Meet The Hilarious Father-Son TikTok Duo From The GilletteLabs Commercial

For most TikTok users, posting goofy videos to social media is a fun way to pass the time and connect with fellow TikTokers. But for father-son duo Frank and Joe Mele, their quippy comedy clips have become a rapidly expanding online sensation that landed them a commercial deal with one of the best-known razor companies in the world. 

Yep, there's a reason the actors in GilletteLabs' 2023 commercial looked so familiar. The ad features Frank, your stereotypically New York father with an unmistakable Long Island accent, and his perfectly Gen Z-styled son Joe talking via video chat about — what else? — razors. Frank's distinct accent is used on the commercial's voiceover, replacing words like "gamechanger" with "gamechanguh" and "labs" with a Northeasterner "la-yubs" (via YouTube).

To those unfamiliar with TikTok, the pair seems like an attempt by GilletteLabs to cater to salt-of-the-earth dads and their young sons. But with their cult following of tens of millions of followers, the razor company is hardly the one doing them a favor.

Joe Mele and his dad Frank never set out to be internet famous

When Joe Mele started creating TikTok videos in the fall of 2019, he had no idea it would only take a few short years to amass an astounding following of over 14 million followers. Taking cues from other familial TikTok icons like the D'Amelio family and Ophelia Nichols, aka 'Mama Tot,' Joe decided to put his father's no-nonsense attitude and thick New York accent at the forefront of his content — and it worked.

Lighthearted, half-improv, half-planned sketches like this March 2020 TikTok that features Joe dressing his father up as his uncanny lookalike — the cartoon food critic from "Ratatouille" — quickly racked up over 13 million likes and 420k shares. Other fan favorites include Frank's critique of other people's accents, including Joe's girlfriend and Frank's wife, and the ever-comedic battle between baby boomer and Gen Z culture. The father-son duo have created hundreds of videos on TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms, which takes up a lot of time. 

@mmmjoemele

Dad rating my girlfriend's accent 😂 10/10 for the new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Cream @Neutrogena #NeutrogenaPartner

♬ original sound – Joe Mele

"At first, I thought it would be all fun and games, that I could post whenever I want," Joe said in an interview with Dexterto. "But now that we have such a large following, I think it takes a lot more time and effort." So much time and effort, in fact, that Joe told the Suffolk Times that he dropped out of college to pursue a full-time social media career.

Frank Mele passed on his comedic timing and dedicated work ethic to his son

Frank Mele and his thick Northeastern accent might be the star of Joe Mele's videos, but it's Joe who puts in the work planning, writing, and filming each sketch. To turn their passion project into a profit-making business, Joe also spends most of his time securing ad placements and marketing campaigns (primetime Gillette commercials included). However, giving credit where credit is due, Joe told the Suffolk Times he gets his sense of humor from his father and uncles.

@mmmjoemele

I don't think he understands the trend

♬ original sound – Joe Mele

It's clear that Joe inherited their strong work ethic, too. Frank praised his son to The Suffolk Times, saying "he's doing fantastic." Frank continued, "[Joe] runs a great business, and he does things the way he does things. I'm a little old-fashioned, and I have things the way I do it." While Frank might not readily understand the youthful culture of social media sensations, he's proud of his son — even if he'd like Joe to return to college one day. " I like to think of it as, like, he's putting it on hold just for now, and then eventually, he'll go back and finish his degree," Frank said.

Outside of his internet fame, Joe told Dexterto that he lives a normal life in New York and doesn't receive special treatment for his multi-million following. (Of course, that might stand to change the more bigwig corporate commercials Joe and his dad land.)