Inspiration. Ambition.
Passion. Process. Technique.

By: Geri Cole

Promotional poster for DESUS and MERO

Geri welcomes the Bodega Boys Desus Nice and The Kid Mero to the show to talk about what they do—and don’t do—to put together their show; their unique approach interviewing illustrious guests; and why it’s so important to be real and stay real with the people you work with… no matter how strong the brand.

Desus Nice & The Kid Mero are former Bronx schoolmates who—while building their respective followings as formidable comedians in their own right—reconnected on Twitter and quickly became known for their shared affinity for complaining about their dissatisfaction for their jobs coupled with pointed and funny pop culture commentary.

The re-connection of the quick-witted duo led to stints on Complex (DESUS VS. MERO), their current podcast (THE BODEGA BOYS), and a critically acclaimed late-night show on Viceland— all while continuing to amass an enthusiastic following for their smart and comedic off-the-cuff musings on life’s greatest topics. They have also contributed their voices to Ezra Koenig’s (Vampire Weekend) animated series NEO YOKIO and NEO YOKIO PINK CHRISTMAS.

DESUS & MERO is the third talk series co-hosted by the duo. In each episode, Desus, Mero, and a variety of illustrious guests speak about important topics and chat about pop culture, sports, music, politics—among many other things. The Showtime series is the network’s first-ever late-night talk show. New episodes air on Mondays and Thursdays.

Seasons 7-9 of OnWriting are hosted by Geri Cole, a writer and performer based in New York City. She is currently a full-time staff and interactive writer for SESAME STREET, for which she has received Writers Guild Award and two Daytime Emmys. She also performs sketch and improv at theaters and festivals around the country.

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OnWriting is an official podcast of the Writers Guild of America, East.  Mix, tech production, and original music by Stock Boy Creative.

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Thanks for listening. Write on.


Geri Cole: You’re listening to On Writing, a podcast from the Writer’s Guild of America East. I’m your host, Geri Cole. Each episode, you’ll hear writers working in film, television and news break down everything from the writing process, to pitching, favorite jokes to key scenes, and so much more.

Geri Cole: Today I’m thrilled to welcome Desus Nice and The Kid Mero, hosts and writers of Desus & Mero, airing Sundays and Thursdays at 11:00 on Showtime. In our interview we talk about what they do, and don’t do, to put together their show, their unique approach interviewing illustrious guests, and why it’s so important to be real and stay real with the people you work with, regardless of how strong the brand.

Geri Cole: Hi, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to have you here. I really feel like I have to say nothing but illustrious guests.

Desus Nice: Yeah, you know the vibe.

The Kid Mero: You know what time it is.

Desus Nice: Come on, come on. You’ve got to use all the taglines, you’ve got to use all the Desus and Mero stuff. Come on.

Geri Cole: I buy it. I feel like I was like, “I’m just going to be trying to spit their show back at them.”

Desus Nice: Exactly.

Geri Cole: I do actually feel very nervous interviewing two amazing interviewers.

The Kid Mero: Oh, thank you.

Geri Cole: Also, congrats on the Knicks winnings.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Thank you. Yeah. I like the energy we’re starting off with. Thank you.

The Kid Mero: We’re good, we’re good. Very good start to the interview.

Geri Cole: Thank you, thank you. I guess actually I just want to start by, how are you guys doing, how are you holding up? It’s been a wild year, you’ve been shooting through COVID. What’s that been like?

Desus Nice: At this point it’s not like… We just survived. We survived the last year, we’re starting to get back outside, we’re both vaxxed up. The Knicks are winning, life is starting to come back to a new normal, it feels good. Last year, we all lost a lot last year. Some people lost people, some people lost personal growth, some people lost money, lost jobs. But we’re now getting back together in society, we’re about to return to studio, so it feels good. It feels a little optimistic, like we’ve turned the page.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, you know the saying, the light at the end of the tunnel. You know what I mean? We’re not there yet, don’t get it twisted.

Geri Cole: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Right.

The Kid Mero: There’s variants-

Geri Cole: It’s a long tunnel.

The Kid Mero: … there’s all kinds of stuff. Yeah, it’s a long-ass tunnel, and there’s a lot of variants along that tunnel. But yeah. Nah, like Desus said, stuff is slowly returning to… Nature is healing, you know what I mean? We’re going to go back to the studio, it’s going to be a different vibe, but honestly doing the show from home was not like a Herculean task. At the beginning, tech-wise it was. Not even going to lie, because I’m not a tech guy, Desus is a tech guy, and even the two of us were like, “Yo, how do we put together this C-stand?” Or whatever.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: You could tell, in the earlier pandemic episodes, the camera quality went up until we’re here, right here, with these cameras, which are-

Geri Cole: On the Zoom camera.

The Kid Mero: … 19K HD, you know what I mean?

Desus Nice: Yeah. Also should out to Showtime in the beginning of the pandemic, playing me, because they were like, “Oh, we’re going to do the Zoom from home. All right, log in with your Zoom, da, da, da.” And I logged in, it was like, “Yo, what year is your MacBook from?” I was like, “Whoa. Yo, relax. It’s from 2014 and it still works.” It was like, “We’ll send a new one in an hour.” I was like, “Okay, wow.”

Geri Cole: Wow.

Desus Nice: But yeah, it was that kind of thing. And also, shout out to Showtime with the big budgets.

Geri Cole: Yeah.

Desus Nice: I had a camera full, and it was a brand new Mac right out of the box, and the camera fell and broke the little image bar on the top of the MacBook. And I was like, “Oh, shit.” I called them and it was like, “You’ll have a new Mac there in 20 minutes.” And they had a new Mac in 20 minutes, fully loaded with all the programs, and we did not miss a beat.

Geri Cole: Oh my God.

Desus Nice: That’s the kind of stuff you don’t see when you’re recording from home. One time my internet was just terrible, like not good enough for us to record the how. And they were like, “Can you reset your router?” I was like, “Yo fam, my router is behind all these sneakers.”

Geri Cole: Oh.

Desus Nice: I was like, “Are you sure?” And they were like, “Fam, we’ve tried everything. Desus, you’ve got to reset your router.” I was like, “I’ll talk to you in two hours.” And I had to move them all and reset my router. And guess what? It was not my router. It was Verizon. Verizon out here. But we ended up doing an event for them, so they’re okay with us.

Geri Cole: Oh my goodness.

Desus Nice: But yeah, it was that kind of stuff you have to deal with behind the scenes in making a show. That’s why it looks easy to make the show, but it was kind of a Herculean process. But by the end it was like… Shout out to our tech team, shout out, we got it down to a smooth process.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Another interviewer pointed out to us last week, we did more shows via Zoom than we’ve actually done in our studio-

Geri Cole: Whoa.

Desus Nice: … for the Desus and Mero show on Showtime. Because if you remember, in the beginning of our show, it was once a week.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Then we switched to two times a week, and then we switched to at home. So yeah, our studio is basically a baby, it’s brand new. If we could take the Flight Club and resell it, all right? It’s barely worn.

