Marcus Johns Is Going To The White House Correspondents Dinner & Here's Why The Vine Star Made The List
Washington D.C. has been overrun with celebrities this weekend, all in town for the annual White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday. The dinner — always an over-the-top affair involving an intriguing mix of journalists, politicians, and Hollywood stars — looks set, once again, to be a star-studded event in 2015. Saturday Night Live comedian Cecily Strong will host a crowd made up of the likes of Kerry Washington, Jane Fonda, Donald Trump, Al Sharpton, and Martha Stewart. But among those famous names, there are a few that might be less well known. For example, who on earth is Marcus Johns?
You might not recognize his name, but his chirpy 22-year-old face might be a familiar sight. Johns is, you guessed it, a social media star (Vine, specifically). Johns has 6.1 million followers on the Twitter-owned short-form video sharing service, which, to give you for some perspective, is more than the entire population of Missouri. That’s an entire state captivated by one guy’s collection of six-second homemade videos. In 2014, as the fifth most followed person on Vine, Johns got to attend the Academy Awards after moving ticketing service Fandango asked him to be their correspondent. He was only 20 at the time.
So how did all this happen? In 2013, Johns only had 2.8 million followers (the shame!) but that was enough to get The Huffington Post interested. In an interview, Johns told the publication that his brother, Cody, initially got him interested in the app. Excited about the opportunity to showcase his goofy side, Johns got involved. “I posted, posted, posted for like 10 days, and after 10 days I accumulated 1,000 followers, which is a lot back in that day,” he said. But his meteoric rise is hardly down to luck — the secret to his success, he said, is patience and perfectionism. He told HuffPo:
I will spend sometimes two, three... I've spent four hours on a single vine. Just doing it over and over again, perfecting it. Just getting the right take. There's so much preparation that goes into it… Once you get used to it and you can tell a story in six seconds, it's amazing, there's nothing like it.
Johns’ style is quirky and a little slapstick; he’s basically a good-looking guy who can take the piss out of himself and likes a laugh. It’s apparently a winning formula. He often takes on new voices and personalities — impersonating a girl rejecting a prom-date, for instance — and frequently features his bike, for which he clearly has a fondness. A Florida State University student, Johns told student-run website Her Campus that he gets all his material from everyday life. “Sometimes I’ll film it on the spot, most of the time though I’ll write it down in my phone and I’ll shoot it later,” he said.
Johns’s regular-guy image was nicely boosted earlier this year, when he agreed to go to a fan’s prom as her date. Mimi Dickerson’s initial contact, sent via Twitter, asked whether Johns would attend prom if she got 100,000 retweets. Johns promptly agreed to the deal; Mimi got her retweets within days; the pair went to prom. Johns documented the evening on YouTube. A nice guy then, but — as a 2014 Bustle post reveals — not available, ladies. He appears to be happily dating a fellow Florida State student, who appears across his social media accounts.
At Saturday’s dinner, fellow Vine and YouTube stars Bethany Mota, Nash Grier, Marcus Johns, Jerome Jarre, and Tyler Oakley will join Johns to make up a cohort of young, tech-savvy social influencers. And it seems like he’s getting pretty excited.