Everyone’s loving the ‘Heaven’s Receptionist’ videos on TikTok, and it’s easy to see why

When we think of beauty pageant contestants, we typically think of glitz and glamor and April 25th being the perfect date, because all you need is a light jacket. Being a hilarious sketch performer isn’t often associated with beauty pageantry, but a former Miss New York has quickly become a very popular TikTok content creator.

Taryn Delanie Smith, who was crowned Miss New York in 2022 and was the first runner-up in last year’s Miss America pageant, is absolutely beautiful and absolutely hilarious. Her “Heaven” series is particularly popular, with each video garnering millions of views as audiences share their love of “Denise,” her now-recognizable receptionist character.

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In one video, she’s assuring us that Rasputin is nowhere to be found beyond the pearly gates. In another, she’s telling a heaven newcomer to help herself to bottomless margaritas with Betty White. Denise chews gum, laughs like Fran Drescher, taps her perfectly manicured nails on her computer, uses a pink disposable razor as her phone headset, all while adorned in a white towel and bathrobe with a sky stock image in the background.

(In case you’re wondering, Rasputin is now “someone’s sleep paralysis demon in Michigan,” according to Denise.)

And while Denise is, without question, the most spot-on receptionist character of all time, she’s also warm and gentle. In a few videos dedicated to followers who have shared comments about their lost loved ones, Smith makes sure Denise is the one to welcome them to the other side.

“I know seeing us up here can be a little bit of a shock,” Denise says to one 20-year-old heaven newcomer, as requested by her friend grieving her loss. “But if there’s something I know, it’s that there’s a lot more to being alive than just living. ‘Cause sometimes it’s a good situation up here—you feel how warm it is? It’s like that all the time.”

There’s just something so soothing about her character and her presence, isn’t there? As fellow content creator Elyse Myers commented about one video: they’re like a “warm hug.”

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Recently, Smith spoke with Yahoo! Life about her random rise to Internet fame—and how her mom egged her to get on the app.

“I was a receptionist at the time, and I was working at a call center, and I was horrible,” Smith said. “I hated it, and I was a grad student, and my mom was like, ‘Taryn, you got to get on this thing because you’re so silly and funny.'”

That she is. And her account is full of many different kinds of videos—her daily routine, interviewing people on the street, pageant stuff, etc.—but they all have one thing in common: she’s genuine in all of them. And that’s why so many people are loving Denise, too.