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A Conversation with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero | SXSW 2021

Desus Nice
Comedian and television, YouTube at DESUS & MERO on SHOWTIME
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SXSW 2021
March 16, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
SXSW 2021
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A Conversation with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero | SXSW 2021
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About speakers

Desus Nice
Comedian and television, YouTube at DESUS & MERO on SHOWTIME
Kid Mero
Writer, comedian, TV personality

Daniel Baker (born May 18, 1981), known professionally as Desus Nice, is a Jamaican-American comedian and television, YouTube, and Twitter personality. He rose to prominence with Complex TV's Desus vs. Mero, which was a 46-episode podcast that was first released on December 18, 2013. He was the co-host of Viceland's Desus & Mero talk show alongside The Kid Mero until June 2018, and currently co-hosts Desus & Mero which premiered on February 21, 2019 on Showtime

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Joel Martinez (born May 15, 1983), professionally known as The Kid Mero, is a Dominican-American writer, comedian, TV personality, voice actor, YouTube personality, music blogger and Twitter personality. He rose to prominence alongside fellow Bronx native Desus Nice with their Complex TV 46-episode podcast Desus vs. Mero, which first premiered on December 18, 2013. As of season 5, he is a cast member of Guy Code with Desus Nice. He was the co-host of Viceland's Desus & Mero talk show alongside Desus until June 2018, and currently co-hosts Desus & Mero which premiered on February 21, 2019 on Showtime

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About the talk

A conversation with multi-talented comedians, authors of the New York Times Best Seller God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx, co-hosts of Showtime’s first late-night talk show Desus & Mero and the long-running Bodega Boys podcast, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero.

About SXSW:

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, this year’s online event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. For more information, please visit sxsw.com.

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Hi, I'm Scott fiber from The Hollywood Reporter. Very happy to be here with South by Southwest on-line and two of the two, my favorite guys in this business, the best guys in late night desus and Mero. Thank you guys for making the wine, you know? But yeah, my say I previously got to speak with you. I think it was June 2019. A lot has happened since then and particularly where we are right now, you guys are three seasons in at Showtime recently. Racked up Chris choice of UGA and n-double-acp nominations and I mean look,

the pandemic sucks, of course but if difference not been awful for anybody, you guys have come out of this pretty pretty good. I mean let's talk about the year that you had as we as we come up on the One year anniversary of Life ghetto, starting to otherwise suck. So when when the pain. What how did it affect your guys? Did they let you take out a New York. I mean, at the beginning, it was when it first hit you over like we didn't like people just around overseas and possibly get like

we had to shut down computer genius, computer equipment in Stereo studio equipment inside, these are different ways of covid. Testing, we went from the nasal swabs to spitting in the cops when we know how to upload and encode audio files and send them using. Resend it to the editors like it really did a full 180 on life but I think if you look at our show, Just got in bed and don't say that to brag, it's gotten better. That was the same thing like just becoming like mr. RadioShack you know I'm saying like putting together C stands like he's like I'll say it again like I'm a

broken record. I haven't found a relatively Newfound appreciation for the production staff on the show because I'm just like what you do, it's a trouble. Shoot something via Zoom is very difficult cuz man Heading to pick up. If you look at the first couple episodes that we shot during covid-19 virus or a mess, the lights are off. The sound is terrible, using my old Android cameras, it was really bad in a Krystal, Clear sand, we got the boom mics and it was great working with the production staff, because it became more intimate because usually, we just

get on stage and we would see them in the engineer guy in. But now he's on the zoom, he's stalking us. We'll talk about the Rangers games. What was fixing the mics, and checking the Trap of trouble that goes, like, if it feels more like a family based organization now, to make the show, Yeah, it's will become more intimate. As we have, like, it's become more intimate just because, you know, we're not just like, sitting there doing technical stuff like we talked last night

