A 30-year-old comedian known as “The Fat Jew” is rapidly building his fan base and recently sold to major channels two scripted television shows that he will write and star in, theÂ New York Post reported on Tuesday.
“Some people say, do one thing and do it well. I say, do many things and do them very mediocrely,” said New York native Josh Ostrovsky.
Immensely popular on Instagram the comic has amassed nearly half a million followers 0n the photo sharing site since he joined in 2012. Standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 250-pounds, his following began to balloon after a video of him giving “SoulCycle” classes to homeless people on parked Citi Bikes last summer went viral.
The Chelsea resident — who was kicked out of Skidmore, dropped out of NYU and graduated from SUNY Albany — also recently signed a book deal and was spotted in the company of Justin Bieber and Busta Rhymes at the Cannes Film Festival in May.
“He’s a cultural icon,” New York comedian Scott Rogowsky told the Post. “Funny just naturally emanates from his sweat glands. It’s his musk.”
Ostrovsky cashes in on his internet popularity, making up to $2,500 for each sponsored Instagram post that includes one of his signature outlandish captions.
“There’s this sense of discovery with him, like, ‘Oh my God, you’re real.’ People come up to him and just grab his hair,” said entertainment reporter Ben Lyons.
Ostrovsky grew up in New York with his radiologist father, nutritionist mother and a younger brother. He attended the Trevor Day School on the Upper West Side and as a child, said he “wanted to go into event planning and do tasteful floral arrangements.” The theme of his March bar mitzvah was “autumn.”
He developed his “Fat Jew” alter ego at summer camp. He explained, “It came out of a counselor I had who was super fat and identified himself as ‘a fat Jew.’”
Ostrovsky dabbled in “performance art” in college but started making a living doing it after returning to NYC post-graduation, where he started getting paid to host parties and film himself acting ridiculous.
Trying to live up to his “Fat Jew” moniker, Ostrovsky thinks he needs to put on some weight.
“This little Puerto Rican girl ran up to me on Houston Street and was like, ‘You’re not as fat as I thought you were. You need to go right now and get fat,’” he told the Post. “I’m really trying to go for that young Gandolfini look, where I’m fat but taut. But I might just go right now and start drinking Nutella.”