that all the time. Travis loves it when we do that. It really eases our nerves as parents, honestly.
Last weekend you had a huge party for the launch of the Stormi Collection. Do you ever feel weird using your child to sell makeup?
I totally don't feel weird about that. What's wrong with selling my children? I mean, if people want to buy it, it just makes sense.
Should we be expecting another office tour anytime soon? Are there any parts of the office that we didn't see?
Well, I would do a tour of my sex dungeon there, but it's too dark for the cameras to really see. And honestly, I just, you know... I'm thinking about the kids. I have a very broad audience. I didn't really want them to see that side of me.
Kylie, what do you think are the best Kylie Cosmetics products?
Oh, well, we invented this thing called lipstick. You put it on your lips and it stays all day unless you rub it, or kiss someone, or eat food, or drink water. So we really invented that and I'm super proud of the formula. I formulated it myself. I'm also a chemist.
Do you believe that you are your mother's favorite daughter?
I wouldn't say I'm her favorite. I would say that I'm her best. So that counts for something.
Which of your sisters is your favorite?
Um, out of my sisters, I would have to say probably Kendall because I look way more successful when I'm next to her.
I have a legal question: am I allowed to say "rise and shine" to wake someone up?
Don't say that. No, I'm sorry. I'm going to have to call my lawyers in order to verify that any further. Thank you.
Can we expect an album soon?
The Rise and Shine EP is definitely on its way. Nobody else is allowed to sing along to it. It's copyrighted.
What's the sound going to be, what's the vibe?
I'm thinking violin, xylophone, techno beat. Possibly a little bit of jazz, you know, to jazz it up a little bit. I have a lot of ideas for the album. It's actually going to be produced by SOPHIE. Um. I love her.
Well, it's great to see you supporting trans women, considering that your mother is also a trans woman. Although I think you call her your father.
Oh yeah. Daddy's a beautiful woman.
Speaking of music, I heard that you and Chase are also hanging out with Lady Gaga. Could you put her on the phone?
Um, let me see. Oh, she's kind of busy. Just kidding. Um, she's on her way.
[As Lady Gaga] Hello.
Oh my God, Mother Monster. It's such an honor to talk to you.
Yes, it's me. What about it?
Related | In Defense of Lady Gaga's 'ARTPOP'
First I have to ask the question that's on all of our minds. When is LG6 coming?
Well, you see I'm pregnant with LG6. I know it's been over like nine months, over 12 honestly, possibly more. But I just really want to let it incubate inside of me. And honestly, it just brings me joy to see all the gays on the edges of their seats. You know, it's like they're on the edge of glory. It's a beautiful thing to me.
Lady Gaga Navy Seals https://t.co/6kszmtvmDW— CHASE ICON (@CHASE ICON)1577688938.0
How do you feel about the "Stupid Love" leak?
All I have to say about that is, can y'all stop? Please. I mean, it really was not ready to come out. I hadn't even added the duck sounds in yet. There were duck, geese, and even chicken coop noises that I was really, really, really looking forward to adding to that song and I'm so embarrassed that it leaked without the most important feature. So please stop.
While we've been waiting for the album, you have launched Haus Laboratories. How does it feel to be a cosmetics mogul?
It feels amazing. Honestly. It was what I was born to do. There's no more satisfying feeling than poorly blending liquid eyeshadow onto my eyes and calling it a look. It's my favorite thing to do. Sarah Tanno is really good at it as well. She's inspired me with a lot of muddy looks. My eye-lie-ner is beautiful for having a good wing, you know? You can fly away.
What is your favorite Haus Labs product?
Oh gosh, there's so many good ones. I invented them all myself, so it's really hard to say. But I really love the eyebrow topper. It's a glittery brow topper and it makes your eyebrows sparkle. I think nobody's ever done it before. Honestly a stroke of genius on myself and Sarah Tanno's part. Super duper proud of the formula there. I very much formulated. Formulaically.
What is the most important makeup tip that Sarah Tanno has given you?
Blend with your fingers. That's probably the number one. I would never use a brush.
Gaga, how much creative control do you actually have at Haus Laboratories?
I have all the creative control. I tell everybody what to do directly from Sarah Tanno's basement over... you see we have a series of cups attached by strings and it's a really convenient way to communicate. That's how I run the show over there. Nothing new for me.
Since you and Kylie are in the room together right now, could you ever see yourself collaborating with Kylie Cosmetics?
I am nothing like Kylie Jenner. You know? I write my own songs, I formulate my own lipstick. We're nothing alike and I don't think that our creative auras would mesh really well together. To be frank.
Lady Gaga - Telephone (2010) https://t.co/mTvLVfXGq3— CHASE ICON (@CHASE ICON)1578109354.0
Last year was such a huge year for you with A Star is Born. Will we see you in another film anytime soon?
I'm considering taking a role for Coneheads 4, but I don't know. It's kind of difficult to balance, you know, the whole not releasing LG6 thing and also running a whole makeup line by myself essentially. Mostly. So it's difficult, but I'm definitely considering the role for Coneheads.
What is your favorite Stephen Sondheim musical?
Into the Woods. Period.
There was a disappointing film adaptation of Into the Woods a few years ago. If it were to be remade, would you play the Witch?
If it were to be remade, I would play every character. I would play the Baker's Wife, the Baker, the Witch. I'd play Little Red, and Jack, and Jack's Mom. And I'd play the giant, and honestly, I would probably just forget all the dialogue and just sing the entire time. I think that would be very, very Enigma.
With an Oscar and several Grammys to your name, you must be looking to EGOT. If you were going to head to Broadway, what role are you dying to play?
I would have to say I would probably be The Cat in the Hat in Seussical. Or possibly the Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof. Those are two of my favorites. They inspire my art massively.
And Gaga, one final question before I let you go.
Did you kill Lina Morgana?
I'm sorry. I have a makeup meeting to go to. Um. Bye now.
Photo courtesy of Chase Icon