like this and it's like a conversation with everybody that typically like on a show, they in studio would happen cuz it's just like, all right, five minutes, more like structure. And is that a little five minutes of like playtime in the beginning? Will you guys, you know, obviously have been providing escapism for a lot of other people, but at the same time in case anyone forgot your human beings too and I wondered just emotionally, you know why? I think Melrose got a bunch of

kids either so I don't know. Maybe you're now is expanding your family. I don't haven't been checking in on that with you but I mean it would take a lot of pain but I mean like I don't have an adopted yet but it's hard enough to just be, you know, anyone let alone have a podcast and a show and all the things you guys do and II. And then, on top of the aspect, of all this, in the summer, we have the George, Floyd tragedy, all the black lives matter protest. You guys are among the only late night host. Holler. Unfortunately, you have

the youngest and most diverse audience in late night. So I'm sure that that must have also thrown you guys in your audience for a loop. So I just wonder if you can talk about how things are thrown on top of the hands on it. That was, that was this on top of you said, just on top of everything. And I was just like, like, racism didn't take a break cuz of a pandemic braces and was like, no, but I keep going and you had to take to the streets and I was just like Juris protesting because you're putting yourself in a group of people you to possibly see if that's how we was a thousand percent.

Sure if the mass even work. And then the cops are being up for a cycle completing and it wasn't even as if you could avoid. It wasn't just once and I can't remember around here that I'm still in the Bronx has come from the store. And I saw cops in armor on bikes and I tweeted, I was like, I don't know what's going on, but the cops have armor on their bikes. Be careful tonight and then they had a protest with a beat-up. All these protesters on 138th Street, and I was like, if I had stayed outside for 10 more minutes, I would have been beat up with those protesters. So it seems

like little things like that. Then, yeah, we got a TV show, but the end of the day, we're brown people and like this directly affects us. And, you know, More. Like how are you going to discuss this on our show? It's like we've been discussing. This is day one minute, one of us though. So they're not all like this is in reality. I like to to do some point man. Like I like almost every format podcast, show whatever, like you don't stop police brutality, all that type of stuff is like firsthand is not second hand

experience. It's like we're experiencing firsthand. So like he's not like we've been talking about this for ever so it's like it's not like we like it's naturally because of my experience experience and emotionally is it at a certain point? I mean, I know there are days. I didn't want to do any worker or just wanted to stay in bed and watch TV or whatever. Did you find that? Just this everything? The pandemic that stuff. Everything just sat at a certain point, you know, beat you down, cuz I

don't know how you guys keep up. The pace under normal in normal times when it's two episodes of the show, it's the podcast. I forget how often you're pumping, out new ones that it's for now involve every week. Maybe Polly Pepsi now and shoes and Timbaland. And like, I don't know, I mean, it's pretty in the dark. Yeah, I mean at this point that it's fun, it's so fun to do. It's the production team is amazing to work with. It does not feel like a job like when we like lately, we've been going back to the studio with, you know, the proper covid precautions to Safeguard Properties.

Testing zones, and everything. And it's just so it's like with so little to do and everything is boarded up and, you know, they're just reopening outdoor dining in New York City, the chance to be around, people be around your friends, cuz that's my friend, and it's just how you make the show with them for them. And then, like, I enjoy watching our show every Sunday night. And every Thursday night, I watch our show and I laughed, like, I didn't watch it three times already to watch down. At is so funny to me and I laugh another jokes and that's what keeps going. Like if it was not fun

to do anymore there's no way we can crank out to show. It really depends on that like, you know, even though the whole like no audience think you have been playing like we do. I feel like we went into that, not worried, really not. I mean, because we were just experimenting this First, two seasons was an experiment with the audience. We were each other's on getting back into that. Like, you know, into that zone was dealt because it's like, okay, now I'm just trying to make him laugh. Me to buy personal

