The internet, the great democratizer, has made wannabe celebrities of us all. The subject of a steady stream of think-pieces, the Sisyphean quest to get more clicks, more views and more likes is pursued by everyone from your doddering aunt on Facebook to cross-platform viral behemoths like Grumpy Cat (may she rest in peace).
One such online behemoth is the Try Guys, whose first Buzzfeed video has racked up well over 21 million views. Since 2014, the four Guys – Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld, Keith Habersberger and Eugene Lee Yang – have turned their willingness to put themselves in uncomfortable situations into a steady stream of relatable entertainment that has made them bona fide internet celebs.
Unlike the likes of Logan Paul, the Try Guys are using their internet powers for good. From afar, it may look like they just like doing stupid things for attention, but a dive into their YouTube channel reveals a core of friendship and humility, and a true openness to new and unique experiences, whether it be fumbling with knitting needles or simulating the experience of labor pain.
"People assume we get off on doing this crazy shit, but we still get uncomfortable with a lot of what we do physically or emotionally," says Kornfeld. However, making the videos gives them the chance to own and control that discomfort.
"It’s something that we wish everyone could experience, because there’s such a profound power in embracing that which makes you uncomfortable."
This year has been big for the Try Guys, to say the least – after splitting from Buzzfeed in 2018, they've founded their own production company, launched a new podcast (the "Trypod") and branched out into new styles of filmmaking with Yang's epic coming out video, "I'm Gay."
Amidst all this, they somehow found time to collaborate on a book – The Hidden Power of F*cking Up – and rather than schedule a typical book tour, they decided that they should go big or go home.
“We didn’t want to just tour. We wanted to blow it out of the water,” says Kornfeld.
So, blow it out of the water they did – at the end of June the Try Guys premiered a massive live show, "Legends of the Internet," which features comedy sketches, glitter, audience participation, costume changes galore and, most importantly, a plenitude of pyrotechnics.
"Our original idea was the best of everything you see on the internet in real life," explains Fulmer. "We love doing these big blowout extravaganza type performances, and it takes a lot of different elements from what people already know online as well as new things."
While each show will have its own unique touch via improvisatory audience segments, the guys have noted that their Texas dates, and San Antonio in particular, will be extra special.
A Texas native that relocated to L.A., Yang will be returning to his roots for the four shows they've scheduled in the state. "[His] section especially is this wonderful self-expression moment that continues the themes of his video ["I'm Gay"], so being able to do it across Texas is going to be extremely meaningful and something not to miss," adds Kornfeld.
While not a San Anto local, Fulmer has a slew of aunts and cousins in town, so he's also excited to visit Alamo City.
"Don’t tell the other cities this, but San Antonio is our number one Texas destination!"
$38.50-$88.50, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 19, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com
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