If you’re at all close to me I’m sure I’ve already chewed your ear off about “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” at least once.
If I have, I do not apologize.
See, one of the things I wanted to do with this blog is make recommendations and steer people towards great things they might not necessarily know about. And I want to start by talking just a bit about my new absolute favorite thing in the whole wide world.
“My Brother, My Brother, and Me” (henceforth abbreviated as MBMBAM), is a weekly podcast created by and starring brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. It is technically an advice show, and each week the brothers answer questions both from listeners and from random Yahoo Answers users, but to describe it only as that is to do it a great injustice. It is also one of the funniest things I’ve ever listened to. I now usually do my workouts at the Monon Center to the dulcet tones of these brothers, and I’ve had to desperately stifle my laughter as to not appear completely unhinged to my fellow exercisers so many times that I think my abs are more defined because of it.
As I often do when I get totally obsessed with something, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is about this podcast that charms me so much, and I think I’ve figured it out.
First of all, their goofy, inside-joke laden style of humor is very familiar to me. I’ve gotten a few of my friends into McElroy content. Two of the brothers have a hilarious gaming series on YouTube known as Monster Factory, which I have repeatedly subjected my friends to at various parties and social fuctions, and the jokes in this series as well as in the podcast have integrated themselves seamlessly into my friends and my inside jokes.
It’s obvious why – they’re the same sort of jokes we would cook up. “Slendy playing the bongo drums” is pretty much indistinguishable as a joke from “Backpack for his applesauce” to an outsider, but one of them is an inside joke between several of my friends and one is an inside joke created in a YouTube series by Justin and Griffin. I’m sure some readers of this blog know the difference (Hi guys!) but to those who don’t, it’s essentially the same indistinguishable word salad that still, without fail, makes us laugh.
For that reason, it’s obvious why this style of humor would appeal to me, because it reminds me of my friends. The way we take a concept and verbally beat it until it’s somehow become a new concept entirely, one that is simultaneously hilarious to us and nonsense to outsiders, is something that happens on MBMBAM all the time. It’s familiar. It never fails to make me smile.
Second of all, the McElroy brothers are just… genuinely good people. I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to comedy, and I very often dislike comedic movies just because I don’t really trust the people who make them not to make impolite and insensitive jokes. Whenever I try and watch your run-of-the-mill blockbuster comedy, I spend so much time stressing about what awful offensive thing could be rounding the next corner that I can’t really enjoy myself.
But McElroy brothers are just honestly such nice guys. For reals. They make stupid toilet jokes and sex jokes sometimes (a lot of the time), sure. But at the end of the day, they’re very open and accepting of everyone, and it’s so refreshing. Their jokes have never made me cringe or feel uncomfortable.
I remember an exact moment in an episode where they were responding to a listener asking for advice on how to deal with a coworker who calls them “asexual” because they couldn’t get a date. I was fully and honestly prepared to grin and bear the usual reaction I hear whenever asexuality comes up, that sort of “oh you’re one of those special snowflakes, huh?”
But the brothers. Honest to god. Called the coworker out for it. Said that people actually describe themselves as asexual for a reason, and that it wasn’t an insult or a term to just throw around. And then they made the situation genuinely funny, made it into a lighthearted joke at the expense of this rude coworker and not the asexuality.
Yes, I know. I’m a dirty politically correct millennial. I get it. But it’s really nice to just be able to laugh and have a good time and not have to look past the mean, low-blow humor that seems so common nowadays. Plus, they’re never preachy about it. They too make mistakes, but they apologize for them. They’re aware of the very potent power they hold over their audience, and they use it only for good.
Okay, maybe I’ve done kind of a bad job at recommending this podcast to anyone except a very specific type of person. But hey, that’s what this blog is for, right?
However, if I have somehow managed to sell you on MBMBAM, give it a listen for yourself here. It updates with a new episode every Monday. I highly suggest you just listen to the most recent episodes, because they’ve been doing this for like six years now and the quality has MAJORLY jumped since the beginning.
Anyway, I’m your extra-est blogger, Gillian Paxton, and this has been my recommendation for MBMBAM. Thanks for reading, and kiss your dad square on the lips.
(…Yes, that was a reference to the podcast. I swear.)
(This is one of my favorite goofs on this podcast. Parental advisory warning: there’s some swearing. But it’s hilarious, I promise.)