Now that’s wholesome.
An 81-year-old-turned-TikTok’s-collective-grandpa is going viral for his simple cooking videos and short comedy clips.
Stephen Austin of Fort Worth, Texas, has won over viewers on the video-sharing platform with his cooking videos, which show him making pancakes, sandwiches and cereal, among other simple dishes. Along with his culinary videos, the octogenarian also uploads silly shorts of him playing other characters.
Austin’s page, titled Old Man Steve, has pulled in more than 582,000 followers and 5.1 million likes. Most of his videos average hundreds of thousands of views, but a particularly popular video of him giving a lesson on how to bake frozen biscuits has so far amassed 8.5 million views.
The retiree, who has started calling his snippets “Cooking with Steve,” is pleased so many people like his content, saying it makes him feel “loved.”
“As I have no children or grandkids, this has been such a joy to me and it makes me feel not so alone and loved,” he said, Daily Mail reported.
“Most of the comments say they love me and I’m the best thing on TikTok. I feel very blessed,” he added, noting many of the comments he receives on the platform are from fans asking him “to be their grandpa.”
Austin acknowledges the young audience on TikTok, stating most people who use the app “dance around or do some sort of physical stuff,” which he can’t do. So he’s happy he was able to carve out a niche with his “Cooking with Steve” clips.
“Since I don’t really cook, I just do simple stuff, like toasting some bread and simple fare, I never could have imagined having this many followers,” he said. “[But] people seem to like it.”
The entertainer, whose grandfather used to be in vaudeville, has kept up with social media trends. Previously he used Vine, a social media service which has since been discontinued, and a YouTube page. He says he teaches himself how to use each new application on his iPhone.
“I’m self-taught as far as doing my video work on the camera and lighting and such and understanding how to do TikTok. If I don’t understand something, I Google it or see if a video on YouTube has a subject on it,” he said.