His parents called him Josh Ostrovsky, but to his nearly eight million followers across Instagram (7.1 million followers), Facebook (650,000) and Twitter (250,000), he’s better known as Fat Jew — “Actor. Writer. Plus size model. Horseback riding enthusiast. Can eat an entire bagel in one bite,” according to his YouTube bio.
Whatever you call him, get used to seeing a whole lot more of him as Ostrovsky makes the leap from social media celebrity to streaming star in an original animated series, Story Time with Fat Jew.
The first of 10 animated shorts dropped Dec. 7 (billed as “your second day of Hanukkah treat”) on Ostrovky’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The series, which was executive produced by Maker Studios, can also be viewed on Maker’s own streaming site, MakerTV.
The series is voiced by Ostrovsky and recounts comedic stories from his own life, such as his run-ins with various celebs, including Kanye West and Tyrese Gibson. The encounters will be depicted through animation drawn by TmWrk Studios and creative led by Superette. New York and L.A.-based prodco Matador Content (Lip Sync Battle, Banksy Does New York) produced the series.
“Like a drunk uncle on Thanksgiving, I tell you a bunch of awesome stories that nobody will ever forget and might ruin dinner. Enjoy,” he said in a media statement.
Represented by Creative Artists Agency, Ostrovsky’s fame has been on the rise in recent months. In November he published his first book Money Pizza Respect with Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group. But, until now, his on-screen time has been limited largely to brand campaigns featuring the likes of Burger King, Craftsman Tools, and Virgin Mobile. His YouTube presence has also been minimal to date, with just 8,500 subscribers.
Ostrovsky’s popularity has also been dogged by controversy. Notably, other comedians flagged some of Ostrovsky’s Instagram posts, claiming he was reprinting their jokes without permission and without credit to the original creators. (Ostrovsky has since been adding credit to his posts.) Around the same time, Comedy Central confirmed it had dropped a deal to develop a script with the comedian, though the network said the decision had nothing to do with the allegations.
This is Maker’s first time working with Ostrovsky in an official capacity. Bonnie Pan, EVP of programming for Maker, said Ostrovsky’s “irreverent humor” and comedic storytelling fits with the studio’s overall content strategy.
The new series is among a slate of digital originals backed by Disney-owned Maker. The studio also produced the recently launched animated adventure Pugatory, voiced by YouTube sensation PewDiePie (Felix Kjellberg) and CutiePieMarzia (Marzia Bisognin); the digital talk show Party Fun Times, hosted by Taryn Southern; and the skateboard travel adventure The Unge Quest, starring German gamer Simon Unge.