Papa John’s TikTok Has Intense Divorced Dad Energy
You might remember John Schnatter as the titular John of Papa Johns, the company he founded. His other work includes being the guy who was forced out of Papa Johns when he dropped the N-word in a business meeting thinking since they had a casual dress Fridays, why not a casual racism Thursdays, too? He then vaguely threatened his former company, saying there will soon be a "day of reckoning." We all thought that reckoning was the impotent threat of a defeated man -- we were wrong. The day of doom foretold by the billionaire pizza racist has come in the form of his contributions to TikTok, the social network for dancing teens and the adults desperate to be liked by them.
The entire channel feels like a divorced dad trying to make peace with his forced independence by getting drunk on Goldschlager and drifting his Big Wheel through his garage. Pay close attention to how the video was carefully framed to casually feature the same 1971 Camero Z28 that he takes for a spin in the next video. It's a car driven by men working harder than they've ever worked at anything in their life to convince you they're doing fine without you.
Every TikTok is a thirst trap with an intended audience of just one: Papa Johns, the bitch ex-wife whom he still loves dearly but who should also die in a fire. Oh, hey, Papa Johns. Didn't see you there as I was BOARDING MY PRIVATE HELICOPTER.
He wants to convince his old flame that he's a new John, one that isn't hurling biblical threats at pizza chains or saying the N-word quite so much. He's proving it by taking the same first steps to own up to the mistakes of his past as anyone would - by taking a page out of the Charlie Sheen Handbook for Disgraced Boys and turning his meltdown into a merchandising opportunity.
The "Papa: The Day of Reckoning" shirt's natural habitat is Goodwill men's medium rack where you only find four XXXLs no matter which location you visit.
The pinnacle of John's video series is the one wherein he invites TikTokers but really all of Papa John's corporate hierarchy through the massive front doors of his quaint castle to gaze upon the enormous statue (that's also a clock) that greets them upon entry. At a staggering two-stories, you'd think the statue (also a clock) would be the cringiest of grand gestures. It is not. It is actually a very tasteful depiction of two eagles having sex in midair (but it's also a clock, you see).
Think about it, Papa Johns. You and John are spiraling fuck eagles plummeting to the earth, knowing the winds of your love will save you. Your reunion is as inevitable as the statue is awe-inspiringly insane. So, please, Papa Johns, sink your talons back into the man you're named after so you can both fall from the sky in a tangled mash of feathers and shrieks the way you were meant to - together. Besides...
Papa's gotta rub these greasy pepperoni muscles on someone. Might as well be you.
Luis can be found on Twitter and Facebook. Catch him on the "In Broad Daylight" podcast with Cracked alums Adam Tod Brown and Ian Fortey! Check out his regular contributions to Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com and his "Meditation Minute" segments on the Bunny Ears podcast. Listen to the first episode on Youtube!