The Kid Mero: We could lick the bottom of the studio.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: You know what I mean? Like Fat Joe did in Cribs.

Geri Cole: So lick the bottom too?

Desus Nice: If we lick the bottom of the studio that’s about COVID 20 starting. So we got to chill. We got to chill.

Geri Cole: As you mentioned, you guys are at Showtime now, but you started at Complex, and then Viceland. Started out as a podcast, then Complex, then Viceland.

Desus Nice: Don’t forget, the prestigious MTV2.

Geri Cole: I’m sorry. Yes, the prestigious MTV2. So the show has grown so much, what has been your focus as the show has grown?

The Kid Mero: Just keeping what made the show good in the first, which is like Desus and Mero chemistry, the heart and could of the show. You know how it is up top now, we’re just responding to the news of the day, the zeitgeist.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: You know what I mean? And that’s really the heart and soul of the show, so as long as we don’t lose that, we can add on bells and whistles, and sketches, and man on the street and stuff like that, to elevate it to a shinier, more produced type of vibe. As opposed to previous iterations of the show where it was just like, “Yo, two motherfuckers in chairs, talking shit.” You know what I mean? This is a little different, you know what I mean?

Geri Cole: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: But yeah. No, it’s been amazing to reach a level where your authenticity has taken you to this level where now you’re like, the mainstream machine accepts what you, and not only accepts what you do, wants to elevate it and put a little polish on it.

Desus Nice: Yeah. And the show will always be fun, it should never feel like a job.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: It should never feel like something you’re forced to do. It should just always be like, you should always be able to sit back and be like, “Yo, I’m having the time of my life and this is amazing.” And that’s what our lives are like now. You wake up and just like, “I’ve got to do an interview for the WGA.” Then you’re just like, “Whoa, what the hell is the WGA? You’re in the WGA?”

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Every now and then I stop and I think if I ran into myself, the 2014 version of myself, he would be like, “Yo, get the fuck out. What are you, like on drugs? None of that is even possible.” Even the little things.

Geri Cole: Oh, man.

Desus Nice: I was just like, “Yo, we’ve got a podcast.” I’d be like, “Get the fuck out of here.” I would be like, “Yo, we just interviewed Obama.” First of all, he’d probably be like, “Who’s Obama?” But it would-

Geri Cole: 2014, who doesn’t know?

Desus Nice: … I wasn’t watching the news like that in 2014, bro.

Geri Cole: Wow, wow.

Desus Nice: So yeah.

Geri Cole: We’re going to have some talks about 2014.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, no I remember.

Desus Nice: 2014 was rough.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. That was real, it’s very real.

Geri Cole: Speaking of the heart of the show being your banter. Also, sorry, congratulations on your WGA award, by the way.

The Kid Mero: Yay.

Desus Nice: Thank you.

Geri Cole: Yeah.

Desus Nice: That’s a hell of an award to get from the WGA, but also that trophy. Listen-

Geri Cole: It’s a weapon.

The Kid Mero: That’s a serious trophy.

Desus Nice: … It claws people’s eyes.

Geri Cole: It’s a weapon.

The Kid Mero: Yo-

Desus Nice: It’s also a weapon, yes.

Geri Cole: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: You’ve got to unlock that in Call of Duty or something. You know what I mean? You have to reach a certain level to use it as a melee weapon.

Geri Cole: Yeah. I feel like this show, banter is your back and forth and riffing. So how much of it is written, and how much of it is improvised?

Desus Nice: You know what? This is why we miss having the live studio audience. Or even better example, our live show. The last one we did, which we killed, was in L… No, we did one in FIT, but we did two back to back ones in L.A., and I just remember the green room was full of people, we’re eating, we’re getting ready, we’re drinking, we’re smoking, we’re getting right. And then people were just like, “All right, we’re going to let you guys go so you can write jokes and stuff.” And me and Mero just laughed, we were just like, “Nah, that’s not how that works.”

The Kid Mero: Write jokes?

Desus Nice: And they were like, “What are you talking about?” And we’re like, “No, we literally are hitting the stage with nothing.”

Geri Cole: Oh my God.

Desus Nice: We’re just going from there, and it’s all organic. If you watch our live shows, it’s 1000% organic, to the point where people yelling stuff from the audience will change what we’re saying. The audience can drive the narrative of the show. And if you go to the Bodega Boys show, you might hear some reference that are the same, but it’s never the same show. Because we don’t write jokes. And also, we’re so smacked by the end of the night, we don’t remember what we said on stage. So there’s no chance of us remembering.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. Like, “Yo, remember in Dallas when you said this?” I was like, “Nah.”

Desus Nice: Yeah, we were like, “What?” They’re like, “Time of the taco. Remember you and Mero, your jokes about the tacos?” And I was like, “Where?” They was like, “In L.A.” I was like, “Wait, when were we in L.A.?” It was like, “Bro, wow.”

The Kid Mero: Which L.A.?

Desus Nice: But no, nothing’s written, and it’s like even the show, if you’re in the studio watching us record the show, that’s just us riffing. And it’s just like there’s nothing to read. If you hear our riffs, there’s no way someone else could come up with that. That’s just us off the top of our dome, right there.

Geri Cole: So, follow up question. You guys are actually drinking.

Desus Nice: Yeah, listen. You know the vibes.

Geri Cole: It’s like, “Man, should I be drinking? What the hell?” Well-

Desus Nice: It’s the beauty of working from home.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Geri Cole: That is true, that is true.

Desus Nice: Also, it is Friday. It is Friday.

Geri Cole: It is Friday, on a holiday weekend.

Desus Nice: [crosstalk 00:10:00] On a holiday weekend. Yeah.

Geri Cole: But you guys do have a writing team that writes your warmup, and your monologues and stuff like that. What do you look for in potential collaborators for your writer’s room? And what’s that writer’s room like?

Desus Nice: Well, shout out to our writers. They don’t write the warmup. What they basically do is they do more of the sketch work. The sketches, and it’s not a traditional writer’s room. Everyone in our writer’s room, we did the traditional interview everybody and get recommendations, but at the end of the day it ended up just being people we knew and respected, or friends that we knew. We have Heaven, that’s my home girl from way back in the day. We’ve got Josh [Gondleman 00:10:33], we have Ziwe, we have Claire, Robert [Cornhauser 00:10:37].

The Kid Mero: Yeah. No, Rob [McCrae 00:10:39], who’s like-

Desus Nice: Rob McCrae.

The Kid Mero: … been with us since like… So it’s been like we’ve been collecting infinity stones.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Ever since Complex, it’s been people that have followed us every step of the way. So even from Complex, shout out to Patrick Kim, who does the graphics, the sprinkling of legend leaves, all that type of stuff, that’s him. So he’s followed us from Complex, Rob has been with us since Vice. So it’s been like Dave [Drusky 00:11:04], who’s literally directing the show over Zoom, and High Tech, between the two of them made it really happen. So Desus was saying, the writer’s room is non-traditional in the sense that it’s not like, “Here is a script, read every single line that we have written for you.” They understand that the way that we work is more off the cuff like, “Yo, what’s happening right now?”

