Desus and THE KID MERO Talk Trump, Celebrity Geek Outs + Health [Interview]
If you haven’t heard, read or seen Desus Nice and THE KID MERO and their brand of hood-related comedy then you’re missing out. The Bronx, New York native duo have built up their brand into an adamantium-strength marque that has been pushed by companies such as Complex, MTV and VICE. For those who don’t know, Desus and Mero were connected through the social network site Twitter where their sardonic and relatable humor accelerated their popularity.
Now, those Bronx County bullies have parlayed their Twitter celebrity into television fame as the hosts of their own week-in-review television show, Desus and Mero, which airs Monday thru Thursday on VICE. As real New York representatives, these two talk about the latest and greatest in pop culture, roast those dripping with clown juice and keep the streets flooding with that officialness. With a healthy calendar of work-related events and scheduled appearances — we caught up with Desus Nice and THE KID MERO as they were getting ready to record their live podcast episode at SLATE with Hpnotiq in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.
As the episode has gone live (listen to it here) — we spoke with the architects of the world’s most dangerous podcast about who they’re voting for Election Day, which celebrity was super geeked to meet The Bodega Boys and how maintaining their health is the secret to their success.
Okayplayer: Podcasting is one of the most relaxed environments that you can perform in nowadays. For comics, there are all sorts of different avenues — from sketch to stand-up to improv — so what makes recording The Bodega Boys the most comfortable for you guys?
Desus: Podcasting is the most comfortable for us because our comedy is not scripted. It is basically just two dudes from the hood riffing with each other. When you’re doing a podcast, as opposed to something like being in front of a camera, you’re not worried about who else is in the room. We’re literally talking in front of the pics and it is going to catch everything. Because there is no visual element to podcasting then you can just be yourself. You don’t have to look at this camera or look at that camera, be blocked off here or worry about logos or running all of that through legal and Standards and Practices. To be extra trill, a podcast is probably the last unfiltered media format where you can just say whatever. I mean, yeah, you might get sued or something, but you can definitely pull up from 40 on a podcast.
THE KID MERO: It’s more relaxed than television and it is more organic because this stuff comes naturally through conversation. We’re not sitting around writing jokes. TV is different because it is like, “I’m going to write this joke and I’m going to deliver it to the camera. I’m done.” With the podcast, we go in there saying to one another, “Yo?! What are we talking about?” and can start on the actual topic then diverge into some whole other shit that ends up being funnier than the original topic, y’know what I mean? [Podcasting] offers us the freedom to go anywhere you want that other places don’t.
OKP: It is more like a sort of train-of-thought form of freestyling?
D: Right… With the podcast, the listener is sitting between me and Mero riffing like how we would riff even if it wasn’t on a podcast. Say you had a terrible job or something, we’re your co-workers who are cutting up during lunch break and you’re in the middle of our conversation. What we do is very authentic. We’re not there like, “Oh, here are some bullet points, say this line. Say that line.” No, we’re basically like whatever is on your mind go ahead and say it! You’ve seen it… we’ll start off talking about Rudy Giuliani and somehow we’ll end up talking about him taking his kids to school. That’s just the way it works. You allow the conversation to lead the flow, which is what I think people really enjoy about our podcast.
OKP: OK, OK, definitely dope fellas. I have to ask you both about the voices on the show. The Bodega Boys opens with an excellent impersonation. While it sounds like Mero does most of the voices — how do you guys get inspired to do these characters? Have you ever thought about getting into voice-over work?