One thing the video-sharing service TikTok is great at is distilling the less fraught debates of our argumentative moment to their absurdist essence. Take the “Whose generation is this?” discussions that seem to be never-ending, thanks to the endless loop cycle of trend pieces and social media. In quick-witted, gently hilarious videos by Stoughton-based vlogger B Mo the Prince (real name: Brian Moller) the “generations” — millennials, Gen Zers, Gen Xers, boomers, and even micro strata like Xennials — chat about life, love, and what years, exactly, are the thresholds between these distinctions.
It’s a particularly 2020 strain of discourse, and Moller — at 32, part of the millennial generation — gives it extra quarantine resonance by playing most of his videos’ characters himself, while outfitted in various T-shirts and other accoutrements to let viewers know who’s who. The clips are brief (TikTok videos max out at 60 seconds) and funny, and they’ve helped Moller amass more than 560,000 followers on the platform.
Not bad for someone who’s been on TikTok for less than a year. Moller, raised in Avon, worked at the former 103.3 AMP Radio as a weekend and fill-in on-air personality earlier this year; his then-bosses were encouraging employees to give TikTok a shot, so he downloaded the video-sharing service. “And I can’t tell you how many times I opened it and was like, ‘I have no idea what I’m doing,’ ” he says. “So I just closed it out.” He eventually started playing around with it a bit — an early B Mo the Prince TikTok is a parody of the credits to NBC’s “The Office” featuring staff of the former pop station. When lockdown took hold, his free time increased, and so did his time to figure out video ideas.
In April, a clip of Moller and his wife, Sarah, that blended TikTok’s love of novelty dances with Moller’s generational commentary became a big hit. “We were walking one day and I said, ‘You know, we had all these TikTok dances, but we didn’t have TikTok to put them on,’ ” he recalls. “She said, ‘We should just do a video of that.’ ” The resulting clip — in which Moller and his wife dance to “millennial” classics like Soulja Boy Tell 'Em’s 2007 hit “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” — was a big hit on TikTok, racking up more than 1.4 million views to date.
Moller followed up that video with some other dance-centric ones, but he also decided to release more sketch-oriented videos. Last year, he took a comedy class at Improv Asylum, and part of the class’s curriculum involved sketch writing. “I always was interested in finding a way to write comedy,” he says. That class led to him filling up his phone’s Notes app with any particularly humorous thoughts. “That’s what they told me in that class: ‘Just write it all down. It might not make sense today, but in a week, maybe you look at it from a different lens and all of a sudden you have something,’ ” he says.
In the months since, those notes have flowered into a lengthy scroll of topically comic sketches, with Moller’s ear for quick dialogue giving them added energy. In one clip, Prince Florian, the romantic hero of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” seeks romantic advice from his fellow Disney prince Aladdin — Moller, an avowed “Disney nerd,” plays both. Another one is an interview with Moller taking on the persona of “Debate Fly,” who captivated viewers during the Kamala Harris-Mike Pence face-off a few weeks ago, and his slightly exasperated interviewer; other videos track the havoc wreaked by 2020. (Sarah also is the subject of a few videos.)
The one constant of the clips is Moller, whose “throw them out there and see what happens” attitude results in a steady stream of material that’s marked by a guy-next-door genuineness. “He’s always been in that content mind-set, and it translates so well,” says Nick Benevenia, a freelance sound designer who worked with Moller at 103.3 AMP Radio. “He’s funny, he’s fun, he has a really attractive personality. You talk to B Mo, and you feel like you’ve known him your whole life.”
Moller has embraced the TikTok community, replying to fans in his comments, DJing live sets on the platform, and making videos, like a recent one for a fellow TikToker with cancer that featured characters from across his multiverse, to benefit those in need. “I’ve made new friends off TikTok,” says Moller. “I’ve met some of the nicest, greatest, most inspiring people — they’re supporting each other and excited to see each other succeed.”
TikTok’s easy publishing features and decentralized nature give the platform a bit of an early-blogging-era feel, with new notables popping up seemingly more than daily. Moller’s advice to potential creators: “Just stop being afraid of it,” he says. “For the longest time, I would come up with something and think it was stupid, because we’re all our own worst critic. I genuinely thought no one, other than me or my friends, would find anything I did truly funny. And here I am, a few months later, where people are like, ‘Do you tour? Do you do stand-up?’ So, I would say, just do it. Put it out there. If it blows up, it blows up. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. Do another one the next day.”
It’s good advice coming from someone who put it to the test — and who’s created a sketch show’s roster of characters in the process. “I want to put stuff out that people like,” says Moller. “If you have the ability to make someone so happy that noise involuntarily shoots from their face . . . you’ve got to make them that happy.”
Find B Mo the Prince on TikTok and Instagram at @bmotheprince.