Podcast of the Week: YEAH, BUT STILL
In my time contributing to the Podcast of the Week series, I’ve generally tried to keep my recommendations in a sphere of accessibility that anyone can theoretically enjoy. We all like scary things. We all want to know about how porn is affecting our everyday life. We all could use some cooking tips and a greater appreciation for the food we eat. Well, allow me to indulge myself a bit on this week’s recommended podcast: this one is probably not for everyone. But if you’re a sewer-dwelling cretin of the internet, particularly one that keeps up with the hottest, freshest content on Twitter, you’ll find a lot to love with YEAH, BUT STILL. And, as with all the best podcasts, there’s something much more interesting and stimulating at the core than may initially meet the ear.
Well, not always. You see, YEAH, BUT STILL is the brainchild of comedians, internet personalities, and *shudder*, “meme lords” Brandon Wardell and Jack Wagner. If your first question was, “Huh?,” you should probably keep browsing the rest of our archives for a podcast to tickle your fancy. Their fame and popularity mostly indebted to their sardonic, biting, and, yes, regularly hilarious social media presences, attempting to explain their appeal, motivations, or even why they’re a name in a handful of households instantly renders you a boring fuddy-duddy, desperately grasping at straws trying to understand the post-post-post-ironic sinkhole of millennial tastes. All you really need to know is that the two are clearly best friends and close confidants, effortlessly hitting a stride of banter, ribbing, and in-jokes several layers deep that anyone who has ever attempted to write dialogue could only dream of emulating. On the surface, the podcast is mostly the two shooting the shit, with several references to their daily lives, tangential anecdotes involving personal histories, loose discussions of current pop culture events, and appraisals of work coming from fellow 280-character warriors. I typically don’t enjoy podcasts without a “thing,” but I could listen to these two talk all day; it certainly does help if you’re historically a fan.
But, even though I’m sure I would have to put up a bit of a fight if confronted in person, I think that even with YEAH, BUT STILL, which really, truly is just two friends flapping gums on two microphones, there’s something, dare I say, intellectual about the proceedings. The thing is, even if it’s done unknowingly, Brandon and Jack present an extremely convincing, nuanced, and holistic deconstruction and analysis of the internet and how it interacts and augments personalities. Hearing them mull over Brandon’s spread of “The Sheriff of Suckin U Off” and “Dicks Out for Harambe,” or Jack’s long-term trolling and harassment of Dan Bilzerian on Instagram is inside baseball, most certainly, but it’s also fascinating. Like it or not, understanding the methods by which and psychology of how “memes” spread is essential to existing in 2017’s cultural sphere, and the pair offer surprisingly cogent and critical discussion, bringing in artistic license, agency, plagiarism, celebrity, and anything and everything else you can imagine revolving around the concept of being famous online. It sneaks up on you before you even know what’s happening, but there’s been something in each episode that’s left me scratching my head, and that’s something you wouldn’t think would happen on a podcast with extended anti-jokes about being sponsored by diarrhea and DADDY’S HOME 2.
This is certainly not a podcast to gather the whole family around the computer to listen to, but if you’re young, dumb, and fundamentally addicted to the internet, you’ll find nuggets of valuable wisdom and insight here, even if you are stone-faced enough to not find amusement with the rest. I suppose no matter how much I try to elevate its more pensive moments, I should stress once again that this is still definitively a “comedy” podcast—I find myself belly-laughing an average of three times each episode. But no matter what sphere you’re approaching YEAH, BUT STILL from, its astronomical rise up the iTunes chart in its comparatively nascent days shows that people are paying attention, and while I’m sure we’ll have to endure more think pieces on these two and their brand of humor until the Earth implodes, at least their podcast will be there to keep us entertained.