Manitoba-born comedian amasses millions of fans on TikTok

WINNIPEG — One Manitoba-born comedian has become a TikTok superstar during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s almost the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my career,” said Tanyalee Davis.

Davis got the idea to get on the app when she was living in England at the start of the pandemic and a friend recommended she get TikTok.

“She said, ‘get the TikTok app, I think you’d be great at it,’ because I was already doing dance videos on Facebook and YouTube, trying to motivate people to keep active during the lockdown, and for my own sanity,” Davis said.

The comedian said she didn’t use the video-sharing app much until she moved from England to Florida and started to post some jokes.

Since then, Davis has amassed 1.8 million followers and 19.2 million likes.

“I can’t even believe it, it’s just extraordinary,” she said.

Davis, who stands at three-foot-three, doesn’t just use the app to tell jokes; she also uses it as a tool to create an open dialogue about living with dwarfism.

She explained her content evolved once she realized the reach she could have through TikTok.

“For me, I realized that I could cover so many bases,” she said.

“I mean with my jokes, but also I do (live streams) every single day. Two to four hours of sitting here, just chatting with people, and of course, people are naturally curious, so I answer the same questions: How old are you? How tall are you? Are you married? Can you have children?”

Davis said she uses TikTok to let people know about her life, but the last thing she’d ever want is for anyone to feel sorry for her.

“I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and now I’ve travelled all over the world doing comedy, bringing laughs, hopefully motivating, inspiring people,” she said.

As for what is next for Davis – wedding bells.

She is planning a wedding to her fiancé at the end of February.

“When we started doing TikTok lives, it’s kind of a bit of a joke, we were like ‘when we get to a million follows, we’ll start planning a wedding.’ And then in like two-and-a-half months, we hit a million,” she said.

Even on Davis’ big day, she plans to create TikTok content by live-streaming the wedding.

“It’s kind of our gift of sharing all the love and support that our fans have given us,” she said.

– With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.

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