mission accomplished. People jobs to apply to Well, we absolutely will. All right. So this brings us up to September 22nd 2 days. After the enemy is that what you should have been nominated and outcomes, your book god-level knowledge, darts life lessons from the Bronx, which suddenly becomes a bestseller. So when the hell did we been talking about all the stuff you got here? When did you even find time to do that? We are multitaskers. And we were riding while we're doing the podcast. The show is

all we got to do is it's like this because we're from the Bronx and we've had very, very, very terrible jobs and our worst day now is better than our best day back then. So we never wake up. Like you have to live his life to wake up like a man. I don't want to write this book random house like that. Like What you do? It's still an industry long enough. It comes to happen so often what is not going to feel but everything else is like Stone. We got a package of Gatorade the other day and is there free? Gatorade,

nevermind, Google, whatever. Cuz I was like I don't want no super gain weight or whatever and whatever my little physical. What is the temperature in front of my house? And he's delivered call Circle, Lopez Bodega, comes to you, that's great. So you mention Obama we got to talk about Obama. This is December 13th. You guys go to Howard University to sit down with some cream guest? You know this is the former president of the coolest cat in the game. How surreal is it to be sitting there and have the former president know who you are compliment. Your

work. Plus your balls about the Knicks. I mean that's crazy. It wasn't any just be put aside easy mediately cuz I feel like I don't like pencil overthinks ends up things. Sometimes I was just like I was a little bit nervous and then I was just like, you know, this is Barack Obama. This is serious like you, how are you going to post? And then it was just like he came in the room and just like, instantly, everything was like this on and it was just like, yeah, we can just chop it up like, regular, like we're just regular lunch break. You

don't know what it was like something that people forget about the shows like every interview was pretty much interviewing someone more famous than us. So, none of the be like, oh, that's a former president. Yeah. But we weren't really big rappers. You do that, we must finally, but not. So it was just, it was not to say it was as big as he was making it at the moment, it was like, it's cool, whatever, whatever, Howard University in watching the interview afterwards and watching the effect on social media. And watching the people that I know you interviewed Obama or watching

going into the bodega, having a guy behind the counter late Joe, I saw you interview Obama, God bless you, God bless you. Oh my God, it's like the Mantis bites. Can't even get a sentence out cuz this is huge and it's one of those things that in retrospect we interviewed Obama that was the end of the pay-per-view and I'll watch it. Yeah, we really did that. Wow, that was a career. Yeah, absolutely. Good conversation. You guys covered a lot of stuff and,

you know, I think that at this point, you know, who's anyone else to say? Yeah, I'm not going to do those guys. I'm above doing those guys. When Obama did it without the bad part is now, people are just like, I'm not big enough to be on your show. You got to give people a pep talk. Denzel Washington. Come on, now, I finally get rid of trump, after we almost have the government overthrown and I I just wonder what you guys made of all that and also what, what do you think

would happen? If I a certain point truck decides, you know, what time is New York, I want to come back to New York. Why would say this? Trump leave the ending of trouble leaving was very anti-climatic, is kind of like, at the edge of the capital city of breaking glass at the end of a White House in handcuffs or not. You know what? Let's move past. It was like, I might lose America's acting like Trump presidency was just like a flashback episode and it was not canon for the time

sleep again, imagine that we looked at that. Really happened for a long time. Well, I don't get this coming down to Yankee Stadium anytime soon. All right, then, they were just saying how happy you New Yorkers are not down. All the barricades that used to be around Trump Tower cuz like they will cut him off the streets. And there were, those are gone and they already started taking down the word Trump off buildings. So he doesn't really have an identity in New York City, which

sounds like a good thing. Which means if he shows up on the Jumbotron ever, ever comes back in Florida. I mean, anyway, of he got kicked off Twitter. Exactly, exactly. So, the other thing was Trump Twitter, and I wonder if you guys, you know, if you could tap into your empathy cuz I know you guys like your Twitter, how bad, how much would it suck if you were kicked off Twitter? How much what would you do? It would suck for the first first 3 days and then you'll be alright. Because what time would I got arrested? I had to stay the weekend inside book is I kept wanting to scream and I forgot I