Desus Nice: Right.

The Kid Mero: So what they do is more of a curb style, where it’s like here’s the beats, here’s the concept. Let’s sit down and talk about the concept of the sketch. All right, cool. You like that? We like that? All right, cool. Now let’s move on to beating it out. What’s the first beat, what’s the second beat. And just get from A to Z with little beats that we’ve got to hit along the way. But it’s not traditional in the sense of like, “Desus walks into room and says to Mero, hey Mero, do you have $5? We need to buy a dime bag of weed. Desus replies, hey yo, I’m broke.” You know what I mean? So it’s not like that at all.

Geri Cole: That’s a great sketch, by the way.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Also, shout out to Julia Young. Julia’s not just a voice on the show, she’s also one of the writers, a producer with us. And our relationship with our writers is the type where we’ll tweet something or retweet something, and they’ll either DM us or, sometimes Julia will just respond and by like, “I know this is going to A block.” That’s how it works.

Desus Nice: When we used to have the in person writer’s room meetings, it was basically not so much what are we going to do today on the show, it was like, “How was your weekend? What’s going on in your life? Did anyone come across anything wild on Twitter?” And they would be like, “Oh, did you see this?” I would be like, “Oh, I saw that.”

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: And they’re like, “Well, how about we do something based on that?” It’s like, “Boom.” We go like that. It’s very organic. It’s just kind of like shooting the shit with your friends. And off of that, we make a show off of that. So when you see a sketch, it might be like, “Yo, Mero tweeted about this and I retweeted it.” It’s like all right, what if we did that with the Plazio? And then boom, now you have a sketch.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Geri Cole: Wow. Guys, this sounds like fun. Sounds like so much fun.

Desus Nice: It is fun.

The Kid Mero: It is.

Desus Nice: [crosstalk 00:13:10] I’ve been in other writer’s rooms, and I’ve seen… Not to shade other shows, I remember one show I went to where one of my homegirls worked, and it was like they were going on hiatus and every writer was so burned out, and everyone was like, “I’m going on vacation, I’ve got to get the fuck out of here. We’re writing three scripts a day, I hate this shit.” On ours, I’m like, “Bro, we barely have a script.” Back in the studio they’d give us like two pages, and it wasn’t so much a script, it was like, “This is the order of the videos.”

Geri Cole: Wow.

Desus Nice: It was like, “Cool. All right, we’ll see you.” Sometimes even that, I was like, “Ah, I don’t want that. I don’t want that, let’s just do it off the dome.” But huge shout out to our writers, it’s a very easy place to work, and they keep us going in a proper narrative. Because me and Mero, once we get going… This was the problem in our old studio, we used to have to pay for the studio time. We were sharing it with other shows, so they had to load in the set, take out the set. And you only have a limited window for recording.

The Kid Mero: yeah.

Desus Nice: So now, imagine you’ve got a limited window for recording, and you got two people from the Bronx who refuse to listen to stage instructions, and won’t ever fuck up.

The Kid Mero: Very verbose.

Desus Nice: Yeah. Just yappity, yappity, yappity yap. But now that we have our own studio, we can go there, we can just riff for however long, and it’s even better. Because then the writers, they can go back and look at the footage, and they’re like, “All right, we’ll use this, we’ll use that, we’ll use this. If we take this, put it before that, that’s a better transition.” And that is just like more the fun.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, man. And it’s like an editor’s nightmare, but in a good way. You know what I’m saying?

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: And they’ll say it. Shout out to Dave, shout out to Juan, shout out to Clint. They’ll be like, “Yo, I don’t know what to cut.”

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: They’re like, “We have to fit this into half an hour, but yo, you all had an hour where it was just like fire. What do we do?” You know what I mean? And it’s-

Geri Cole: Two shows.

Desus Nice: Yeah, right?

The Kid Mero: … You know what I’m saying?

Desus Nice: Because sometimes, when we watch those run-downs, they’re like, “What are we going to use, what are we going to use?” And you see people’s faces, and for a split second I’m like, “Shit. Damn, did we just do a dud of a show?” And they’re like, “Fam, we’ve got to choose between all of that? What works?” And they’ll really be stressed like, “Yo, we want to run this and this, we only got half an hour. Can we put this on digital, can we put this?”

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: It’s good problems. It’s good problems to have-

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: … and it’s a lot of fun.

The Kid Mero: For sure.

Geri Cole: It’s amazing problems.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. The post-show huddle is literally like, “Yo, what are we going to run with? What’s going to be the cold open, what’s going to be the eight black and what’s going to be the credits,” or whatever. And we all collaboratively, in that Zoom, decide like, “Yo, remember that thing about Godzilla versus Kong, that little 15 second run? That’s perfect for the cold.” You know what I mean? So we kind of like set it up in our post show huddle. And that’s great-

Geri Cole: So it is hard work. But it’s fun, hard work.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Well, yeah. And it’s enjoyable. It’s enjoyable because it’s like the relationship we have with everyone on our team, everyone’s on the Zooms, everyone’s interacting with each other. When we’re in the studio… I remember I had a friend that worked on another show, and they were just like, “Yo, the host never talks to any of the writers, never comes out, talks to the production. They’re just always isolated in their thing.” And I was like, “I imagine that’s what some hosts do.” You come to our set, we’re hanging with the PAs, we’re just chilling, just me and some random intern talking about something in the hallway. They’ve got to be like, “Desus, you’re in Zone A, get back in your green room.” I’m like, “Oh, my fault, my fault. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get you in trouble.”

Desus Nice: It feels like high school, like you’re just hanging with your homies, you want to be singing over here with the makeup artist and the barber. It just feels like so much fun to just come there, and it’s just like that energy is transcendent over the whole studio, and it just goes into the show. You can see it, and that’s why I can’t wait to get back in that studio, man. I just can’t wait to get back and do the show.

Geri Cole: Yeah, you can really see it.

The Kid Mero: Listen, I can’t do a single interview now without making a Knicks reference, but you know how the Knicks thing is the big 15. That’s the crew, it’s like the big 15.

Geri Cole: Wow.

The Kid Mero: Like Desus said, an idea or a topic could come from a PA or it could come from Mike [Pelosic 00:17:22], the head writer. You know what I’m saying? Nobody has a muzzle on. If you have something to contribute, throw it in the Slack. It doesn’t matter what you do. If you’re a writer, cool. If you’re an intern, cool. Whatever. Just if you come across something that you think fits the tone of the show and our sensibility, throw it in there let’s see what happens.

Geri Cole: That’s amazing. That really, one it comes across in the show that you guys are having a fun time doing it, and that the vibe is love while it’s being made. And it empowers people.

