Eilise Guilfoyle on making TikTok comedy gold

The actress, writer, and comedian says TikTok has replaced the traditional acting reel.

FYI, this is the Eilise Guilfoyle video that got me to finally follow her. —Kate


The more you settle into TikTok, the more a community of creators forms around you, becoming familiar faces in your daily For You Page scroll. That’s usually how I determine if someone is about to blow up—if I don’t (yet) follow them, but TikTok has served their videos to me more than once, then the algorithm has chosen them to be the next big thing. This was the case for Emily Mariko, and now Eilise Guilfoyle has become a similar staple on my feed—minus the salmon rice. 

Twenty-five-year-old Guilfoyle is an LA-based actress and comedian with 46,000 followers on TikTok, frequently reaching video audiences in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, thanks to characters like “Girl Whose Boyfriend has Nothing Planned For Valentines Day” and quick updates about how someone shoved four slices of garlic bread through her cracked car window. While Guilfoyle’s videos are simple, her unique delivery surprises and entertains. Fellow comedians like Meg Stalter, as well as artists like Megan Trainor and Bishop Briggs follow her, and you can find Lizzo in her comments. 

A post shared by eilise guilfoyle (@_thegills)
A post shared by eilise guilfoyle (@_thegills)

“I genuinely have no idea how you aren’t famous at this point tbh,” fellow TikTok comedian Elyse Myers, who has close to three million followers, commented back in August. “Your flavor of comedy is *chefs kiss*.” 

Guilfoyle started her comedy and acting career in college at Loyola Marymount University and the Los Angeles improv and sketch comedy theater Groundlings, but she looks to creators like Myers, Stalter, Hannah Pilkes, Maddie Grace Jepson, Mary Kelly, and Bethanne Brice for inspiration on the app.

In this interview for paid subscribers, Guilfoyle tells me about how TikTok is the new acting reel, and the code she’s cracked for making videos go viral. 

This post is for paid subscribers