David Dobrik's sudden rise to internet stardom grabbed the attention of millions across the globe. But a life in the spotlight may have exposed a little more than he intended...
Born on July 23rd, 1996 in the European city of Košice, Slovakia, David Julian Dobrik emigrated to the United States at just 6-years old. Along with his family, he settled in Vernon Hills, a northern suburb of Chicago, in 2002. Though he spent most of his life in the U.S, he speaks Slovak fluently.
David grew up in a happy home with his parents and three siblings, Esther, Sarah, and Toby. While Dobrik is no stranger to fame, his family preferred to stay out of the spotlight.
Born A Class-Clown
It’s not surprising that this YouTuber started practicing his comedy routines from an early age. David was always the class clown, bringing laughter to his classmates, and even his teachers. The prankster then graduated from Vernon Hills High School in 2014.
He may have brought joy to the classroom, but it certainly didn't do the same for him. David dedicated more of his time to sports, and tennis was the game of choice. He even qualified for the Boys Tennis State Tournament in 2014, where he landed 3rd place in the doubles tournament.
The Day Everything Changed
In 2013 David took his first step on his journey to internet stardom after his first-ever post on Vine. His pranks, jokes, and comedy bits proved to be a hit from the very beginning, and soon the likes and follows were flooding in. Within 2 years he had reached a whopping 1.5M followers on his personal account.
David was one of the lucky few who made it big on social media from the very start. He felt extremely blessed, telling Forbes magazine that early in his career, he was already making about “$1,500 to $2,000 a month.” Little did he know how much things would change…
"I Don’t Know if We Can Do This"
After graduating, Dobrik's parents presented him with an ultimatum: He could either go to college or move out. For David, this was an easy choice to make. The aspiring vlogger believed that he could make it big. So, he moved to Los Angeles, but it wasn't as easy as he thought.
His goals were set, but so were the challenges that came with it, such as, putting food on the table. “We were at the grocery store [...] and the total came to $25,” David told Forbes. “ I looked at my friend and said, ‘I don’t know if we can do this.’ I just remember how scared we were.”
A Young Workaholic
In 2015 David moved over from Vine to Youtube. His viral content featured pranks, homemade kiss cams, as well as, collabs with other influencers. Sticking to a strict schedule, Dobrik posted 3 videos a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Come rain or shine, his fans could always expect new vlogs.
The self-confessed workaholic told Forbes that he, "Doesn't allow himself to take breaks for holidays, birthdays, or vacations." For 5 years, he never broke this routine until the pandemic came along and forced David to take a rest. However, this didn't stop his creativity...
The Vlog Squad
This sparked the entrepreneur's next brilliant idea. David joined forces with several friends and fellow collaborators to form The Vlog Squad. Featuring Nickelodeon star, Josh Peck, as well as, Zane Hijazi, Jason Nash, and others. The crew bounced between filming for their own channels and working as a group.
The Vlog Squad found great success, known for their high-energy, chaotic filming style. David was the founder, so videos were posted through his YouTube channel. They filmed everything from live shows to casino trips, often collaborating with A-list celebrities like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, and more.
Keys to The Kingdom
David continued to climb the ladder to success and gained a massive following along the way, 15M subscribers to be exact. But this was just the start of Dobrik's reign as his channel continued to see massive success in the months and years following.
David shared his secret to success with Forbes saying, "If people see that you’re passionate about what you’re creating, they’re going to enjoy it.” Passion lies at the heart of his work, evident in the joy that he and his friends frequently showed in their videos.
Things kept getting better for the vlogger. In 2015 David met Liza Koshy, a fellow up-and-comer on Vine and Youtube, and sparks were flying. The young star was so nervous to make a move that it took MONTHS before he dared to ask her out. Liza said yes, and the rest is history.
The new couple kept their relationship a secret for the first 6 months, before taking to Instagram to shock their millions of fans. David called their relationship his "Biggest and proudest accomplishment." He continued, "I am in love with all that you do and all that you create. Thanks for being my partner and best friend."
Viral Power Couple
It was a match made in Youtube heaven. The two had so much in common, including their natural abilityy to be in front of the camera. Liza had also been using Vine since 2013 before moving to Youtube, and she also moved to L. A in 2015, just like David.
Both saw remarkable success. 2 Years into the relationship Liza was dubbed "The fastest YouTube personality to reach 10 million subscribers," by The Hollywood Reporter. By 2020 she gained 17M subscribers and over 2 billion views. Understandably, David and Liza felt like they met their soulmates. But that sadly wouldn't last...
Why They Broke Up
Their relationship soon became a bit of a centerpiece for both of their careers, as they began making countless videos and vlogs together, and their brand became fully intertwined. So you can imagine the shock it caused in 2018 when they released a video titled We Broke Up.
The couple announced the end of their relationship, with Liza citing her need to focus on self-love, and David reassuring their fans that it was a mutual decision. “We have a lot of growth and development and learning and loving to do,” he said. "The only thing that's different is we're not boyfriend and girlfriend anymore.”
