Everyone Wants To Be Jake Shane’s Best Friend

The rising star on celeb collabs, Taylor Swift, and becoming TikTok’s comedic relief.

Written by Hannah Kerns
Photographs by Xin Xin

In almost all of Jake Shane’s videos, someone is giggling in the background. If the 23-year-old TikToker (perhaps better known by his handle @octopusslover8) was on any other platform, the laughter — courtesy of his roommates, Brett Chody and Julia Mervis — might come across as strategic, a directorial laugh track inviting viewers to join in on the fun of their Los Angeles apartment. But this doesn’t feel like that. Neither robotic nor expertly timed, this laughter is natural, friendly, and riveting — just like Shane’s videos, which have earned him 2.1 million followers and 116.8 million likes on TikTok. Only a year after graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in PR, Shane has become TikTok’s latest obsession, a frequent guest star in every friend circle’s group chat.

Best known for his comedy skits and historical reenactments, Shane’s account is flooded with new comments daily, requesting that he act out scenarios like “Diet Coke’s reaction to Coke Zero” and “Abraham Lincoln’s bodyguard the day of the assassination.” His content is genuinely unique, a rarity on TikTok, where trends tend to dominate — and the giggling that surrounds him is only part of his appeal.

When Shane came to Elite Daily’s office in early June, I let slip that I heard “Maroon” live on the Eras Tour. He freaked out, Celsius can forgotten and arms waving. “I actually don’t even want to hear it. You were in the room?” he asked, before begrudgingly saying, “At least you got to experience it. I’m happy that I’m sitting with someone that got to experience it.” I only half believed him. But later, when the interview was over and he was mid-photoshoot, he called out to me, “Guess what I’m playing in there? ‘Maroon,’” and I got that little glowy feeling that comes with connecting with someone for the first time.

It’s a feeling that Shane’s followers, whom he affectionately calls “Pussies,” know all too well. His videos are like one elaborate inside joke, and everyone — from the Jonas Brothers to Lea Michele — wants to be in on it. Below, Shane opens up about TikTok, his comedy, and, of course, Taylor Swift.

Elite Daily: Originally, your account started as funny reviews of octopus dishes. How did you transition from that to comedy skits/historical reenactments?

Jake Shane: I was posting octopus reviews on TikTok, and it was moving the needle, but not really. Then, I saw Julia Fox do a TikTok where she replied to people’s comments, acting out what they said. I decided to try it. I remember the first one was Bill Clinton denying his affair with Monica Lewinsky. Before filming it, I was Googling how to speak like him. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but it was midnight, so I was like, “F*ck it.” I just acted as I would act if I was Bill Clinton in that situation, and people thought it really funny. With TikTok, I throw stuff at the wall and see if it sticks even slightly. In this case, it really, really stuck, and I hope it continues to stick.

ED: At this point, your comments section is full of suggestions for your next videos. How do you choose which ones to do?

JS: Most of the time, my roommates and I will scroll through comments and bounce ideas off each other. Sometimes, I’ll see a comment, and an idea will come to me immediately. Other times, I have to sit on it to figure out how to make it work. Occasionally, I just feel it. I know I’m ready to act and be funny in the moment, so I just go for it.

ED: Do any of their suggestions surprise you?

JS: People get really, really creative. The situations they come up with are so niche and so funny. Someone commented, “Can you do the sun finding out sunblock blocked them?” My roommate, Brett, and I were together, and she’s like, “OK, we should do it as if you were blocked on Instagram.”

The only thing I’m thinking about is making my friends laugh. I’m so focused on that. I don’t have the mental capacity to laugh myself.

ED: Do you ever ignore any suggestions?

JS: No. My favorites section has hundreds and hundreds of comments that are funny but I’m unsure about. I just scroll through there, write stuff down, and bounce around some ideas. I never ignore them, though. I just have to take them through my brain to see if they work.

The one suggestion I notice the most is Jackie Kennedy reacting to Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy. I am so scared to do it. The ones that get requested so much are the ones I get anxious about. But once I come up with a really good idea, I’ll do it.

ED: How often — if ever — do you break character?

JS: Not often. I did in the bologna video [where bologna finds out how it’s pronounced] because it was just so stupid, and my friends and I were so high. But I rarely do because I have the worst anxiety, so while I’m filming, the only thing I’m thinking about is making my friends laugh. I’m so focused on that. I don’t have the mental capacity to laugh myself. Even when I watch my videos back, I have the straightest face.

ED: Your comedy is really smart without being mean. Was that on purpose?

JS: I’ve never subscribed to the mean stuff. I can be mean to myself, and I handle that by making fun of myself on the internet so I can feel better about it. For example, the way I speak about anxiety and OCD, I laugh about it, which doesn’t work for everyone. But for a lot of people, they’ll DM me and be like, “Oh, my God, I also feel this way.”

ED: Are there any DMs in particular that really stick out to you, good or bad?

JS: I got this message the other day that was like, “My friend passed the other week, and you’re the only reason that I’m laughing today.” I have a hard time crying because I’m on antidepressants. I’m very numb to the world, but those messages make me cry. It also really puts things into perspective because when you have all these followers, it’s hard to visualize them.

