Troye Sivan once described himself on camera as a “slightly more busted version of Timothée Chalamet.” Luckily for him now he’s famous, so of course that means he got to played by the actual Timothée Chalamet in a recent Saturday Night Live skit.
Sivan is an Australian pop star who got his start singing covers and uploading them in the early days of YouTube. Now, he’s all over TikTok and has released multiple hit songs and viral music videos. On Nov. 13, the Sivan solidified his resurgence and latest bout of fame after Chalamet played him in a SNL skit that parodied the musician. The skit came across as being tilted towards a pointedly online and gay audience. It also speaks to how Sivan has recently been able to use the internet to coalesce a sizable fandom with his presence online.
The Sivan-themed SNL skit portrayed a scenario where a woman, played by Sarah Sherman, seeks help for sleep issues from a doctor. The physician uses a computer that allows the anxious woman to visualize her sleep paralysis demons while being quickly awakened. At that moment, Chalamet-as-Sivan appears with jostled blond curls dressed in a fitted white tank top. Sherman goes on to describe the mysterious man haunting her dreams, and Chalamet dances choreography inspired by the choreography from the music video, “Got Me Started.”
The skit highlights an especially flirty moment from his choreography in the viral “Got Me Started” video, where Sivan pulls his pants down and wiggles his butt around in red underwear. Now clips of it have already taken off on TikTok, where a snippet has already garnered 2.5 million views.
Sivan continued to pursue music long after his YouTube days. He’s appeared on tracks with other pop stars like Charli XCX and later found success with the release of his single, “Strawberries & Cigarettes.” However, his recent rise has completely catapulted the star to new heights in popularity and general name recognition. He’s seemingly inescapable on platforms on TikTok as his music and videos go viral, and others repurpose his music for new trends.
The latest turn in Sivan’s career has largely been fueled by his presence online. Sivan released cheeky teases of artists featured on tracks and worked with musicians who similarly had active fanbases on the platforms like TikTok. He activated K-pop stans by collaborating with Hyunjin of Stray Kids and brought in singers known for their popularity online, like Pink Pantheress. When a trend emerged, like the dramatic camera work of the “tube girl,” Sivan was quick to jump on the band wagon and make a video with her.
While Sivan’s resurgence appears to be big enough to make him worthy of a parody on SNL, even the writers of the skit still seem a bit unsure. When Sherman asks if Sivan is famous, the doctor responds with a very clear exclamation: “He’s gay famous! It’s different!” Now with the internet and its bubbles, who is or is not “mainstream” gets muddled. Less and less celebrities transcend the all-encompassing stardom in a pre-TikTok and influencer era. People are big and niche at the same time. It’s confusing, but hey, at least we know what it takes to get Timothée Chalamet to play you.