Desus Nice: Oh, absolutely.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Even just like the little things. We never make it in that people are afraid to approach us, or people are afraid… people can direct message us, directly email us, no matter who you are on staff.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Weirdly enough, I ran into one of the PAs from our show, she’s working on another show in the building I live in. She’s like, “Oh shit, Desus.” I was like, “Yo, what’s up?” Everyone on the team was like, “Oh, you know Desus?” And she’s like, “Yeah, we work on the show together.” But that’s the thing, it’s just like we don’t know how to do Hollywood and we’re learning as we go on, so we don’t really know the bad ways to do Hollywood.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: And also, people are just like, “Oh, you hae a diverse writer’s room.” It’s like, “Yeah, because we know those people.” And our thing is, we don’t know the bad way of doing things, and the way we’re doing it seems to work. So just going forward, making sure everyone is able to be heard, no matter who they are on the show. We listen to everyone’s instructions, and just hiring dope, funny people that we know, and it’s worked out.

Geri Cole: It has worked.

The Kid Mero: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Geri Cole: Do Hollywood, if you don’t have to do Hollywood.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, when he said that I immediately thought of, I don’t know if it’s Steve Harvey or somebody that has a sign on his thing like, “Do not come in here, do not look me in the eyes.”

Desus Nice: Oh, yeah.

The Kid Mero: All this wild stuff. And it’s just like, “Bruh, how could you even be like that?” I’d be embarrassed to be like that. You feel me?

Geri Cole: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: I don’t know if it’s how I was raised or what, but I’m like, “Dog, we’re all here trying to make some dope shit, let’s just make some dope shit.” It don’t matter that you’re bringing me coffee, you know what I’m saying?

Desus Nice: Right.

The Kid Mero: Your ideas are still valid, you know what I’m saying?

Geri Cole: Also, thank you for bringing me coffee.

Desus Nice: Exactly.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, word. Thank you, I appreciate that.

Desus Nice: If you-

The Kid Mero: I was just going to just go get it myself. But thank you.

Desus Nice: … Yeah, that’s another thing. When people meet us, they’re just like, “Wow, you guys are super humble, super down to earth.” And this is a wild story to prove that we’re down to earth, but the first time we did the Fallon show, we were going in and paparazzi is there. They’re just taking pictures, and they don’t know who the hell we are. One of the photographers was like, “Hey, who are you?” I was like, “ZZ Top.” The security guard, he laughed. He’s like, “Oh, so fucking funny. ZZ Top, ha, ha, ha.” And every time we came back to 30 Rock, it’s the same guard. He knows us, we can dap each other up. And that’s our guy. He’s always like, “Desus and Mero, they’re great. They’re just down to earth, those are just regular.” And when we’re walking with the interns, we’re always like, “How’s your day going?” And they’re always just like, “Yo, other talent does not talk to us.”

Geri Cole: Wow.

Desus Nice: And I’m like, “That is so trash, because in an alternate life I would be an intern, I could possible have done this job. And the idea, I’d be in an elevator and I could tell someone, “Yo, don’t make eye contact with me, I’m famous.”

Geri Cole: I’m famous.

Desus Nice: I would hate to be that person. So we never move like that, and people are always taken aback. Someone will come and they’ll be like, “Yo, you want drinks for your room?” And we’re like, “Nah, we’re good. Thank you.” And they’ll be like, “Thank you?” We’re like, “Yeah, we were raised right. What the fuck?”

Geri Cole: Yeah, this is how people should behave.

The Kid Mero: Hey, what do you want for lunch? I’ll go to the sandwich place 50 miles away. I’m like, “Dog, you don’t need to do that, there’s a Taco Bell right across the street. I got a Lactaid, I’m good.”

Desus Nice: I remember, one of our first shows, the lunch was terrible. It was a good show in longevity, but the lunch they were serving was terrible. We was like, “Yo, this is trash.” One of the PAs was like, “Yo, I could go to McDonald’s for you.” We was like, “Yeah, get this, get this.” And we was like, “Yo, you want something?” She was like, “Sure.” And she got her order, and she sat in the green room with us while we smoked and ate. And she said that was mad show.

Geri Cole: That’s amazing. Speaking of famous people, you guys have had nothing but illustrious guests.

Desus Nice: Nothing.

Geri Cole: Do you have a favorite interview? I feel like it’s hard-

Desus Nice: It is.

The Kid Mero: Yo.

Geri Cole: … to pick out. But has there been anyone that walked away and were like, “Wow.”

The Kid Mero: Obviously impact-wise, Obama was huge.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: But I feel like we’ve said this in a lot of interviews, we’re going on… Man, almost 600 episodes of shows.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: So that’s like half, that’s 500-something guests. I remember moments, you know what I mean, where it was just like, “Okay, this is big.” You know what I mean? But to name a favorite and be like, “Oh, this was my favorite interview ever,” I’d be doing somebody a disservice. Because I’m like oh, I totally forgot about that, we had a great time. I remember interviewing French Montana, and that was right around the time where he did the celebrity bowling thing, and he said to us in the interview, he said, “I had never played bowling before.”

Desus Nice: Oh yeah, that’s what he said.

The Kid Mero: I was like, “How did you? What?” And then they show the video of him bowling and it’s like, “Yo, this is Bronx rapper, who to the rest of America they’re like, who cares?” But to us, this is like yo, this is our guy. We listen to your mix tapes all day, and you just won a celebrity bowling championship. And watching the video was hilarious. So moments like that hit you, personally, in a certain way, but then there’s other situations like the Obama interview, the Letterman interview that you know are cultural touchstones, that let people know listen, these guys are for real. This is not a fluke, this is not like a little run that they’re on. They’re getting respect from the OGs. You know what I mean?

Geri Cole: Obama said he was a fan.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

Geri Cole: That had to feel good.

Desus Nice: [crosstalk 00:23:25]. I think Obama was a fan. Obama was cutting ass on us. All right, Obama was-

The Kid Mero: All out of control.

Desus Nice: … coming at our necks. The thing is, we was able to fire back. But I didn’t come ready like, “Yo, Obama might take shots at us.” But what other interview you got? What other interview do you have where Obama’s comfortable enough to roast… imagine if Obama did that to someone on MSNBC. They’d cry.

Geri Cole: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Yo-

Desus Nice: Imagine if he was like, “Chris Hayes, with your big-ass head.” It would be a big scandal.

The Kid Mero: … He’s coming up with the roasts here like, “Boy, if you don’t take them glasses off and get some contacts, the Lasic.” Yeah.

Desus Nice: But that just shows you how comfortable it was. He was just chill. He did the interview he wanted to do, it just felt like we were all hanging with Uncle Barry.

Geri Cole: Wow.

