The rising celebrity of the Cape Breton TikTok creator’s video

SYDNEY, NS — BJ Brophy is starting to gain recognition in real life thanks to his popularity of TikTok videos.

With a rapidly growing TikTok fanbase of 168,000 subscribers at press time – up from 166.5,000 on Saturday morning, his video views range from thousands to millions. Last month, for example, his videos received 5.5 million views.

Brophy’s comedic content is also popular on Facebook Reels, with his most viewed video reaching 33.7 million views.

“He can’t go anywhere without being recognized. It’s hilarious,” laughed his girlfriend Chantal LeBlanc.

“She understands a lot too,” Brophy added. “Just being in a few videos.”

Collectively, Brophy has 250,000 followers on Facebook and TikTok. The constant viral video hits on both social media channels led Brophy to strike sponsorship deals. The latest, a paid partnership with restaurant chain St. Louis Bar and Grill, has paid “good chunks of change” – a sign that Brophy’s pandemic-driven hobby could become a good addition to revenue.

“It’s turning into a part-time hustler,” he said. “I think I’ve found my niche.”

Viral video fame

  • BJ Brophy
  • Grew up: Sydney
  • TikTok launched: the boredom of confinement
  • Niche: Husband-wife comedy
  • Truth about the videos: maybe she sings
  • Currently has: 168,000 subscribers
  • TikTok:
  • Also on: Facebook Reels, Instagram

A continuing care assistant for 19 years, Brophy launched his TikTok channel during the 2020 lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bored, he checked out the platform through LeBlanc’s account, then decided to try his own.

Within weeks, Brophy had his first viral video hit after completing the scream challenge at the gym.

The video reached 600,000 views in about a day.

“I was quite amazed by that,” he said. “And I was hooked at that time.”

LeBlanc added, “Those are low numbers now compared to what you have now. It’s crazy.”

Married life is the theme of many of his videos, with Brophy primarily playing both himself and Leblanc (he dons a bathrobe with a towel wrapped around his head when portraying her).

Brophy said that when he started doing marriage comedy, he found his niche.

In the past month, Brophy has had two videos that have reached over 5.5 million views and the video for St. Louis restaurants (currently at 431.4K views) was released as a Spark Ads ad – a paid feature offered to the platform to increase appearance across user flows.

“It seems like the ball is really rolling right now,” Brophy said.

Hours per day

Brophy estimates that he spends an hour a day on every video he posts, which is daily. About half of that time is spent finding ideas through other creators on the site.

A popular trend on TikTok is to remake another content creator’s video with your unique style. Each search on the site will bring up the original creator’s video along with the others, in order of most views.

“The original creator (of Brophy’s most popular Facebook Reel video) messaged me and just complimented me because he never got the views I had,” Brophy said.

“Which I often get because I’m re-doing people’s videos and then they text me and they’re like, ‘God, you’re killing him.'”

The father sometimes has his children in the videos, the ones rated G for all audiences. Some videos are rated more PG-13, although many jokes and innuendos are not understood by younger viewers.

BJ Brophy, left, with his girlfriend Chantal LeBlanc at the St. Louis Bar and Grill in Dartmouth in late June. The national channel and Brophy have signed a paid partnership deal for a video featuring him and LeBlanc in a location that takes on the all-you-can-eat restaurant challenge. – Contributed

“I used to be (more R-rated). I got a few taken down…which isn’t hard to do on TikTok,” he explained.

“I tried to tone it down for a while but the views went down as well. So now if Chantal says, you don’t put this up, I know it’s gonna be hit… I swear her grand- mother is my biggest fan.”

With 3.9 million likes on TikTok (and counting), Brophy hopes his viral video fame will continue to grow and more paid partnership deals will be signed.

He plans to continue drawing inspiration from married life, and LeBlanc isn’t worried about being the butt of many a joke. For the most part, they’re not really based on real life.

Except for the horrible chanting while cleaning up the video, she laughs, that might be partially true.

Nicole Sullivan is a diversity and education reporter, who steps up where it counts, at the Cape Breton Post.