Back in June, Jake Novak watched his audience completely turn on him, becoming the latest stop aboard TikTok’s unwavering hate train. The content creator opened up in an interview with Vulture about his mental health following the event, breaking his silence for the first time in the seven weeks since posting his SNL cast audition video, which opened with: “I wanna be the next SNL cast member!”
That now-infamous line echoed through the darkest corners of the grand TikTok cavern, going on to amass 4.8 million views to-date, for all the wrong reasons.
Hey @Saturday Night Live - SNL I hear you have some openings next season sooo… 🙋🏻♂️ #snl #saturdaynightlive #actor #comedian #rapper #singer #comedysong #audition #casting #lornemichaels #katemckinnon #petedavidson #broadway #30rock #studio8H
What started out as innocent mockery quickly turned vicious in just 24 hours, with Novak becoming the subject of death threats and people encouraging him to commit suicide. The death threats even made it all the way to Novak’s friends, who at one point were afraid that he might’ve been dead.
Novak’s friends are keeping up-to-date on his internet reputation for him, with Novak having taken a break from it to help preserve his own mental health, saying, “I’m in a very distrustful relationship with the internet right now, so anything that’s coming my way or to the direction of people that I know, I’m just choosing not to engage with.”
Novak wasn’t always dead set on completely unplugging himself from internet creation. He actually had a video ready for the next Wednesday, a posting schedule that he touted in his SNL audition video, singing, “See, weekly music videos are my jam, bruh.” It’s a schedule that was “self-imposed” according to Novak, and before posting his follow-up video, he showed it to a friend, who advised him not to post it, telling him, “This is not what you need to do next.”
It took the internet a while to catch up to his wave of silence, with many beating the hate cycle into the ground even more, before realizing that Novak had completely disappeared from the internet altogether.
Does he need to be on suicide watch
It didn’t take them long after the realization to find where he’d gone into hiding, and it was in complete view of the public: Disneyland.
Novak was acting as a member of the Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet featured in the Main Street section of the park. Novak started getting recognized from his TikTok videos at his job, and while he didn’t have any overtly negative encounters, he did notice that phones started tilting in his direction even more than before, telling Vulture, “The nature of that job is that at least hundreds of people a day are going to see us, and many of them are going to have their phones out and record us, and that’s something that’s just a part of that job. What is unusual is that I’ve sort of come to a less trustful place. I think in the past, I was reasonably sure that anyone who was taking a video was doing so purely out of a place of like, They’re on vacation, they’re having a good time, they wanna remember this nice thing that they saw and enjoyed. Now I look at everyone with a phone as I’m singing and doing my job, and I’m just not sure what they are going to do with that.”
Novak remains adamant on returning to content creation at some point, but for now, he’s taking a step back from it all, explaining that he’s reevaluating how he interacts with the platforms he used to call home. He’s slowing down, saying, “I’m not worrying so much about working multiple jobs and then also working full-time hours doing this content-creation work, which would often make it so that I was sleeping an hour a night sometimes.” For now, he’s keeping the brakes on and is waiting to see what other opportunities are in store for him, grappling with the repercussions of his newfound fame and what that’ll mean for the future.