Delaware Handyman is TikTok ‘Ryan Reynolds of construction’ | Delaware News
By ANDRE LAMAR, Newspaper
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Matt Werline is 34 in human years. On TikTok, however, the comedic handyman is just a toddler.
But this man-child has 229,000 cracking TikTok fans.
It’s validation for Werline, who was voted class clown his senior year at Concord High School.
The Wilmington resident is best known as ‘MattFixxit’ on TikTok, an account he launched in July that has gained more than 226,000 followers since late January.
MattFixxit’s account features videos of the freelance handyman, whose TikTok account bears the same name as his repair business. He shares tips and tricks he will use to fix a building or house he has been assigned to fix in New Castle County.
But to spice things up, it weaves in humorous commentary, as well as dancing, wig-wearing, adult-themed jokes and swearing.
Werline often tickles his followers with DIY sound effects he creates for his power tools. His circular saw is affectionately named Buzzy.
“I never knew all of this was going to happen. I had no idea. I wasn’t trying to go viral,” he said. “But now that I have an audience, I’m going through a good time with. I’m having fun.
The Concord High graduate’s first viral video was on January 19 and has since generated 1.8 million views. This video is about moldy caulking in the bathroom.
It begins with Werline visiting a bathtub that has black mold on the caulking, as he gives his impression of a used car salesman.
“Does your bathroom caulking look like a hot dog—-? Are you embarrassed to let your friends and family use your shower? If so, this video is for you,” said Werline in a TikTok.
Jenny Werline, Matt’s wife, said that when her husband raises his voice, which he does near the end of the bathroom video, sometimes “he sounds like SpongeBob”. Fans on TikTok have jokingly compared him to Jack Black, and he’s been dubbed the “Ryan Reynolds of construction.”
In addition to the sarcasm in this bathroom video, Werline demonstrates how to remove putty using Krud Kutter product.
What helped this video explode, he said, was how relatable it was, something he noticed in the comments section.
“I keep rewatching it just to hear the comment ma boi,” wrote an amused TikToker.
“This is A-level entertainment and education,” another TikToker wrote.
“LMFAO when (I was) 17, I took some white spray paint and gently covered all the brown spots,” one commenter shared.
Since this video went viral, Werline has posted over a dozen TikToks and each has generated at least 40,000 views. His last was on February 15 and features a house with a leaky roof. It has 59,000 views.
The success behind his viral following, he said, was creating content that people can connect with and that will inspire them to share it. In fact, Werline lost his tongue in a few videos and said the authenticity of not editing it made more people like him.
His most-watched video landed on February 3 and features a home repair that required foil siding. It has 3.8 million views.
It was one of the first where he started using sound effects. Now it has become a staple of his content. But he is constantly trying to figure out which videos will work well.
“I over-analyzed the —- of it all.”
CUSTOMER MATTFIXXIT: “THIS IS REALLY COOL”
Steve Barone from Wilmington has been a MattFixxit customer for a few years. Her home is featured in a couple of Werline’s TikTok videos, including one from January 30 where Werline installs soft-close cabinet hinges.
Barone doesn’t like TikTok, he said, but it was a treat to see Werline acting like a jerk in a video featuring his house. The video has 184,000 views.
“When you watch it, there are the sound effects; and things like that just make you laugh, including the funny faces Matt made. It’s really cool. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
Barone was a recurring customer of Werline, long before TikTok fame, because his know-how is there.
“He does a fantastic job. I used it because of a recommendation from a friend a few years ago on some initial projects. As I fix my house and make updates, I contact him again.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to tackle home renovations themselves to cut costs rather than hiring a professional.
This has been the source of some crazy DIY failures that Werline was hired to fix. One of the worst he witnessed involved people trying to fix drain pipes in their kitchen.
“I’ve seen some caulking work where they just loaded it with silicone on the drain pipe, thinking that would fix it; and that never solves the problem, because the silicone doesn’t stick because it’s wet and they haven’t cleaned it.
But broken drain pipes are usually an easy and inexpensive repair. “It’s literally something that costs 30 cents. It’s like a little slip nut or a little plastic washer.
“I DIED SERIOUSLY”
The Wilmington man has been running his company MattFixxit for four years. It took him nearly a year to get to the point where he could work five days a week.
Werline’s success on TikTok has landed him around four new customers, he said.
He’s in such high demand these days that he only does repairs in New Castle County. He’s his only employee.
“I can’t do the job 10 minutes from home. And I am very serious,” he said. “I was constantly overwhelmed even before it went viral. But now it’s just going to get worse.”
Werline is also a real estate agent, and he said he would like to focus more on selling properties because it’s more lucrative than being a handyman, and it’s easier on his body.
Ultimately, however, Werline enjoys being a handyman more than a real estate agent.
“I like the challenge. I’m different —- thrown at me all the time.
In the meantime, Concord’s high-class clown is looking to continue his shenanigans on TikTok and use the platform to generate more business for repair work.
“Later on, when I’m 5 million subscribers and sort of a local celebrity, ‘I charge $1,000 a day because I’m the comedic handyman.’
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