Best Of 2020: The Social Media Accounts That Surprise, Delight And Entertain
Clockwise from top left: @saeed_storymfg, @cheapoldhouses, @somewhereiwouldliketolive, @louisrubi, @edithcartoonist
Instagram and Twitter can be deep, dark places where you can get lost for hours in a terrifying spiral, but they can also be sources of joy, inspiration and respite. This year, in particular, has given rise to a form of comedy and entertainment (known as direct-to-camera videos) that performers can create from their homes while isolating, filling the gaps where new films and television series used to be. We featured one of our favourites, Mr Jordan Firstman, on The Journal, but there are many more that deserve your attention.
We’ve also used our social media accounts to laugh at dumb jokes, behold otherworldly artistic skills and get some much-needed inspiration now that street style and red carpets have (temporarily) gone the way of the dodo. Below, our list of 15 of the best social media accounts in 2020 that you should be following right now. Happy scrolling.
Our lone Twitter entry, Ms Kylie Brakeman, a UCB comedian, has made the most of lockdown by filming absurd direct-to-camera videos about things such as “blue-check liberals” and things men DM her on the social media platform (mostly requests for pictures of her feet). There’s something about the way she edits the cuts, almost always ending the video mid-sentence, that feels revolutionary. She just pinned a thread of her “best of” for the year. Worth a watch.
This is a weird one, but it’s the bizarreness of this account that makes it so incredible. The conceit is basically that a man named Jim will paint whatever someone asks him to paint, whether it’s Mr Jamie Oliver making spaghetti bolognese out of wallpaper and his own arm, or Messrs Joe Biden and Donald Trump duelling like Gladiators (TV not Roman). They’re all deeply detailed, supremely odd head scratchers – perfect for 2020.
Saint Hoax’s Instagram bio declares it is “PoPLITICALLY INCORRECT” and that tells you what you’re in for. It’s a mash-up of pop culture and politics (mostly American) set against originally video memes and often accompanied by acerbic, progressive commentary. Come for the Ms Kim Kardashian West jokes, stay for the opinions on the political scandal of the day.
Mr Mordechai Rubinstein, the Brooklyn-based consultant, “anthropologist” and author, got his start working for Mr Marc Jacobs way back when. But now, a free agent, his style is decidedly more Grateful Dead-inspired. In addition to selfies, his feed is filled with snaps of interestingly dressed men on the streets of New York. Unusual inspiration, but inspiration nonetheless.
Are you sick of your own home, having been cooped up there for the past nine to 10 months? Same. And here’s an account with a message of, essentially, “same”. Curated by two interior designers, it features some seriously good homes all around the world. If you can’t travel or even leave your boring flat, this is the next best thing.
This guy has more than one million followers who come to his page to watch him drag the hell out of pop culture. He’s a master of disguise, using wigs and make-up to assume different characters. He’s particularly good at mimicking Ms Kourtney Kardashian and, well, all the ladies in that clan. If you ever have five minutes between meetings, don’t check his feed. You’ll get lost in there for hours.
It’s not just young guns getting in on the IG video action. Mr Leslie Jordan, 65, best known for his roles in American Horror Story and Will & Grace, brings his Southern drawl to social media in obscenity-laced stream-of-consciousness videos. Watch him try out new masks, watch true-crime TV shows or prepare for a meeting with Ms Dolly Parton. It’s sweet and ridiculous and exactly what you want on a rainy afternoon.
Is Mr Saeed Al-Rubeyi the British version of @mistermort? Kind of. Both dance to their own fashion tune and both have a penchant for a bit of tie-dye. We love Mr Al-Rubeyi for his honest, earnest and emotional captions as much as for his personal style. One half of Story Mfg., he posts everything from selfies to pictures of his dog and wife to meditations on mental health. He’s also one of our Men Who Made A Difference In 2020.
If you enjoy laughing at obscure jokes about even more obscure historic moments set against a backdrop of ridiculous memes, @memesonhistory is the account for you. No one is safe from this account’s poison pen – not Americans, nor the British, nor the French. Mr Genghis Khan gets his ancient behind handed to him from time to time as well.
Mr Akamine Yukio is the original influencer. Word on the street is that before blogs were a thing, he ran his own site instructing men on how to be more stylish. Now, he’s an Instagram darling for his fit pics (almost always taken in the exact same pose), which feature classic menswear staples assembled with Japanese flair.
Comedian Mr Munya Chawawa’s viral parodies of everyone from newsreaders to Skepta get hundreds of thousands of views, which have led to a series on Netflix, not to mention an actual record deal for his “Adidars”-clad, upper-class drill rapper, Unknown P. Talk about using your handle to advance your career. This guy is the real deal.
Now for a little Spanish flavour. Barcelona-based fashion consultant, stylist and designer Mr Louis Rubi proves that playing with proportions can be a way of life. His images almost exclusively feature voluminous trousers paired with voluminous coats and voluminous shirts. If you’ve been wanting to experiment with something other than skinny jeans, use Mr Rubi as your guide.
Real estate in the US doesn’t have to cost seven or more figures, despite what those Netflix shows would like you to believe. This account is the polar opposite of Million Dollar Listing and features only historic houses around the country that are on the market for a song. Most of them are fixer-uppers, but if you’re spending only $7,500 on a home that still has some beautiful original features, you probably have a little room in the budget for improvements.
Ms Edith Pritchett has worked out how to distil our collective angst into colourful cartoons. Her “Venn diagrams and charts explaining crap” cover everything from Brexit to “Kris Jenner’s omnipotence” and break down each point in a way that feels disturbingly relatable. It’s all funny because it’s all true.
Facing a lack of sporting events on which to commentate during lockdown, Scottish sports broadcaster Mr Andrew Cotter devoted his talents to commentating on the lives of his black lab and golden retriever, Olive and Mabel. Instead of shouting about football passes and gooaallllllllsssss, Mr Cotter focuses on whether the dogs are sharing a toy or their skill in chasing birds. The wry, heart-warming videos have even spawned a bestselling book.