Ted Zhar NYC TikToks that started ‘as a joke’

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Asking people how they make money is one New Yorker’s livelihood. 

Edward Zharnitsky, 28, spends his work days wandering the streets of the Big Apple, filming unassuming passersby while asking, “What do you do for a living?”

He uploads their responses to social media — and earns a six-figure salary in the process.

Edward Zharnitsky
Zharnitsky films unassuming passersbies while asking, “What do you do for a living?”
Helayne Seidman

Edward Zharnitsky interviewing woman on the street
He films mostly in Soho, because “everyone there is very interesting and artistic,” he said.
Helayne Seidman

“The videos are really just [about] meeting interesting people in Manhattan that I normally wouldn’t meet if I wasn’t making them, and exploring New York and the people within it,”  Zharnitsky, who goes by Ted Zhar on social media, told The Post.

The young influencer lives in East Village and films mostly in Soho, because “everyone there is very interesting and artistic,” he said.

He’s amassed more than 600,000 followers and 30 million “likes” on TikTok since August 2020, when he posted a video asking a gray Ferrari driver how he afforded the luxury vehicle. 

Although the videos started “as a joke,” Zharnitsky began earning enough from social media platforms for engagement in his posts, brand deals and partnerships with companies like Paramount Plus to quit his corporate finance job last year.

The social media star’s off-the-cuff exchanges have also led him to embark on the most random of excursions — from a trip to Soho eatery 19 Cleveland to sample Doce Mezcal, to journeying to Saudi Arabia solely to taste the burger at popular podcast host Mike Majlak’s restaurant. 

“You never know who you’re going to meet and what adventure they’re going to take you on,” said Zharnitsky, who asks everyone from UPS workers to well-known stars what they do for a living.  

But not all strollers take kindly to Zharnitsky’s filming of them, including actor Adam Sandler, who slapped the phone out of the influencer’s hand when he tried to record the star answering his famed question during a random encounter in Soho.

“I’m still a huge Adam Sandler fan, despite what happened in that video,” Zharnitsky said with a chuckle. 

Zharnitsky’s catchphrases — “What do you do for a living?” and “DasWassup,” which he is known to throw out in nearly every clip — have grown into their own brands, recognizable to people across the globe.

While filming in Soho on Thursday, Jess Bevilacqua, a 27-year-old tourist from Toronto, exclaimed “That’s the guy!” after overhearing Zharnitsky interviewing another pedestrian. 

Edward Zharnitsky
Zharnitsky’s catchphrases are “What do you do for a living?” and “DasWassup.”
Helayne Seidman

Edward Zharnitsky fist bumps man on the street.
Zharnitsky’s ultimate goal with his videos is to inspire everyday people to act more courageously.
Helayne Seidman

“I see his TikToks on my ‘For You’ page all the time. They’re really intriguing. I always thought they were pre-planned, but now seeing [the filming], I know they’re not,” she told The Post. 

For Zharnitsky — whose videos sometimes hone in on what certain types of people, like “gays” or “hot girls” do for a living — the ultimate goal is to inspire everyday people to act more courageously. 

“Now, with cell phones and social media and even with dating apps, people are just so scared to talk to each other face to face…I hope my videos can make people want to interact with people without their cell phones, and go up to somebody on the street and talk to them,” Zharnitsky said.

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