YouTubers Drew Gooden and Danny Gonzalez — aka two dudes who make comedy commentary videos — are taking their nearly sold-out We Are Two Different People tour to Covington’s Madison Theater on Oct. 8. Kurtis Conner, another YouTuber, will open the show.
Between the three they have nearly 6.4 million subscribers. Often satirical and cynical, when it comes to YouTube they fall into the cringe commentary genre: lending comedy-slanted analyses to movies, various videos and phenomenon across the internet — anything that elicits a feeling of second-hand embarrassment or downright outrage.
Collectively, a few of their recent vids include: “I reinstalled the Hooked app because I love to suffer," “The Most Confusing Movie I Have Ever Seen” and — the title really speaks for itself — “The Jeremey Renner App.”
If all that sounds very Gen Z/young millennial to you, well, it is. Both 20-somethings, Gooden and Gonzalez first met via Camp UnPlug, a "long-form" series on Vine that featured 36 clips ranging from six seconds to around two minutes. The series followed 13 Vine stars, including Gooden and Gonzalez, at a "digital detox summer camp." It was after Vine shut down in early 2017 that both brought their talents to YouTube and, eventually, became frequent collaborators.
"I think we both felt our sense of humor and the style of video that we make work really well together," Gonzalez says. "So it's just pretty natural and we bounce off each other really well."
Though the pair have known each other for longer, a similar story goes for Conner. A one-time Viner and stand-up comedian, they connected (online and later in real life) simply because they were making content in the same vein.
"We were looking for someone (to be an opener on the tour) and it just kind of worked out," Gooden says, adding that Conner also has a part in one of their skits. "We all make the same type of videos. I feel like we all share a pretty good sense of humor."
Billed as a “90-minute theatrical” packed with skits, stand-up routines, musical numbers and more, their tour expands on the humor they're already known for — be it talking about weird Tik-Toks or cringe-worthy movies or making musical parodies — with material that stands on its own.
“I think our live show is very similar in terms of sense of humor to our videos,” Gooden says. “But what's exciting about it is, it's a different format. It's a different experience than watching a YouTube video.”
This particular subgenre of comedy is fast-growing, with a handful of YouTube personalities raking in millions of views per video. Moving off-screen and into live comedy, the genre is seemingly as viable. Just take a glance at Madison Theater's own schedule; the same week as Gooden's and Gonzalez's show, fellow YouTubers Cody Ko and Noel Miller, both halves of the Tiny Meat Gang, will give a sold-out performance at the venue on Oct. 11. Easily digestible and relatable, the genre's popularity shouldn't be a surprise in the post-meme age where quippy hot-take tweets reign.
"When you see something and you recognize it as bad, but maybe you don't really see other people recognizing it — it's nice and refreshing to see other people making jokes about it," Gonzalez says when asked why this form of content is so popular.
Being their first tour, it's the longest show they've written or performed. Blending improv and scripted material, they say that each show on the road comes with evolution as they figure out what audiences respond to.
"The tour life was evidently going to be a brand new experience that we had never had before," Gooden says. "There are certain things that are hard about it — being away from our wives and being on the road. But getting to do the shows every night — that's just so fun and so rewarding."