Stepping Out

Don’t Come For Bobbi Althoff

The TikTok sensation (yes, the one who did that Drake interview) has been hustling for this moment.

Originally Published: 
Bobbi Althoff talks about going viral on TikTok and her Drake interview.

It’s 12 o’clock on the dot, but the lunch rush at Nobu Fifty Seven is already in full swing. Groups of men and women, decked out in their business formal best, take meetings over bento boxes; overseas tourists fill the rest of the dining room. And as I eye the miso cod that comes with the lunch special, I discover that my dining companion, The Really Good Podcast host Bobbi Althoff, is more concerned with feeding than eating. “This boob got me probably like 16 ounces [of milk] this morning. This one got me four. That’s not good,” the 26-year-old mother of two tells me. She’s been vocal on TikTok about how, as a result of breastfeeding, her breasts are now two very different sizes. “It’s funny, because I know a lot of people are attracted to me right now but I’m like, ‘Why?’ I look in the mirror and I’m disgusted.”

Whether you’re attracted to her or simply confused by her, chances are you’ve seen something about Bobbi Althoff on the internet over the past few weeks. After gaining a following of more than 1.2 million, Althoff launched her podcast — where she interviews guests in a comedically awkward, unwaveringly deadpan affect — in June to little fanfare. But when she managed to score a rare interview with Drake, who agreed to appear after watching her episode with Funny Marco, Althoff’s ascent to what she calls her “Alix Earle moment” was so swift that rumors abounded that she was an “industry plant.” And although Althoff has debunked that theory, what’s indisputable is the extent of her success: She’s since signed with the Hollywood talent agency WME, and clips of her Drake episode amassed more than 55 million views across her Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok before she unceremoniously removed the videos. (The two also unfollowed each other on Instagram just days after she attended the rapper’s concert in Los Angeles. Althoff didn’t respond to a request for comment on the “controversy,” but many are speculating that the pair have had a falling out.)

Yet over an order of wagyu dumplings, Althoff — visiting New York from Laguna Beach to film a Today show appearance — sheds any trace of the devilishly off-putting woman who recently asked Offset, “Are your tattoos real?” Instead, she spends much of her meal gushing over the young daughters she refers to, for privacy reasons, as “Richard” and “Concrete.” “This is only the fourth time I’ve left them overnight. It’s hard,” she says in her naturally soft-spoken, surprisingly timid tone. “They start off every night in their bed but they always end up in my bed. I sleep right between them, one kid in each arm.”

Althoff, the second-youngest of six, wanted to be a mom for as long as she can remember. “I played [with] baby dolls until my mom had to be like, ‘This is getting embarrassing for you. You’re getting old,’” she says. When she graduated from high school in Southern California, she sought work as a nanny. “When I wasn’t working, I would go and find any family members with babies and be like, ‘Let me watch your kids,’” she says. “I’m obsessed with children.” By 2019 she and her husband (who she doesn’t speak about publicly) had their first child and, just over two years later, a second. And when she started fantasizing about ways to give her girls a more privileged childhood than she’d been afforded growing up in a working-class family — again, not an industry plant — she turned to TikTok, posting “mommy vlogger”-style videos, most of which she’s since taken down.


“That was a very depressing amount of food,” Althoff says jokingly, briefly slipping back into the sardonic shtick that more closely resembles her character than the real her. She orders a second round of wagyu dumplings and a tuna crispy rice appetizer as I question her about the origins of her instantly recognizable interview persona. “I’ve been so insecure my whole life. My first memories that I have of being insecure are in elementary school. I have a video of me doing my sixth-grade speech, which was something I really wanted to do, but I’m stuttering over every word,” she says. “[My persona] is like a defense mechanism. I get to be this person where I’m not embarrassed. I don’t want people to make fun of who I am as a person. But you can make fun of my character, because that’s not me. You don’t know me.”

Still, for all of those insecurities, Althoff possesses an undercurrent of confidence. Like when she first launched the podcast, she posted a TikTok offering $300 to anyone who could successfully connect her to a celebrity guest. Or her unabashedness in posting upward of 10 videos per day, a major no-no in social media’s highly curated, less-is-more landscape. “I was doing that at like 3 million followers, posting things, deleting them, posting things, deleting them. I was determined to make something work,” she says of her hustler’s mentality. “People want to give certain people credit. They gave me more exposure for what I was doing, yes, but I would have gotten there no matter what.”

Althoff’s confidence only builds when she looks to the future. Like when at the end of lunch, I mention that it seems serendipitous that we’re meeting on the day that Call Her Daddy host Alex Cooper has launched her latest venture, The Unwell Network: a home for content about fashion, beauty, and pop culture that will feature fellow social media supernovas like Alix Earle and Madeline Argy. Could Althoff see herself following a similar path? “I want to be a TV show,” she counters, citing Dave as an inspiration. “The part that I think could be good for TV is the motherhood [component]. I go from interviewing a rapper, like the night I did my video with Yachty, we went out to dinner with him, we went to the Blink-182 concert. Then I flew home and I came to my kids’ bedrooms and I read them books.”

Soon after, we pay the bill and head outside, where Althoff’s earlier tentative energy takes hold. “I had my friend walk me here because I didn’t want to walk in by myself, or even walk down the street alone,” she says, as that same friend (who recently started serving as her assistant), arrives to usher Althoff to Barstool Sports, where she’ll tape the BFFs podcast with Dave Portnoy. In the days following, the appearance turns into yet another controversy, prompting Althoff to share her DMs with Portnoy. (“My girlfriend says you hooked up with Drake and got divorced. I am saying that is not true,” he wrote. To which Althoff responded, “I am not commenting publicly but off the record, you’re right that is not true.”) Fifth Avenue might be too much for Althoff to bear, but a beef with one of the internet’s most controversial overlords? Smooth sailing.

“Being embarrassed in public,” she says, “is way more embarrassing than being embarrassed on the internet.”

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