Chris and Patrick Vörös have never seen the “Mona Lisa” in person, though they’ve heard from friends that it’s smaller than expected.
But when they do see it, likely after the COVID-19 pandemic, they know the first thing they’ll say:
The 27-year-old Hungarian-Canadian twins have been making YouTube videos since 2004, but all it took was a trivia question to skyrocket them to viral fame.
In the seven-second TikTok video, Chris and Patrick are seen answering questions. When they are asked “who painted the ‘Mona Lisa’, the two pause for a moment and ponder, before looking straight into the camera and asking: “Dan Vinki?” Not Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinki — or Da Vinky if you prefer, though the twins say the former is more accurate.
Da Vinki — like slinky or Twinkie.
It’s difficult to explain exactly why it’s so funny, these two blond, buff twins saying “Da Vinki?” with such earnest abandon, but amidst the garbage fire that is 2020, “Da Vinki?” and the Vörös twins have caught on.
As of Friday morning, the original video had over six million views and one million likes on TikTok. The video appeared on the Late Late Show with James Corden and the Vörös twins have been memed, Cameoed and compared to someone’s “last two brain cells."
But when reached by HuffPost Canada over the phone at their home in Surrey, B.C., near Vancouver, the twins said they’re just happy that people are laughing along with them.
“Like life is super short ... and we just got to be kind to everyone and make people laugh — like laughter is super cool,” they said.
When I asked Chris and Patrick to identify which twin was speaking for every question, they said, “that’s going to be tough,” because they’re constantly finishing each others’ sentences, and that they have “pretty much the same thoughts anyway.”
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That identical twin aspect is certainly part of the TikTok’s charm. They said that despite being only seven seconds long, they think the video appealed to people because there’s so much to laugh at.
“Firstly, they were like, ‘whoa those guys are twins,’ secondly, ‘whoa they have silly voices.’ ‘Whoa they have weird hair. Then we hit ‘em with ‘Da Vinki?’,” they said. “I think people want to feel smarter than someone, and people love laughing during this time, in this pandemic too.”
It’s certainly caught on.
They’ve also broken out around the world. This week, Irish pop duo Jedward shared an image of themselves with the Vörös twins, calling them “imposter Jedward.”
The Vörös twins say they’ve since challenged Jedward to a wrestling match, but have only gotten silence in return.
“Jedward didn’t like how we’re blonde twins, I guess, haha,” they said.
Chris and Patrick have frequently been referred to as “himbo icons” across social media. The phrase refers to an attractive, yet not very intelligent man — think Channing Tatum in “Magic Mike” or Matthew McConaughey in pretty much anything. According to MEL Magazine, we’re living in the “golden age of the himbo,” where such men exude “an easy, inborn, almost accidental grace.”
When asked about their “himbo icon” status, the twins said they had to look up the meaning of the word.
“We had to Google what a himbo was. We had no idea,” they said. “We guess, it’s kind of like a backhanded compliment, but we’re just gonna take the compliment.”
While the twins have been making YouTube videos and skits since 2004, they only started on TikTok early this year when their wrestling career was put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because yes, in addition to being himbo icons and viral TikTokers, they’ve been tag-team wrestlers for six years.
“We absolutely love performing and doing stuff together, so wrestling checks all of those boxes,” they said.
The two wrestle under their real names, and say their on-stage wrestling personalities are very similar to their TikTok personalities and their real personalities.
When I asked them what their favourite part about being twins is, they said “everything.”
“I wish everybody could have a twin, I never felt that loneliness, ever. I feel so bad for people who don’t have, like, a best friend, they always get to hang out with,” they said.
They said their in-person wrestling career is on hold due to border restrictions for travel to the United States and gathering size limits in B.C. and Alberta. So in the meantime, they plan to capitalize on the audience they’ve grown since going viral.
“Right now we’re just going to focus on our TikTok videos and entertaining the world,” they said.
The twins also offered up some advice for aspiring TikTokers and content creators. They said it’s important just to keep making stuff, even if it’s not going viral right away.
“We’ve pretty much been making videos our whole life, and then one finally caught on insanely,” they said. “That’s the same as if you write like 1000 songs, one might be good. But if you never write a song, none will be good. Like, we just kept throwing things at the wall, doing videos that we liked and it just takes one to explode.”
And about visiting the actual “Mona Lisa”?
“I’m sure she’s very beautiful,” they said.
“Maybe we’ll ride this wave and someone will fly us to see it. Maybe we’ll finally know who painted it.”