was in prison. I kept reaching for my phone in my pocket. I can't read what I just saw. You forget what about you? Cuz I was saying I was going to get off and I am I stupid head on the first day? I was like, you know what? I'm going to rip off a square of toilet, paper and write down the street, and I want to come out Everything you live for was Twitter, so he is going through. He probably wouldn't withdrawal right now, but I was just waiting for you. He's having cold sweats right now. Like,

and it's like, I'm saying, is to say you, do you go to prison if I don't have to like a little bit and then come back to war with the M&M stand? Like, it is what it is. But a big deal. It's like Instagram and post pictures of my kids and shit like that. So it's okay. Right right. Right. Okay, so when life finally goes back to normal, I mean first of all, have you guys got in any sense like what's the vaccination situation? How long are you going to have to wait in in New York for this? well, I'm in Jersey so I just recently found out that I scientifically am obese

so I can go and get the shot because my BMI is like to this category They should open a business Open. The super vaccination Center in the Bronx and you need to see. The only people they have no access to computers cuz the libraries are close and then the poor neighborhoods like this neighborhood right here, they have no way to get to the back seat. So they're like, rolling back. What you need to do to get it so you don't like their existing conditions and you like with a pre-existing condition. I like wink-wink-nudge-nudge, I said pre-existing condition it online. So imma let all my

neighbors and stuff, get it. You know, I got I got no ride, I got to be, let them get it first. And then when they're just like the rest of you, I'll go and get it. So no rush over here. Yeah, when life is back to normal or as close to normal as we can get, what are you guys? Most anxious to do? Is there something both personally and professionally? What's what's at the top of the list? When life is back to normal, I am going to be one of the most disgusting people ever. I'm going to just be open mouth kissing random people on the

street. I'll just eat food like bottom of the food out of other people's hands on the street and eat it. I'm going to lick Subway pose. I would drink the water on the subway. Listen to live music music and like, you know, being around other people who also enjoy the artist that you're there to see. You don't say it. Also like, I'm going to keep saying this free fire albums during a pandemic and we did not get to enjoy them in the summertime on the beach scantily, clad

as we were supposed to have enjoyed them so we got to run that back. We got to run that back. That's all. I want to go to the city island because I want to eat crab legs and oysters and I want to eat them the right way. I want to eat them on the shorefront. I don't want them doordash to my house cuz eating crab legs and find apartment. After dusk is very sad that I got a microwave on a viola. And I know you guys want to get back to watching sports live, right? I mean, that's a big thing cuz the Knicks are good this year, the Knicks have a

chance. This is like, like, I want to say my wife in a nutshell, but it's not because like my life has turned out pretty well. I think so. But it's like the Knicks are finally good and you can't go see them live. What is the most one of the most dangerous things you could give? Nick fans is a piece of Faith, the size of a grain of rice and listen, baby. We got so many important issues out in the world today, but I want to ask you if you have any final thoughts on on a couple of them Woody Allen Kim Kardashian. Maybe since we haven't

Texas audience here, may, we have a word or two about Ted Cruz, just taking away the people of Texas to discuss that during the middle of an emergency and your daughter under the bus said it was her like you. Do you eat rats and you are a terrible person, and you got time. Your wife was ugly on the couch for the rest of your life for that long and I'm done Cruise, I'm talking to you, you change your name to pay to make it, so I'mma call you with your mama named you

to like Mike Myers straight up for Ted Cruz young saying, I don't care what forget about that cruise. I also saw her last week. I never seen anything like that with the pipes in the oil and everything. Yo, I hope you didn't lose anyone. Your prayers is with you and I hope you get it all the supplies and support. Y'all need to go through it. And I'll Hearts is with you stay up for real and you know, it says that the Bronx has Thank you guys, really appreciate it. Take care.

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