Behind the Scenes of @CollegeCribs with TikTok Star Noel B. Doherty

The Villanova University student is the host of the viral TikTok channel taking viewers inside real college dorm rooms.
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  • Noel B. Doherty started hosting @CollegeCribs on TikTok during the spring 2022 semester.
  • @CollegeCribs is backed by Fallen Media, a creator-driven content studio.
  • Doherty built his TikTok brand doing man-on-the-street interviews on his channel @NoelB.Askin

Nearly 600,000 followers on TikTok are giving Villanova University student Noel B. Doherty a green flag.

Doherty is host of @CollegeCribs, a TikTok channel where he tours college dorm rooms and grades their vibes with red and green flag emojis.

Doherty built his TikTok brand on his @NoelBDoherty and @NoelB.Askin channels, where he has amassed a combined following of more than 209,000 doing man-on-the-street style interviews with his fellow Gen Zers.

Now, as host of @CollegeCribs, he's building a new college student-focused brand with the backing of Fallen Media, a creator-driven content studio amplifying and monetizing Gen Z's fave social media channels.

"Fallen Media reached out to me," Doherty said in an interview with BestColleges. "They saw the success of my @NoelB.Askin man-on-the-street interviews. I think they saw some potential in me and saw that I could bring sort of a new dynamic to what they were working with. We had a bunch of meetings, and we came up with @CollegeCribs together."

The relatively new @CollegeCribs TikTok channel launched in spring 2022 and has already garnered 387,000 followers. Doherty films show segments such as "Red Flags, Green Flags," "Roommate Wars," and "How Much Does Your Stuff Cost," all while being a full-time student.

“At first it was all basically asking favors from friends. I'm a very social guy, so I knew enough people at Villanova to get around and ask if I could come into their dorm rooms.”
Noel B. Doherty, Villanova University student

"At first it was all basically asking favors from friends. I'm a very social guy, so I knew enough people at Villanova to get around and ask if I could come into their dorm rooms," he said. "Especially having the background of @NoelB.Askin was quite popular on Villanova's campus. So, people were comfortable letting a camera into their room because they understood that it was going to go toward something funny."

Behind the Scenes of a Viral TikTok Video

Right now, @CollegeCribs is filmed by two of Doherty's friends.

As the series kicked off, the show's student-subjects were either folks Doherty knew or people he met on the street. But once the show started taking off, students started asking to have their dorm rooms featured, Doherty said.

"Sometimes if I run into someone randomly, I'll be like, 'Hey, you're in college, right? I'm gonna write you down, do you want to be on the show?' I have a note in my phone for contacts. We do get some DMs on Instagram," he said.

Filming for @CollegeCribs doesn't take too long, Doherty said, and videos are always cut down to 45-50 seconds to be uploaded to TikTok.

Doherty's approach to setting up a shoot sets the stage for @CollegeCribs' viral success.

"I knock on the door, say, 'Hi,' and then we set up the camera and the microphone. We go back out into the hallway and then we start the audio, we start the video, and then I knock … or sometimes I kick, or sometimes I headbutt the door, sometimes I slam my whole body," he said.

@collegecribs Who would win in a head to head fight: Gibby tapestry vs gender neutral squishmallow? #collegecribs #collegelife #college #dorm #collegedorm #dormlife #manonthestreet #gibby #squishmallows #irish #katemiddleton ♬ original sound - College Cribs

Peak College Dorm 'Style'

With over 100 @CollegeCribs videos under his belt, Doherty knows a thing or two about college dorm decoration.

"I've been doing it for over six months, and I still get surprised all the time," he said.

So, what's hot?

"Cowboy hats. They've become a party item," he said. "Everyone's got these flags with quotes that are obviously incorrect. It might be like a presidential figure or a historical figure, and then it's some raunchy, funny quote. It's silly things like that that make up our current-day college experience, our current-day, like, decorative style, which I think is so fun.”

@collegecribs University of Your Mom #college #dorm #dormtour #collegedorm #collegelife #boston ♬ original sound - College Cribs

College students underestimate the weight that their design style holds, Doherty said.

"Our age group, our generation, we don't realize it, but we are a piece of American culture," he said. "These weird flags and memes are just like so off the rails being hung up on your walls, and the rainbow LED lights, all the trendy things. Maybe it's just like a dumb joke or disco balls. Everyone has disco balls nowadays. I have a massive disco ball," he said.

But that doesn't mean Doherty hasn't seen some weird stuff passed off as "style." That list includes a shrine to a dead hamster, a communal sock ("double red flag!"), and a super-spooky lamp bought off Facebook Marketplace.

"[That lamp] is one of the most unique things I've ever seen," he said. "[The students] performed an exorcism because they thought they were being haunted by a seahorse lamp, like a large lamp."

Students Love @CollegeCribs

One of Doherty's fave episodes is his tour of the dorm room of Villanova basketball players Jermaine Samuels and Collin Gillespie.

"It was cool to see inside their life, and it had a cool effect on the Villanova community. That was one of the biggest in-person responses I've seen," Doherty said. "I felt like it was a really fun thing for the Villanova people on campus. They were like, 'Whoa, the TikTok guy and the basketball people, in the same thing?'"

@collegecribs Apartment tour of final four star basketball players⛹️‍♂️ #collegecribs #college #dorm #collegelife #dormtour #collegedorm #dormlife #basketball #villanova #marchmadness #ballislife #sneakerhead ♬ original sound - College Cribs

Doherty said he gets recognized on Villanova's campus all the time and doesn't mind when people come up and talk to him.

"I do get recognized on campus, which is a crazy, exciting thing. I appreciate it so, so much every single time because no matter how high the numbers get on the screen, in my mind, it kind of means nothing in a way because I can't physically picture it," he said.

"But, when groups of people come up to me in real life, and I see that I made a real-life human laugh, I feel accomplished. I feel really proud of what I'm putting out."

What's Next for @CollegeCribs

In the fall, Doherty hopes to expand @CollegeCribs with more segments and is even planning on expanding episodes to include university dining halls.

Another idea he's developing "requires students to be blindfolded, spun around, and then asked to find stuff in their room."

Also look for a live question-and-answer broadcast in 2022.

"I might go live once a week, and we were hoping to have callers calling into the show live and telling us about their college problems or their college questions," he said.

"I feel like I'm fully ingrained in the college lifestyle, and if I can help soothe anyone's anxieties or help share my experiences that would make people feel better about what they are going into, that would just make me so happy."

And Doherty is also teasing a peek into his own dorm room in a future @CollegeCribs episode.

"I have yet to do a tour of my own dorm!" he said. "I'll probably do that next semester, though. I'm thinking all green flags perhaps? I mean, I've got a shoo-in with the judge. I feel like we have good odds of winning this thing."