In a scene from “Saturday Night Live,” British actor Daniel Craig stares into the camera and hangs his arms as if he’s about to raise them above his head but gets tired halfway through.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Weeknd,” he said, announcing the episode’s musical guest: Canadian pop star Abel Tesfaye. The studio audience started cheering.
The four seconds of this shot, remarkable if only for Mr. Craig’s vague tone (is he angry? Suspicious? Expectations? Neutral?), was certainly forgotten by most viewers after the episode was finished. airs on March 7, 2020. But not by Miles Riehle.
Watching Mr. Craig on “SNL”, he was amused by what he saw as a double intruder. “It seemed like he was welcoming on weekends, like on Saturdays or Sundays,” said 18-year-old Riehle. “I said, ‘Man, that’s really funny. “
When the account went live a few months later, in November, “I’m happy to have so many people following something I’m working on,” Mr. Riehle said. Soon, the interview requests started coming in.
“Because now I have to make sure I keep all these people entertained,” he said.
That said, he seems to be maintaining the interest of his more than 450,000 followers, who are Friday through Friday awaiting his announcement that the work week is over. Some people text him when they feel he hasn’t made his statement early enough.
Mr Riehle thinks the account’s allure can be compounded by positive and predictable messages in times marked by fear and uncertainty.
“With so much stress going on in the world, for many people it’s become even more powerful, being able to enjoy the weekend and be excited about it,” he said. Fans of this account, he said, have developed “a community of good vibes”.
Mr Riehle said: “It seems that people have always been kind to each other in replies, comments and tweet quotes. “I think it’s a rarity on the internet.”
He usually posts from 3:45 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Pacific time, but never on the hour. “I want to keep people,” he said.
Indeed, his followers know something is coming – but not exactly when – which could be the key to keeping them engaged, said John Suler, a professor of psychology at Rider University.
Predictability “is very reassuring to everyone, especially during a pandemic when people don’t have much to do on Fridays and everything else in life seems so unpredictable,” Dr. Suler said. . “But then he mixed a bit of unpredictable reinforcement by posting at different times of the night.”
Josh Varela, a fellow at Lead for America, a local government leadership program for recent college graduates, from Ventura, California, turned on notifications for the account so he and you roommates know it’s time to let go of responsibilities for the week.
“Whenever @CraigWeekend tweets, we see it as the moment we open a beer and hang out,” said 23-year-old Varela.
Derek Milton, a 34-year-old film director from Los Angeles, says that “every worry, every worry, every difficulty that has accumulated over the past five days is relieved by a 4-second clip.” He and his friends loved the video so much that they recorded it their own parody version while taking pictures with anyone other than Weeknd.
Mr. Craig was not available to comment on the “SNL” clip, but Weeknd appeared to be talking about the joke. In May, he tweeted, “Ladies and Gentlemen…”
It was not difficult for Mr. Riehle to fill in the blanks.
“I consider it a tweet calling out to me personally,” he said. “I think you like it.”
Mr. Riehle started college this fall at the University of California, Davis, where he plans to study environmental policy and planning. He plans to continue running the account while in school.
“I don’t know when it will end or if it will end,” he said. “Obviously if it gets to the point of harming my relationship with the Internet, I can get rid of it, but I have no plans right now to stop doing that.”
Mr. Riehle knows that, for some workers, this tweet can also be a well-intentioned reminder of impending mandates. He also serves as an ambassador for Orange County’s public transit service – on weekends.
“It was ironic,” he said.