ED: You have a lot of different catchphrases, from “Pussy PSA” to “Tents Up.” How did you come up with them?

JS: Can I be completely transparent? I was super high in bed, and I literally just came up with it and texted my friends, “I have something for us to do tomorrow” because it’s a call-and-response thing. I was just making sh*t up as I went.

ED: Do you remember the first time you went viral? What was your initial reaction?

JS: It was the video where Paul Revere tells people the British are coming. I did it as if he was inviting George Washington to a party, and George Washington asked him, “Why didn’t you tell me the British were coming?”

I remember the week that I went viral, I was just with my friends the entire time, so I was able to feel normal. I celebrated each milestone with them, and they helped me maintain this sense of normalcy.

ED: Was there a particular moment where you realized you had made it?

JS: I went to the TikTok Vanity Fair party [in March 2023]. It actually happened because I met a TikTok rep at Erewhon that same week. The next day, she invited me to the party. I didn’t process what it was until I got there and was like, “Why is Maggie Rogers here? What’s happening?” At that moment, I realized, “OK, things are going to be a little different now.”

I’m more scared about being in a room with 10 people looking at me, as opposed to millions of people following me.

ED: Oh, wow. What’s it like navigating the influencer scene in L.A.?

JS: I navigate it like it’s work. It’s important to make personal relationships in any new space you’re entering, but by keeping my best friends that I’ve had for five years, it really doesn’t feel as intimidating. It’s more of a cool experience that we can do together.

ED: What has been the most surprising thing about becoming a creator and building a following?

JS: Honestly, when celebrities interact with my stuff. I’m such a pop culture fanatic that I get so excited every time. Zooey Deschanel dueted my stuff, and I freaked out. I also really, really freaked out when Emma Roberts followed me on Instagram. I was like, “What the f*ck is happening?”

ED: That’s so exciting. Do you feel like you’re “used to” it yet?

JS: I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I always feel like a fish out of water. I have the worst impostor syndrome. I always have. For me to just graduate college and then have this happen is a double whammy. But I’m definitely gaining more confidence in entering spaces. At first, I was so scared. I always want people to laugh with me, but I’m scared of them laughing at me.

When I’m posting, it’s easier to throw that mindset away, because it’s an invisible stage. It’s like you’re putting yourself out there to millions and millions of people, but you can’t see them. I’m more scared about being in a room with 10 people looking at me, as opposed to millions of people following me. I don’t know why.

ED: So far, you’ve made videos with some pretty big names. Can we talk about Sofia Richie first? How was the wedding?

JS: The most beautiful ceremony filled with so much love and happiness.

ED: What about your connection with Alix Earle?

JS: We talked a lot the week I went really viral. Some of the stuff I’m experiencing, she’s also already gone through. I’ll text her about it if I ever have anxiety, and she’s always so sweet and so kind. It’s nice to talk to someone who really gets it.

ED: And the Jonas Brothers collab? How did that happen?

JS: That actually happened completely organically. I woke up one morning to Nick Jonas dueting me as if he was in the skit. He played the other soda, but there were a few characters left. I knew I wanted Joe and Kevin to play the other characters, so I DMed Nick, “Thank you for dueting my stuff. We got to find a Scott.” [Scott was one of the characters’ names.] It was just me throwing him a bone and hoping that he would do it. The next day, he was like, “Scott video incoming from Joe,” and then Kevin hopped on. And the rest is history.

ED: You post about Taylor Swift a lot, and I know you went to the Eras Tour in Las Vegas. Will you go again in LA?

JS: Yes. I really want the surprise songs to be “Daylight” on the piano and “Call It What You Want” on the guitar.

ED: Do you have a favorite era of hers, or one you identify with the most?

JS: I think I’m a Midnights sun, a 1989 rising, and a Reputation moon. (My actual signs are Scorpio sun, Gemini rising, Gemini moon — I know, I’m sorry.) But my favorite era of hers is Evermore because it’s my mom’s favorite album. We’d listen to it together during COVID. It was just such a period of uncertainty, but I remember the one thing that I was sure about was how much I loved Taylor Swift. I know that sounds so silly, but I would listen to the entire album, start to finish, on a two-hour walk every single day.

ED: Are you on Eras Tour TikTok? What other rabbit holes do you go down on the app?

JS: Every other video on my FYP is either Taylor Swift’s surprise songs or the Renaissance Tour — Beyoncé singing “Heated” and Blue Ivy dancing.

My deep, deep dives are always and forever Taylor Swift. But I also started watching movies on TikTok. They’ll post Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and so on. I’ll go find the next and the next. The guy who breaks bottles on the stairs, too! Oh, my f*cking God. It’s my favorite thing in the entire world. I hope that guy is making a bag off of that, because the number of bottles he is breaking?

ED: You’ve talked before about acting aspirations. Do you have a dream co-star or project?

JS: Jennifer Lawrence for a co-star. And I don't know exactly what my dream project would be, but I would like to do something in a similar vein of humor that you see in Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; Bridesmaids; or Mean Girls.

ED: Where do you see yourself in five years?

JS: Hopefully acting. I’m a very superstitious person, so I’m always hesitant to say where I will for sure be, but in a dream world, I will be acting and still making people laugh.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Photographs by Xin Xin