Cole Hersch: professional social media trickster

The man who has dedicated years to producing unique comedic content

Cole Hersch’s Twitter page with the username @ColesTwitt3r. Photo by Ashley Donohoe.

Cole Hersch’s Twitter page with the username @ColesTwitt3r. Photo by Ashley Donohoe.

Anyone well-versed in social media trends and pop culture references is sure to have heard about Cole Hersch. Rising to fame through Vine, a now shut-down social media platform, Cole Hersch has developed an online persona that is bafflingly unaware of his own misjudgment, yet oftentimes in such a convincing manner that the viewer can not discern whether this is his genuine personality.

One of his Vines reached unimaginable heights, becoming such a staple within youth culture that a large majority of those with a social media account could reference the entirety of his six second video. Hersch stares at the camera and asks the audience, “Who am I?” before launching into the beginning line of “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. After pausing for a beat, Hersch reveals the artist he is imitating, but pronounces the rapper’s name so absurdly, it became instantly recognizable. During Vine’s prime years, people could quote to a group (phonetically speaking), “Ninki Minjaj” and be met with a unanimous understanding of the reference. In typical Cole Hersch style, he denies any comedic planning within the video, saying, “the vine wasn’t supposed to be funny & the whole world is a bully.”

Cole Hersch’s biography page from the eighth annual Shorty Awards. Photo by Ashley Donohoe.

It is difficult to make social media popularity wholly quantifiable, as a number of views or likes does not always dictate a person’s significance in pop culture. Yet, Cole Hersch’s impact is definable despite this. Back in 2016, he was nominated for a Shorty Award, self-described as an awards show made to “recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and the rest of the social web,” in the “Weird” category. After Vine’s shutdown, he moved to other social media platforms such as Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to publish content.

One of his biggest charades, however, transcended these platforms. DanceOn is a competitive dance show where contestants perform dances in front of judges in an elimination-style game. In 2016, they decided to film a segment revolving around Viners, so Hersch signed up to participate in the program despite having a minimal amount of knowledge in the art of dance. Amidst a group of talented dancers, Hersch went into the show with one goal in mind: wreak havoc. On Twitter, Hersch shares that he “created [his] own B storyline in which I was falling madly in love with contestant Ashley. I refused to talk about anything else. They cut all of it.” Miraculously, he made it to the final round, where he was able to watch her win the show.

Hersch continues to plan schemes of this nature to entertain his audience. On February 5, he tweeted, “I think somebody should write an article about me. It can be anything really… I just think it will be interesting to read about me in publications and I think others would agree.”

Battlefield senior Julia Hyde is an avid social media user and has come across a large amount of Hersch’s content. Therefore, she firmly believes he deserves to have an entire article dedicated to his influence, saying, “Cole Hersch is the second coming of Christ.” She draws inspiration from his content, particularly on Twitter, and believes his unique take on comedy is aspirational. “His legacy is spreading joy and making the entire internet more chaotic.”