Desus Nice: That’s what our interview are. People are just like, “Were you nervous?” It’s like, “No.” Because the moment is just so wild. You have to remember, we’re still blown away at the fact we have a TV show. People are like also you have a New York Times best selling show. You also have a Timberland boot. You also have a Timberland boot. You also have a ice cream. You’re just like, “Yeah, this is a fever dream.” Every day I’m just like, “Oh, I’m going to be so mad when I wake up in Bronx Bookings. Oh, I’m going to be upset.” Someone’s going to kick me and be like, “A caller for you at the front of the set.” I’ll be like, “Ah, it was a dream, I knew it. It was too good to be true. It was too good to be true.”

The Kid Mero: Listen, man.

Geri Cole: I’ll bet.

Desus Nice: So when you’re sitting there and you’re talking to Obama, you’re like, “This is all surreal.” You’re just enjoying every moment of it.

Geri Cole: Do you think that there’s an ingredient that makes a good interview?

The Kid Mero: I think just making people humans, instead of this person. Like Dr. Fauci, you know what I mean? P. Diddy. Just humanizing them, and talking about stuff. People are on press runs, they want to stick to, “Yo, my movie’s coming out, my book is coming out, my album is coming out.” Okay, cool. We could hit that up top. But like, “Yo, have you ever gotten drunk and ate White Castle?” You know what I mean? Just random stuff that you feel like a fan would ask. Not just your boiler plate, because you get a lot of that in sports too, with athletes, where they’re just like, “I’m just trying to help the team, and it’s one game at a time. I’m just trying to help the team any way I can, blah, blah, blah.”

The Kid Mero: It’s just like with our interviews, it’s like we want the opposite of that. We want you, like who are you. Not who do you perform as, not what’s your PKA. Who are you as a person? That’s super important. And I feel like that breaks down that wall of, “Yo, I’ve got to speak about my project at length, and all the people, and big up to my agents, and all the producers, and blah, blah, blah.” And just get into some casual conversation.

Desus Nice: Yeah, I think the best way to go about an interview is just think of my aunties, and how they attack people. You’ve got to come in strategically. You’ve got to come in, make people feel comfortable, get in their business. Then come back, take it back a little bit more, then get back in their business. That’s how you get the good interviews.

Geri Cole: Auntie approach.

Desus Nice: Hey, the auntie approach. Our aunties, it was like, “Oh, Obama was asking interesting questions about you having children.” I was like, “Ah, ah. I don’t want you all to hear that right now.” But see, that’s how, you know you want the guests to get nice and comfortable. Because they’re coming, they know it’s an interview, they’re like, “Nah, I’m not talking about this, I’m not talking about that.” You want to be like, “Yo, this is a chill place. Yo, have a drink, have a smoke.” Then we’ll be like, “Yo, why’d you do that fried chicken ad back in 2013.” They’re like, “Ah, I forgot about that. I forgot about that.”

The Kid Mero: Ah, dang.

Desus Nice: But that’s how we get the good interview.

Geri Cole: Is there anyone… again I feel like you guys have had yeah, 500 guests. So I feel like there’s maybe no one living that you want to interview. But is there all time interview that you would love to get, with maybe someone who’s no longer with us? Or someone you haven’t gotten yet that you’re really hoping to get?

Desus Nice: I think the big three right now would be Beyonce, Jay-Z or Rihanna. Or Drake?

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: And then the thing is we’re at the point where these things are probably going to happen.

Geri Cole: Yeah, I was like, “You’re probably going to get them on your show.”

Desus Nice: So, if you are Rihanna, Jay-Z, Drake, get yourself together, man. You know we’re coming. Make your neon signs.

The Kid Mero: Certified lover boy, you’re dropping it. Come on baby, let’s go, you know what I mean? You’re doing your press right here, Desus and Mero first.

Geri Cole: I’m actually amazed they haven’t been on the show yet. Yeah.

Desus Nice: Imagine we have Jay-Z on, his neon sign is about, because he was talking about intermittent fasting on the last song he did with DJ Khaled. What if he was like-

The Kid Mero: Yo, I’m hungry.

Desus Nice: … intermittent fasting, it works. I’m like, “No, no. Redo it. I don’t like that. I don’t like that neon sign.”

The Kid Mero: All I had was water today. With a slice of lemon. Oh man.

Geri Cole: Is there anyone that’s not with us, I suppose then, that has passed on that you would love to have interviewed?

The Kid Mero: I am a self-admitted, I’m a Michael Jackson stand. In my baby book, my mom with her, I love you Mom but your English is a second language, and you know how the baby books have what’s their kid’s favorite song? She wrote, “Peter.” I was like, “Peter? Who sings Peter?” She was like, “You know the song that Michael Jackson sings. Peter, Peter. Everybody Peter, peter.” I’m like, “Mom, that’s Beat It.”

Geri Cole: Close, Ma. It’s close. She basically got there.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: But like Michael Jackson, Prince, you know what I mean? Rest in peace. You know what I mean? DMX, rest in peace. Just so many legends that we grew up idolizing and finally getting to this level where we can get in rooms with them, and they’re no longer here. It’s sad.

Desus Nice: Yeah. I would say like Tupac, Kurt Cobain, Patrice O’Neill, Greg Geraldo, and all four, well not, the three dead Golden Girls. Get in the business with them. No, because you know, not even funny, we grew up and we were just like, “Yo, these old ladies are really funny.” And if you do your Googles, they were legends in the game. They did so much work, and they are veterans in comedy, they don’t get enough praise. When you watch Golden Girls, you always laugh your ass off. I don’t know if it’s because we were watching it when we were mad little, and they were going through adult problems, we didn’t know what the hell was going on. We were like, “Rose is getting cheated on. Also, I don’t know my multiplication tables.” But you’re looking for what they did, and it’s like what, two cameras there in the set, they’re doing physical comedy. They’re just being amazing. And you see that kind of stuff, and without us knowing it, subconsciously you absorb some of that and it comes out in our comedy.

Desus Nice: So just asking them how they got their start, what was the big moment, and just like their lives and their career would have been amazing.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, and those interviews that go deep, you know what I mean? I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Paul Mooney, rest in peace Paul Mooney. That would have been an epic interview. Because I’m like, “Dog, this dude goes back so many generations comedically, and he’s had such an impact on comedy.” And part of the reason that we’re even able to do what we do is because of him. And even just the stories, man. Hanging out with Richard Pryor, and coming up through those legendary comedians. That would have been woo, something.

Geri Cole: That would have been a good one. So your slogan is, the brand is strong. Has there ever been a time when the brand was not strong? And how did you get through those tough times?

Desus Nice: Oh, yes. I know one perfect example. We were recording Desus Versus Mero at Complex, and it was time to go home, and I swiped my Metro card and it was like, “Nuh-uh, no money on your card. You’re done.” I was like, “Fuck.” And Mero was like, “Yo, I got you.” And he swiped me through. That just lets you know, at one point we had to share a Metro card in order to get home after recording the show. When you’ve got that kind of background, no matter where you go in Hollywood it’s not going to change.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: And as a button up to that story, we went to the CTA Awards, we had to go through the metal detector. And I remember putting my Metro card in the little bin, for when you go through the metal detector. And someone was like, “Why do you have your Metro card in L.A.? Why do you have it at the CTA Awards?” I was like, “Bro, how am I going to get home?” Come on.

