If you don’t know David Dobrik, you need to. The Slovakian-born YouTube sensation is a self-made multimillionaire whose become one of the biggest influencers on social media today. The Wall Street Journal named him “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon,” People named him Sexiest Heartthrob of 2019 and Discovery Channel named him host of the hilarious Dodgeball Thunderdome (Wednesdays at 9/8c).
Dobrik, who grew up in Vernon Hills, Illinois, has fond memories of the sport growing up, which was mainly played at his school when they had a substitute gym teacher. “We never got to actually pick our own teams, because our high school was really weird about people getting picked last and it hurting their feelings. That’s not like our show, because on Dodgeball Thunderdome, there are people that get picked last, and it is very sad,” he jokes. “That’s the best part to watch.” Here David Dobrik takes our questions head on, and offers a few pointers on surviving the game, too.
Many people dreaded dodgeball growing up — it was like their worst nightmare. How did you fare when you played in high school?
That’s what I’ve been hearing, too. Maybe I’m just so biased, because when I was in it, I absolutely loved it. I was like there’s no way anybody can hate this, but I guess I was just so in my own zone about dodgeball that I never realized that there was somebody on the other end of the dodgeball game where they were getting pegged with these balls, and they just weren’t a big fan of it. I loved it. Again, I am biased, because I just had the best time throwing balls at people.
How good are your instincts when it comes to sizing up the competition?
Going into this, I had a pretty good idea of who I think would win, but there’s a lot of underdogs that end up winning the show, which is really fun, and people pick teams. Sometimes, people will pick a goofy person who you’ll think is so wrong to pick, but then they’ll really just end up contributing a lot to the team, whether they’re distracting the other opponents or they just have so much energy that they’re taking all the shots. I think it’s really anybody’s game. That’s why it’s so good — you can have a geek versus a jock, a firefighter versus a librarian, whatever, and it’s anybody’s game.
What are some tips you’ve learned from watching that you’d use?
A lot of people get really caught up with the course. They get so caught up in running the course and throwing the ball that they forget that the most important part of dodgeball is to dodge. I’m going to focus on that, and I’m going to make sure, if I ever get back in a four-on-four situation, like back in high school, I’m going to make sure that I stay back and keep my composure, and attack when all the balls are on my side, and I have dodged everything else. After my entire five years of living in L.A., I’m finally taking something that I can take home and apply it to my high school. It’ll be nice.
Dodgeball Thunderdome airs on Discovery Wednesdays at 9/8c.