When Vine shut down in 2016, Dobrik had to shift gears and take on YouTube full time. So, he created another channel, "David Dobrik Too," where content featuring The Vlog Squad was posted. This secondary channel complemented the original, "David Dobrik," home to his vlogs.
"David Dobrik Too", currently holding 8.26M subscribers, released content featuring bloopers, deleted scenes, challenges, and reactions to old videos. Between his two channels, David has over 20M subscribers. Making him one of the strongest influencers online.
Switching It Up
With all the success of his channels, David just couldn't get enough. Becoming a vlogging star was only the beginning. In 2017 he decided to take the plunge into the world of podcasting, starting a series with friend and fellow Vlog Squad collaborator, Jason Nash.
The podcast was called Views, and it centered around discussions of their vlogging adventures, taking listeners behind the scenes of their working lives. They wanted to give fans an insight into what life as “YouTubers” was really like, releasing new episodes of their intimate discussion every Monday.
Making it Big
But the momentum would only continue to grow. David found himself fully breaking out of the YouTube crowd, finding success in feature films and TV as well. In 2018 he snagged a voice-acting role in The Angry Birds Movie 2 and went on to co-host the Teen Choice awards the following year, alongside Lucy Hale.
In a surprising turn, he was then offered a role as a judge on the musical competition series, America’s Most Musical Family. David was a hit with the viewers and in 2019, he also won the Favorite Social Star award at Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards. But what meant even more to Dobrik was who gave it to him.
That’s What Friends Are For
David was handed the award by his own best buddy, Josh Peck, from the famous Drake and Josh. Peck was a longtime friend and Vlog Squad member, but had also been a role model to a young David Dobrik. Their friendship had symbolic importance, which David made clear in his acceptance speech.
And it wasn’t just a “career friendship” either. The two were so close that Josh even allowed his first child's internet debut to be on David’s YouTube channel. In a clip titled ‘WELCOMING A NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY!!’ Josh and his wife Paige introduced their baby boy, Max to the world.
Making A Name For Himself
David Dobriks career has been built on prank videos, with sometimes shocking antics that include marrying his friend’s mom, filling swimming pools with dry ice, buying cars for strangers, and much much more. Although he made a splash, it only boosted his career.
Because of all this and his other indevours, David was titled the 5th most-watched Youtuber on the platform. In a financial analyst survey by Piper Jaffray, he was also named Gen Z’s favorite social media personality! Two incredible achievements to add to a long list, and all earned by the tender age of 24.
His Biggest Purchase
Life couldn’t look any more different for David since his days of struggling to pay for groceries and rent. In August 2020 it was revealed that he had bought a mansion in L.A. valued at $9.5M. Situated in the San Fernando Valley, he truly enjoyed the fruits of his labor.
The mansion lies in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood and is a jaw-dropping 7,800 square-foot property. It has six bedrooms, as well as, a movie-theatre, personal gym, and a stunning outdoor area furnished with an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, and pool. 'The Good Life' is an understatement.
Fancy Car, Fancy Wheels
When it comes to sponsorships, SeatGeek has a unique relationship with David, who has always been careful about the companies he promotes. “My channel is so important to me that I’d never just do a promotion and then say ‘Peace,’ and just cut to the rest of the video,” he told TubeFilter.
But SeatGeek is different. “It feels like two people collaborating.” he would say. The company has gifted him with 18 luxury cars, so it’s no wonder they hold a special place in his heart. He has given multiple cars away, to close friends, his father, and even a random fan he met at Target. What a guy!
Bringing His Friends With Him
His early Vine collaborators and future Vlog Squad co-stars aren’t the only friends who have been helped by David’s career. His best friend since high school, Natalie Mariduena, actually works as his full-time assistant and the Executive Assistant for his YouTube channels.
Because her job meant that she needed to be by his side almost 24/7, Natalie even moved in with David in his Sherman Oaks mansion. Due to their closeness, dating rumors have swirled around the two friends since she made the move. Neither of them entertains the rumors, however, and Natalie is reportedly single.
Natalie is more than just a best friend, housemate, and business partner though! She also models part-time for CLICKBAIT, the official David Dobrik merch store which sells a huge variety of stuff, from hoodies to phone cases to backpacks. The two besties are the main models on the site.
All together the Fanjoy-sponsored store sells clothing from 9 different collections all at varying prices. The most recent collections are The Rainbow Collection and the Sherpa Collection. Both lines have individually styled hoodies, crewnecks, sweatpants, and more.
Merchandising isn’t the only non-entertainment business venture David has taken on. In late 2019 he launched a photo-editing app named David’s Disposable, inspired by his own Instagram, a secondary account where he shares his own disposable photos with fans.
David explained on Instagram, “Just open the app, take your photos, and wait for them to develop [...] I’m bringing my iconic disposable camera to your phone, so you can easily take high-quality film photos just like me!” There's no doubt about it, David knew how to give his fans what they wanted.
