How Zoolander 2’s Kyle Mooney Got Addicted to an Old MTV Reality Show

And what the SNL cast member watches on YouTube


Age 31

Claim to fame Saturday Night Live cast member; appears in the upcoming Zoolander 2 (in theaters Feb. 12)

Base New York

Instagram @kylemooney

Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning?

Kyle Mooney: I check my email pretty immediately, and then usually Facebook or Twitter. And then whatever people are linking to, I'll follow their lead. Sometimes for fun I'll go to an animation blog called I also like to see what movies are screening in New York, so I use the website But honestly, I can't really go to the movies because I'm usually so busy working, so it's more of a wishful thinking thing.

What are your go-to social networks?

I've definitely found myself having a lot more fun with Instagram in the past couple years. Something about it feels, I don't know, slightly less formal. On Twitter, there is a pressure to be constantly saying something clever or witty, whereas on Instagram, I feel a lot more comfortable just posting a silly video or picture of myself. I also like Facebook because I can keep an eye on all these people that were once in the periphery of my life and draw inspiration from what they're invested in or what pisses them off or makes them excited. I feel like Facebook statuses have become their own form of media, to some degree, and they're something that I obsess over.

You actually created an Instagram account for Don Atari, your Zoolander 2 character. Tell me about that.

I think everybody involved in the movie knew that I had somewhat of a social media presence and that I had done an Instagram video series, the D and K Podcast, with my friend Dave over the summer. So Ben [Stiller] was into it and wanted to do something similar for Don Atari. It was more of a subversive promotion rather than just tweeting out links telling people to go see the movie.

Are there any YouTube creators you're into?

I actually love found YouTube videos, like videos with 25 hits on them. I especially love kids who vlog and have these small audiences, but they're constantly declaring to the camera, "Hey guys, sorry I haven't made a video in a while!" as if the entire world is upset that they haven't posted.

What's your favorite app?

The one I downloaded most recently is one called WhoSampled. You can look up a hip-hop track or artist and it will give you the original sample source or the song that sampled it.

What TV shows do you watch?

The show that I probably most consistently watched this past year was Little Women: LA. There are certain reality shows that have a gripping effect on me when I get into them. Like when I was shooting Zoolander in Rome, they've got Italian MTV, and I retroactively got really into this show called Friendzone because the premise is so insane. Basically, the show is about a guy or girl that has a best friend that they have a crush on and they go on a date, and they reveal that they've had these intense feelings. That moment, for me—I cringe. I squirm in anticipation of whether the date will continue or not. I mean, I now seek Friendzone episodes on I don't think they even air it anymore.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 8 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.