Geri Cole: Taking the train.

Desus Nice: Just in case. Just in case I can’t get an Uber. But the brand’s always been strong, but we’ve had our little moments. The only time the brand isn’t strong is if we can’t get an Uber home, weirdly, but that’s no longer a problem. Or one time the brand wasn’t strong was when we were super smacked in Austin, and we were looking for food.

The Kid Mero: Yes.

Desus Nice: We ended up actually getting food, but I don’t remember getting the food, and Mero doesn’t remember getting the food, but we woke up and we had like 100 Twitter mentions, and it’s just a picture of me and Mero, while smacked, with the owner of a taco truck.

The Kid Mero: Some taco truck.

Desus Nice: And we’re just like, “Yo, these are the best tacos, they’re awesome.”

The Kid Mero: Yo.

Desus Nice: I swear by this guy, bro.

The Kid Mero: Shout out to [inaudible 00:32:43]. It’s lit baby.

Geri Cole: Oh, no.

The Kid Mero: But yeah, the brand has always been strong up here. Always, you know what I mean? We’ve always been supremely confident in what we do. So in that sense, the brand has always been strong. But like Desus said, there’s been some hiccups as we’ve scaled up.

Desus Nice: Again, when we do our live show, it’s always like we smoke a little of the Jamaican St. Ganja, and when the brand wasn’t strong, one time we got to, I forgot what city it was. My connect dropped off the weed, and we had absolutely nothing to roll it up in. Nothing.

The Kid Mero: Yes.

Desus Nice: No rolling papers, nothing. Listen, the show got to go on. So we did it jail style, we rolled it up in a napkin. It hurt the lungs, but we hit the stage and we killed it.

Geri Cole: Can you do that?

The Kid Mero: Yo, listen-

Desus Nice: Listen, I’m not done. Because one time we were doing Just For Laughs in Montreal, and we got the weed, again we had no rolling papers. I had to roll up using the front page of the Bible inside the hotel room. As I’m smoking weed, Russell Peters and Lord, what’s his name?

The Kid Mero: Finesse.

Desus Nice: Lord Finesse come up. And they’re like, “Yo, fam. Are you smoking a jail blunt?” I was like, “Bro, we got to do what we got to do.”

The Kid Mero: Yeah. That was very real.

Desus Nice: They was like, “Yo, I hope things work out.”

The Kid Mero: That’s one thing I want to talk about a little bit. Canada, can you all just start selling Dutches and Phillies and stuff, because during that struggle week that we were up there, we smoked everything except proper rolling materials. I ended up buying these tiny little Black and Milds type of cigars that were literally this long. And I’m in my hotel room rolling it up, and Desus is like, “Yo, you ready?” I sent him a picture of what I rolled, and he’s just like, “All right bro, I’ll meet you in the lobby.”

Desus Nice: Again, this takes us back. Now imagine a time machine takes us back to 2014 and we’re like, “Hey, bro. When you go to do the comedy festival in Montreal, make sure to bring your own wraps because they’re not going to have any up there for you. All right, later.” And we’d be like, who the fuck?”

The Kid Mero: What, who? Was that for us?

Geri Cole: Speaking of that, I feel like that brings me to a question that I really love to ask people on this podcast, which is about the idea of success. Because I feel like success never looks like what you think it’s going to look like, or sometimes it can look very different. And obviously you guys are feeling successful, you are very successful in this moment. Does it feel like success? And how has your idea of success changed over time, do you think?

Desus Nice: That’s a good question.

The Kid Mero: Oh, yeah.

Desus Nice: You know what? It’s so weird, because in different stages of your life different things mean success to you. Because I remember at one point in my life, all I really wanted was consistent hot water when I turned on my shower. It’s all I wanted. Because I had a shitty office job, I had no idea what was going on with my building, and it got to the point where I didn’t have to use the cold water when I turned on the hot water, which is not how water works at all. You know that, it’s so stressful. I was like, “I’ve got to get a better job so I can have consistent hot water.” I was taking a shower the other day and I thought about that, and I was like, “Wow, this I what I would consider success.”

Desus Nice: But as you get to these next platforms and these next levels in your life, what you consider a success changes, because now you’re on a bigger stage of hopefully more money to play with, you have other people who are in your circle who are maybe more successful than you. You’re like, “Oh, maybe I want to get to their level.” Or maybe you see other things in life you want to change, and you’re like, “Yo, if I was able to help people in this direction, that might be different.”

Desus Nice: The one thing I will say is being successful for me means being able to at least not have to worry about bills, and your loved ones. And you know if something bad happens you can take care of them, and take care of yourself. And that allows you to get rid of a level of anxiety that you constantly have, which helps feed your creativity. Because most people have that. You’re worried about paying the rent, you’re worried about electrical bill. And not having to worry about that, even though we still worry about it, because you’ve always gone through it.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, you’re hard wired.

Desus Nice: I call my accountant all the time. Yeah, my accountant is like, “No, you’re good.” And I’m like, “How much was the electricity bill this month.” He’s like, “Do not worry about that.” And I’m like, “You sure?” He’s like, “Trust me, I got this.” But just having that ability to just fall back and breathe, that in and of itself is a form of success.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. No, I was going to say for me it’s almost identical. Just coming from a place where it’s like I’m starving, and I’ve got to finesse my way, I’ve got to go to somebody’s crib to eat. Just like, “Hey, what’s up. Oh, I just stopped by to say what’s up.” But actually, it’s just like my stomach just stopped by to say what’s up, you know what I mean?

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Situations like that, like going into a supermarket and being like, “Yo, I’ve got to put this down, I’ve got to put this down, I’ve got to put this down.” And I look at it like pre-Rona I would take my kids to these jump around type places and they would always have a rock climbing wall. So I view it in that way. They would reach a certain level on the rock climbing wall and then look up and see what’s the next step. So to me, every step has been a success, but I don’t feel like I’ve achieved success success yet because I’m still climbing this rock wall and looking up at what the next thing is.

Geri Cole: Oh, that’s a really good analogy.

Desus Nice: And also, to touch on that, it’s like we had a wrap party way before COVID. And sometimes it gets lost, it feels like it’s me and Mero, we do the show. We come in, da-da-da, that’s the show. And at the wrap party, it’s like 200 people. And it’s like lawyers, it network execs, it’s people who’ve worked on our show. And I remember the shout out to [Satra 00:51:17], our stylist, and I was like, “Yo, we did that.” And she was like, “Yo, look at this room. There’s 200 people here who have jobs because of you and Mero.” I was like, “Shit. We don’t even think about it like that.” There are people literally feeding their families off of our jokes. That kind of stuff, every now and then you’ve got to stop and be like, “Yo, this is a lot bigger than we even can see how big it is.”

