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“What Do You Wanna Tell Joe Byron Right Now?” SideTalk’s TikTok Takeover

Lately, you may have noticed that many TikTok sounds exhibit some similar qualities. The online  minute long web show Sidetalk has been blowing up, resulting in snippets and remixes of iconic moments of the show. But what exactly is Sidetalk anyways? Let’s find out!

Sidetalk’s first episode was released in September 2019, having casual discussions with New York City residents about their everyday lives. While in its early stages, people featured in the show seem to be hesitant over being interviewed on the street, but with the rise of the channel came regular fan favourite individuals, such as Mr. Hard Hat and TJ.

Arguably one of the most popular people appearing on the show, TJ (commonly known as shirtless man) has become a Coney Island celebrity. From his unique pronunciation of Joe Biden (Joe Byron) to his Island endeavours, TJ has helped Sidetalk skyrocket to fame. Currently struggling to get back on his feet, endearing fans have supported him through Go Fund Me, where they have currently raised $17,000 USD and counting!

Mr. Hard Hat is well known for his construction-related appearances on the show. His flirtatious personality has been a hit on TikTok, and the puppies he occasionally carries are always a plus!

So what about the iconic sounds seen on TikTok? First, let’s discuss Bing Bong, a play on the (very short) title sequence to the show. As Sidetalk became more recognized in New York City, strangers have been interviewed while mimicking the music notes from the start of each clip. It is frequently associated with a man shouting the phrase from his car, with the most recent instance appearing in their Thanksgiving special. The term has been associated with the show since, appearing in many song remixes on TikTok.
So what is next for the series? Their most recent Thanksgiving episode has blown up, so some holiday-related episodes are likely going to experience the same treatment. If you’re a fan of the Humans of New York series, this web show will be right up your alley. You can check out the full series on Instagram, or browse their segment snippets on their TikTok.

Savannah is currently in her third year at Uvic, majoring in English and Business. When not swamped with studying, she can be found exploring downtown, drinking way too much coffee, reading, and enjoying the experiences UVic has to offer.
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