There’s no point hiding the fact that young David has accumulated immense wealth over the span of his 7-year career. With two YouTube channels, massive Instagram accounts, a podcast, a clothing store, a personal app, and a burgeoning film and TV career, his success is undeniable.
At such a young age he has achieved ultimate success, amassing a net worth of over $15M according to Celebrity Net Worth, and becoming one of the highest-paid YouTube celebrities. Considering his success so far and his overwhelming ambition, there’s no doubt his bank account will continue to grow with his career.
Despite having an impressive net worth, David is reportedly quite thrifty when it comes to spending money. Aside from his 9.5M mansion, he doesn’t spend as extravagantly as one might expect from a young star living in L.A, and his fans are only aware of a few other pricey purchases.
Most of these have been props for his videos, showing just how dedicated he is to his job. These expenses include curious items such as a $10,000 order of dry ice and a $500 pink pony. Outside of work he has also admitted to investing $1M into Tesla in his early 20s, and his own Tesla has appeared in some of his videos.
"This is Terrifying"
Part of the reason his fans feel so close to David is that he’s always shared his life so openly with his fans. This is particularly true of his YouTube videos, many of which are filmed inside and outside of his home. This seems to have backfired, however, as he had to make a public plea to fans to stop trying to visit.
He took to social media to spread the message, telling fans in an Instagram video to “Stop coming here, please, I don't wanna have to move, but this is terrifying.'’ On Twitter he repeated the plea, writing "Hello guys I love everyone that supports me and shows me love. Truly. BUT PLEASE STOP COMING TO MY F****** HOUSE."
He Offended his Fans
While he has enjoyed a resoundingly successful career with a lot of high-notes, David hasn’t gone without some criticism. In 2016, he was called out by fans and the media after sharing a questionable video he made with then-girlfriend Liza Koshy, where the pair sported accents as they tried Japanese candy.
"It's not racist, that's like the sounds I hear when they talk," David said. Many felt that their comments were offensive, and Liza took to Twitter to apologize. "What might have been intended as 'playful' was actually to some, incredibly painful, and for that, I am so sorry," she said.
A Public Apology
But that wasn’t the end of it. The Vine came up again in 2020, and David knew he had to take accountability for the video, as well as other offensive clips that had resurfaced. On an episode of Views, he told listeners “I feel like on a handful of occasions I just missed the mark on that, and that really bums me out.”
He apologized for the hurt he had caused, and his obligations as a role model to the fans who had grown up watching his videos, saying “I did not ever mean to make anybody feel out of place.” He admitted he was ashamed of the incidents, saying “I genuinely feel awful about it.”
He Made Some Changes
He went further in his apology, reflecting on the past and how he saw himself as a young up-and-coming Youtuber. “I think for a while I was just kind of like, I’m the goofball, that’s what I am [...] “That’s when I realized, there’s people who are seriously looking up to me for things more than just something goofy.”
He admitted he had let it affect his behavior, but that he had moved on from that part of his life. “I think there are parts of this where I need to be more serious because I want to be a good role model for the people watching. [...] "I want them [fans] to have a positive experience when they interact with anything I produce.”
He Almost Lost Everything
During an interview with Men's Health in 2019, Dobrik explained that the number of advertisers who pulled their sponsorships from YouTube and "Using copyrighted songs in videos that are a little more 'inappropriate' than [others] on the platform" caused his earnings to drastically drop from $275,000 to a mere $2,000 per month.
Despite having 200M views on videos each month, David was "Actually making less money a month on YouTube than [he] was when [he] was waiting tables at a retirement home [...] Which is pretty crazy." But Dobrik's main priority was staying true to his image.
He Bounced Back
In the same interview, David admitted that the ‘adpocalypse’ had taught him some hard truths. In particular, he couldn’t rely on YouTube forever. He also realized that when working with brands, "Instead of taking the money [...] give it to the person that needs it more than [you] do."
Dobrik expressed to Men's Health, "It feels so crazy" that this is his job, that it's "Literally the best job in the world." David's slogan, when it comes to financing, is to "Always give back," he continued, "Once you have money, you're gonna want to give back, and it's the best, best feeling." And David isn't stopping here.
He has proven that he won’t be clinging to his YouTube fame, further branching out in 2020 by hosting another reality show, Dodgeball Thunderdome on the Discovery Channel. He is co-hosting alongside E! TV host Erin Lim and former NFL player Andrew Hawkins.
The show is a reality TV competition where contestants play a grueling dodgeball match on a 13.6-acre site. Every competitor needs to exhibit “strategy, quick thinking, and the willingness to leave everything on the field” in order to win the $25K prize. It looks like another impressive accolade to add to David’s resume.
Regardless of what must be a stressful life with a lot of highs and lows, David seems more than satisfied with his path in life. “One of the things I still sometimes realize is how absolutely, crazy lucky I am,” he admitted to Paper Mag. “I have the best job in the world, so I can’t complain.”
As you can see, David Dobrik’s career has shown no sign of slowing down as he continues to go from strength to strength. After conquering much of the internet, and plunging into multiple business ventures, we have a feeling there'll be more tea on the way soon...