Desus Nice: So it’s just like there’s success that we have that we’re not even able to see from our perspective. And maybe we’ll see it, not saying it’s ever said and done, but we’ll find out after that fact that we’re changing lives, we’re doing great things like that. It’s so weird, you’ll be having a shit day and then you’ll get a DM that someone was like, “Hey, just wanted to shout you out, because of your podcast I was able to beat cancer.”

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Or someone, every now and then out the random you’ll get a DM and someone’s like, “Yo.” I remember this, this is a true story. The person was like, “I was on the 42nd street subway platform waiting to jump in front of a train. Your podcast came up randomly, and I decided to sit there. You guys made me laugh, and that got me, I just get listening to you. And you guys have gotten me out of my depression, I’m four years without trying to kill myself. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” We get DMs like that all the time.

Geri Cole: Oh my God.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: It’s just like-

The Kid Mero: Yeah. No, it’s real. And at the live shows too, people will pay for the meet and greets.

Desus Nice: The meet and greets. Oh my God.

The Kid Mero: That was almost too much for me.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Because I’ve become mad soft after that, you know what I’m saying?

Geri Cole: It’s fine. You’re allowed to be a crier. It’s fine.

The Kid Mero: You know what I’m saying? And yo, I don’t even want to call this off, because I said it in the book. Cry whenever you feel like crying, just let it go.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: That doesn’t mean you’re any less masculine, or anything like that.

Desus Nice: Tell them, bro.

The Kid Mero: Show your emotions whenever you feel like it, you know what I’m saying? Maybe not on a crowded train because you don’t want to end up on somebody’s Instagram, but you know what I’m saying? Just let it go. But to that point, it’s just like when you meet these people face to face, like after a live show, and they tell you this stuff, and they’re right there and they’re getting choked up, it’s hard. Even though you’re half a liter of Brugal deep, that almost makes it worse. Because you’re like, “Yo, man.”

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: “I love you man. I appreciate you. I love you bro. Yo listen, any time you’re in New York, if you’re in Jersey, just call me up. Yo, come to, we’ll have lunch.”

Desus Nice: I got you. I got you.

The Kid Mero: I got you. Yo, I’ll buy you a plane ticket.

Desus Nice: You’re about to give some random fan your home address. It’s like, “What are you doing, stop.”

The Kid Mero: What are you doing?

Desus Nice: Stop. You’re like, “Oh, sorry. I was wallowing. I was wallowing.”

The Kid Mero: Yo, I’m chill. No, I want to give her power of attorney. I want to give her power of attorney over my finances. Yo, she’s been through a lot. You don’t understand. You know what I’m saying? So that’s a lot. But it’s also, it feels great after. It’s just like, “Yo, shit. This is not just yackity schmackity, yuk yuk, give me my check.” You know what I mean? There’s something actually tangibly good coming out of this.

Geri Cole: It’s the connection.

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Geri Cole: Oh man. That’s really incredible. I do actually want to talk a little bit about your book, because congratulations on being New York Times best selling authors.

Desus Nice: Thank you, thank you.

Geri Cole: What was your process like of writing your book?

Desus Nice: Oh, you know what? It’s Google Docs.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: It’s like Google Docs created-

The Kid Mero: Straight up.

Desus Nice: … just a virtual world where it’s like me and Mero was writing at the same time, the editors were in there, legal was in there. It was kind of a stream of conscious thing, so you could just go in at whatever time. If you want to get smacked and go in at 4:00 AM and start writing, you might see someone else in there. And that’s how you were able to keep that conversational quality in it. Because you see Mero would do this and then I’d be like, “All right, let me take it from here.” Or jump ahead and do this, and then Mero would come in right there. It worked perfectly. It captured the chemistry we have in real life, it was kind of like a text version of the podcast, if you would.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. And if you buy the audio book, it’s literally just an episode of the podcast. But it’s just like a look back at our lives, you know what I mean?

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: A small look. Because I feel like we could do volume two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, because we’ve got some stories to tell.

Geri Cole: I believe it. I feel like you guys are so authentically yourselves. Does it ever feel exhausting, in a way, that you have to always show up so much for other people?

Desus Nice: I think it’s the opposite. And it’s something we’ve noticed. We don’t have to do anything to be this. So any time you meet us, we are Desus and Mero. It’s like yesterday I was at Pet Co in Union Square, because I’ve got pets. And the guy in front of me, he keeps looking at me. I have the mask on, and he keeps looking at me. He’s looking at me, because it’s hot and I have the tattoos exposed. So he kind of is like maybe that’s Desus, I don’t want to ask him. He’s buying a dog-sized Knick’s jersey. Come on. You know I’ve got to say something. I’m like, “Bro, you’re a real one for that.” He was like, “Desus?” I was like, “Yep.” It’s just like what if Desus was my pseudonym, and I had to prepare. I’d be like, “I’m sorry, I’m not Desus. Sorry, I’m just Daniel today. I am not going.” No, it’s just us all the time. It’s not exhausting, but we never have to turn it on or turn it off.

Desus Nice: And that’s what makes it fun, because when people meet us, I have no idea what people are expecting, but they’re just like, “Holy shit, you guys are Desus and Mero. You guys are doing the show in front of me.”

Geri Cole: Right now, yeah.

Desus Nice: We’re like, “Yo, this is what we know how to do, baby.” So that’s what we’re going to do.

The Kid Mero: Yeah, and to Desus’ point, man, I’ll just be walking, I’m in Jersey and I’ll just be in the mall, just minding my business, eating my chicken tenders, walking around. Somebody will be like, “Yo, I love the show, bro.” And I get more excited than they do. They just want to be like, “Yo, I’m a fan of the show,” whatever. And I’m just like, “Yo, you want to take a picture? Yo, let’s take a picture. Yo, let me hold your baby.” You know what I’m saying?

Geri Cole: Okay.

The Kid Mero: And they’re like, “Sure.” Then I’m like, “Yo, let me sign your grandma’s forehead.” And they’re like, “She don’t speak English.”

Geri Cole: No, no.

The Kid Mero: You know what I mean? And it’s just like that type of vibe. It’s just like, “Yo, for real? Me?” That still has not worn off, I don’t think it ever will, to be honest. You know what I’m saying?

Desus Nice: Yeah.

The Kid Mero: Because this was not, to quote Kim Ron, in Oscar-snubbed movie Killing Season, this was not scheduled for us.

Desus Nice: Also, it’s the type of thing where it’s not something you think of. I probably remember I have a TV show, if I don’t have an interview or something over the course of the day, I totally forget that. So I will be just straight up in Rite-Aid in line, being like, “Yo, could they open another register? What the fuck?” Just regular. And at that moment, a WGA award does not matter, having a late night show does not matter. I’m just a regular New Yorker just trying to get through life. So then when people do that to you, they cop you back and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I am on TV. Oh, wow.” You’re like, “Yeah, I’m on TV, but excuse me, I’ve got to show ID now because they didn’t have the right thing, I’ve got to get a rain check.” So when the manager want to come out here, we don’t got all day, Stephanie.

