By Tristan Leach
The Try Guys podcast ‘TryPods’ episode 181 was labeled “OK, let’s talk about it.” Of course I clicked, because I, and millions of other people were wondering, what really happened?
I clicked on the video and listened to Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld and a producer, Miles Bonsignore, explain the situation at hand. For those who don’t know, Habersberger and Kornfeld are a part of an internet sensation known as The Try Guys, often referred to as “the guys” by fans. The group was once a foursome, including Eugene Lee Yang and Ned Fulmer.
However, the group of four is now a trio. After years of cultivating the “Try Guys” image, the foursome who gained popularity in the early 2010s while working at Buzzfeed before venturing off on their own lost a member when Fulmer departed the group.
About a month ago, it was revealed via the internet that Fulmer, the man whose brand was loving his wife, had cheated on her. While it was quite a shock, this is no cause for an hour-long podcast and endless posts from the official Try Guys Instagram and Fulmer himself. Here was the problem: Fulmer cheated with an employee of his company, a person who worked under him.
Allegedly, Fulmer was the unofficial HR representative for his company. Regardless of whether or not this was his position, Fulmer still didn’t report the relationship to his company. After the fans got a hold of tangible evidence of the affair, a waiting game began to see what the other guys would do.
The other members released a 5-minute video announcing Fulmer had legally been released from the company along with the employee he engaged in a relationship with. The video was heartbreaking: Lee Yang, Kornfeld and Habersberger were ending an eight-year work-partnership and friendship. You could see the pain in their eyes, their voices raw with sadness and anger.
While I found this extremely saddening, I had to admire the other guys. In a world where it is not common for men to be held accountable for their actions, Habersberger, Kornfeld and Lee Yang, all men, were doing what companies that are decades older than their own have failed to do.
Fans of the guys took to social media praising the group for their action and willingness to own up instead of hiding behind closed doors. The guys have always been very anti-bullying and harassment of any kind, working hard to kill off toxic masculinity. The Try Guys have made videos about periods, childbirth and going a day wearing weights that act as breasts to understand the physical pain of people who go through these unique experiences everyday.
In a world where toxic masculinity and “being a man” is the end-all-be-all for so many people, the guys continuously act in rebellion against the stereotypes. That is precisely what the guys did with the explanation video. They were honest and refused to lie about the events that took place.
That is also where the problems started.
I was sitting on my girlfriend’s couch scrolling through Twitter when Saturday Night Live’s (SNL) account popped up. The tweet was a video titled “what happened,” and had three actors who were dressed to look like Kornfeld, Habersberger and Lee Yang. I took the bait and watched the 3-minute skit. The “comedy” sketch turned out to be a simplification of the events that took place. SNL made the whole situation look like Fulmer was let go from his company because of the affair.
I won’t be the first or last person to admit that this sketch got my blood boiling. The guys were suffering from what was basically a break up, and two families were suffering the repercussions, and now, SNL wanted to make it all a joke?
Angered fans found an episode of the TryPod where Fulmer talks about having a friend from college who is a writer from SNL. It was later found that Fulmer’s friend did indeed write the sketch, and Try Guys fans were going after SNL.
For many, it wasn’t a shock that the show was defending what a man had done. After all, there have been multiple allegations against cast members, all men, for everything from grooming to sexual assault. Various articles released since 2021 alleged Horatio Sanz, a former cast member of SNL, of sexual assualt and grooming of a teenage girl. SNL was in for a rude awakening: the internet was on the Try Guys’ side.
What the Try Guys and SNL’s tasteless skit has taught me is that in this world is that there are two types of people: the ones who know how to be honest and choose to embrace the truth and the ones who will twist the truth because they simply can’t handle it.