A 76-year-old lollipop man is taking the internet by storm after racking up over 84 million views with his TikTok dance videos.
Brian Kilgallon and his son Jay Scott, 28, started making dancing videos as a way to pass time during the 2020 lockdowns, neither one expecting it to gain such traction.
@jayscotttttttake 2 of me & my 76 year old dad slaying another tiktok dance haha ????????????????????????????????♬ original sound – DJ Ty Combs ????????
“I randomly decided to post a video of me teaching him a dance and the video got 700,000 views,” Jay said, adding that dancing together helps them maintain their close relationship.
“We show an authentic father and son relationship. I think that’s what people connect with.”
Many of their videos have gained thousands of views, with their fans often leaving comments praising the pair.
“I just love this. You’re such a good son. I love that you spend time with him, keep him moving and grooving, he is going to be The Papa of Tik Tok,” one user wrote.
“He has got to be the most loveable person ever… can’t get enough of this,” wrote another.
“Aww, this is lovely to see, cherish these moments. I lost my dad this year, this made me smile xx,” commented a third.
Kilgallon equally loves learning the dance routines, saying that “it keeps me young”.
“When Jay said about TikTok at first I said ”Is that an ice cream?’,” he said.
“I want to show older people that your life doesn’t stop. Age is just a number.”
@jayscottttttHAPPY SATURDAY from me & my iconic 75 year old dad ????????????????????????????????♬ CUFF IT – Beyoncé
Still working as a lollipop man, Killgallon says he often gets recognised on the street with drivers honking their horns while calling out “TikTok lollipop man” in recognition.
“It was mind-boggling to get 84 million views. I wanted to make fame as a footballer,” he said.
“At 76 I never thought this would happen to me.”
But Kilgallon isn’t the only Baby Boomer rising to TikTok super stardom.
Several older social media stars have started booming on TikTok, gaining thousands of views from their seven to eight-figure fanbase.
Most of them may have started out using the app for fun, or because of their grandchildren’s insistence, but some were lucky enough to go viral- turning their internet fame into paid ads and endorsements.
While TikTok may have a reputation for being an app designed for younger users, research conducted by Yale University Assistant Professor Dr Reuben Ng found an increasing number of TikTok accounts belonged to “grandfluencers”, aged 60 and older.
“These TikTok elders have become successful content creators in a powerful counter-cultural phenomenon in which older persons actually contest the stereotypes of old age by embracing or even celebrating their aged status,” he said.
Dr Ng’s research also notes how the increasing popularity of senior content creators combats ageist stereotypes.
“The participation of older adults in social media is vital in ensuring that such ageist ideas are not left unchallenged,” he explained.