The Kid Mero: Listen.

Desus Nice: You’re like, “Oh.”

The Kid Mero: Bump up the tuna, it’s on sale.

Desus Nice: She’s like I’m dying, I’m dying, guy. Yeah.

The Kid Mero: I’m taking advantage of the situation right now, I need it.

Desus Nice: Or even worse-

The Kid Mero: Albacore.

Desus Nice: … when people, I’ll be like, “Bro, the whole bean coffee is on sale. If you want to get it here it’s good, but if you go down the street, C-town, you can get three bags for five.” And they’re like, “That sounds like Desus, but why would Desus be giving me coffee advice?”

The Kid Mero: Yes.

Desus Nice: I’m just pushing my buggy. They’re like, “Are you 75 now?”

The Kid Mero: What are you doing?

Desus Nice: I’ve got to go get my hot-

The Kid Mero: Why are you?

Desus Nice: I’ve got to go get my black-

The Kid Mero: Why are you wearing a bobbin?

Desus Nice: … It’s 4:00 PM, I’ve got to go get my black coffee. These kids, they never call me any more. No, they forgot about me. You’re like, “You don’t have any kids, what are you talking about?”

Geri Cole: Are you? Sir.

The Kid Mero: Sir? Sir? I’m just sitting at McDonald’s with a black coffee and my shoes have Velcro straps. They’re like, “Yo, is that The Kid Mero?” I’m like, “Yeah. Yeah, I guess you could say that.”

Desus Nice: Yeah, Saturday Night Live hasn’t been good since 1992. Yeah. Listen, this world today. This world.

Geri Cole: Oh, man. So, I think I have only one more question, which is upsetting. But I feel like New York is such a part of the show. The city, the spirit, the vibe. Do you think that you could do this show in any other city? If they were like, “You’ve got to move this to Alaska,” would it work in Alaska?

Desus Nice: Absolutely.

The Kid Mero: Oh yeah. Yeah. 100%. Yeah.

Desus Nice: Because we did the show once in L.A., and same vibe, it was just a little more chill because weed was legal. But regardless of where you go, we’re New York, you hear it. And we’ve seen it. We’ve gone places and said stuff out loud, and people have turned around because our beautiful New York accents are so jarring. People are like, “Yo, what the?” I’ll just go to Chicago like, “Yo, let me get to gyros.” Everyone’s like, “What is a gyro?”

The Kid Mero: What is that?

Desus Nice: It’s a Gero. We’re like, “That’s not what we call it where we come from.”

The Kid Mero: Nah. Nah, bro. Where’s the chicken spot?

Desus Nice: And I think if you were to take us and put us in another city, God forbid it would probably turn up the amount of New York that comes out of us, because that’s all we know.

The Kid Mero: Yeah.

Desus Nice: That’s all we know. So you could take us out, but you’re still going to be reminded of New York every 30 seconds.

The Kid Mero: Yeah. You can’t spend your entire adult, you know what I mean, your entire formative years and your adult life in the Bronx and then just go somewhere else and become Alaskan. Nah. I’m going to be the asshole with the Yankee hat that has the ear flaps to cover my ears because it’s cold out. You know what I mean?

Desus Nice: That would be the first time we’re wearing Tim’s for the actual purpose. Yo, these are actually good in snow.

The Kid Mero: These are very cozy.

Desus Nice: Wow.

The Kid Mero: Non-slip. Waterproof. Wow. Gortex, huh?

Geri Cole: Though I would love to see the Alaskan version of this show. I’m like, what are those boys-

The Kid Mero: Just us with two chairs-

Desus Nice: You know what?

The Kid Mero: … ice fishing.

Desus Nice: If you want to know how little we know about Alaska, I’m like, “Okay, so we’ll be in an igloo, we’ll be wrapped up.”

The Kid Mero: You know what I’m saying?

Desus Nice: And I know people in Alaska, they’re like, “We live in houses.”

The Kid Mero: We got houses dog, we got houses.

Desus Nice: They’re like-

The Kid Mero: We don’t just eat raw salmon, fam.

Desus Nice: … Dude, like I show you on the Close Friends on Instagram. You’ve seen my father, he works on the car in the driveway. I was like, “Ah, nah, nah. Your mayor is a moose.”

The Kid Mero: Yeah, that’s right.

Desus Nice: All right. Okay.

Geri Cole: Honestly, who’s going to Alaska? It’s so far away.

Desus Nice: It’s so far.

Geri Cole: Who’s doing that? Who’s doing that?

The Kid Mero: Yo, they’ve got seal burgers on the menu at McDonald’s.

Desus Nice: Oh, man.

Geri Cole: Do they really?

The Kid Mero: Nah, listen.

Desus Nice: You see?

The Kid Mero: Exactly, there you go.

Desus Nice: See? This sounds about right. You’re like, it doesn’t sound right, but…

The Kid Mero: But.

Geri Cole: Wow.

The Kid Mero: Maybe.

Geri Cole: Sorry, one more question. And I don’t know if I’m allowed to ask this question, but I want to know-

The Kid Mero: Don’t ask the-

Geri Cole: … your neon signs would say-

Desus Nice: Oh, you’re allowed. Okay, I thought you were going to ask the other one. I thought you were going to ask the other one. Okay.

Geri Cole: Oh no. What was the other one?

Desus Nice: Oh no, from the old show, The Rainbow.

Geri Cole: Oh. No, no.

Desus Nice: But you got the right thing.

Geri Cole: Okay.

Desus Nice: What would our neon sign say?

Geri Cole: Yeah.

Desus Nice: Okay. That’s a good question. Because you know what? Every time we get asked this question, we usually just come up with new ones on the spot. And then we understand the pressure all our guests have, because you have to come up with a fire rainbow. My rainbow would be, nobody goes to Alaska. There we go. That’s mine.

Geri Cole: That’s a good one. That’s a good one.

The Kid Mero: Yo, to quote the legend, the illustrious ODB, Desus and Mero is for the children.

Desus Nice: There you go.

The Kid Mero: You know what I’m saying? Especially mine. Especially mine because they’re eating off of it.

Geri Cole: He said it was for the children?

The Kid Mero: Yes. For the youth then.

Geri Cole: Okay.

Desus Nice: The little Duns.

Geri Cole: Oh wow.

The Kid Mero: Know what I’m saying?

Geri Cole: Well, thank you so much for taking the time for this podcast, it was really a pleasure to speak with you guys.

Desus Nice: This was fun, thanks for having us.

The Kid Mero: Thank you.

Geri Cole: Oh my goodness. Thank you so much.

Geri Cole: That’s it for this episode. On Writing is a production of the Writer’s Guild of America East. Tech production and original music is by Stock Boy Creative. You can learn more about the Writer’s Guild of America East online at And you can follow the Guild on social media @wgaeast. If you like this podcast, please subscribe and rate us. I’m Geri Cole, thank you for listening and write on.

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